RICHARD ANDERSSON – The Ultimate Andersson Collection

RICHARD ANDERSSON - The Ultimate Andersson Collection


Metal Heaven
Release date: September 26, 2005

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In the pose of a wizard, Richard Andersson fronts the cover of his latest release The Ultimate Andersson Collection: definitely a bold title! So, what can he conjure up with his slight of hand and a little help from his friends? …and what’s with the title?

The Music

A Richard Andersson album is far from Forrest Gump’s mother’s proverbial box of chocolates… you pretty much know what you’re gonna get! The Ultimate Andersson Collection is a selection of songs written some time ago, and previously recorded and performed by some of Richard Andersson’s many band projects: Time Requiem, Majestic, and, of course Space Odyssey. This time around, Andersson wanted to re-record every piece, seeking to improve the production qualities he felt caused the originals to suffer.

And it works. The music is fast, Fantasy, Melodic Metal, mostly in the Neo-Classical/Progressive vein, although a song like “Black Moon Rising” reveals his admiration for his fellow countrymen: legends Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus (ABBA). There is a hint of pop and it’s surprisingly catchy and appropriate! He seems to have been faithful to his original ideas, but with added zest and attack, he’s given them a new life.

On the downside, one might find the lyrics a tad weaker than the fierce accompanying music. Considering that some of these are early works of his, perhaps there’s no reason to dwell on this?

Anyway, obvious highlights are “Confucius,” “Above And Beyond,” “Visions Of New Dawn,” and “Voodoo Treasure.” All of these are fine examples of Richard Andersson’s skills as a composer, performer, and now also as a producer.

The Band

Andersson is blessed this time with guest performances by legendary Jens Johansson (second keyboard solo on “Attar Of Roses”) and Sven Cirnski (guitar solos on “Above And Beyond” and “Visions Of New Dawn”). Still, he wouldn’t have come far without his good friends Magnus Nilsson (guitars), Jörg Andrews (drums), and Andy Rose (bass) who contributes to the essential foundation in Andersson’s music. Then there is Göran Edman: his emotional and versatile voice is made for this kind of music and he adds a substancial dimension to all of the songs.

Of course, Andersson himself is omnipresent and he serves up some solos that are simply out of this world! Listen to “Confucius” or “Golden Sea” and see for yourself.

The Verdict

In contradiction to the introductory analogy, The Ultimate Andersson Collection is indeed a box of chocolates: there are plenty of tasty pieces and possibly several favorites to be found. What’s better, when the box is empty you just have to press play again to enjoy another serving!

The Facts

Supposedly, Andersson had several guest performers in mind, but skipped the idea because he couldn’t get Yngwie Malmsteen himself onboard, and besides that he had a desire to take the project on the road. So, look out for The Ultimate Andersson Collection in a concert hall near you…


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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