This disc was released simultaneously with The Original Band, and, like its counterpart, it combines the contents of two Quicksilver albums from the early '80s. If this one is the less-consistently satisfying of the two compilations, it's probably due in part to the stress of a constantly changing lineup -- bassist and singer Lou Reid had left by the time Once & for Always was recorded, and by the following album the entire band was different with the exception of Lawson. There was a slight but noticeable drop in vocal quality during this period; while the ensemble singing is still uncannily tight, no member of the band emerges as an outstanding lead singer. Nor is the song quality as consistent. There are still great moments, such as the a cappella gospel number "A Lover of the Lord" and the very high and lonesome "I've Heard These Words Before." But "The Grass That I'm Playing Is Really Blue" is a complete clunker and there are just a few too many others like it. This one's worth owning, but if you have to choose between it and The Original Band, the latter's your best bet.
Once and for Always/News Is Out Review
by Rick Anderson