Phil Manzanera

The Complete Explorers

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

This two-CD set is almost a complete collection of all of the studio output of the Explorers. There are no tracks from their live CD, and Manzanera opted to include two 12" mixes instead of the standard album/single versions. Thus, it is somewhat incomplete. The Explorers were formed by Manzanera and MacKay during a planned two-year break from Roxy Music following the huge success of Avalon (this hiatus lasted for 18 years). The music here is second-rate Roxy Music sung by a singer who drifts between sounding like Bryan Ferry and Erasure's Andy Bell. Also, given the talent used for the recording (Tony Levin, Paul Carrack, and Steve Gadd, to name just three), one would assume this music would be creative, unique, and exciting rock. Sadly, the opposite is true. The songs are predictable, boring, and dated with an '80s big, heavy beat sound. As far as this CD is concerned, it is an excellent way for fans to obtain the motherlode of Explorers studio catalogs. However, the songs are not arranged in chronological order or even kept in the groupings of the original album releases. A true picture of the original albums cannot be obtained. Also, there is absolutely no need for 12" versions of "Lorelei" or "Falling for Nightlife." The original, shorter versions would have sufficed and, in fact, sound better. Fans and collectors will want this album, but casual listeners will find little of interest in this package.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Andy Mackay
5:34
2
feat: Andy Mackay
4:09
3
feat: Andy Mackay
4:54
4
feat: Andy Mackay
5:01
5
feat: Andy Mackay
5:12
6
feat: Andy Mackay
5:14
7
feat: Andy Mackay
3:53
8
feat: Andy Mackay
5:02
9
feat: Andy Mackay
4:53
10
feat: Andy Mackay
4:20
11
feat: Andy Mackay
3:37
12
feat: Andy Mackay
5:06
13
feat: Andy Mackay
3:20
14
feat: Andy Mackay
5:16
15
feat: Andy Mackay
4:27
blue highlight denotes track pick