TEN – The Essential Collection 1995–2005

TEN - The Essential Collection 1995–2005


Frontiers Records
Release date: January 27, 2006

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In 2005, British Hard Rockers Ten celebrated an, ironically, “ten” year anniversary as a band. To celebrate with their fans, Ten and Frontiers Records have released the double CD The Essential Collections 1995 – 2005, which is a eighteen track “Best Of” collection that includes a few twists. First, CD one is subtitled Essential Rockers, while CD two consists of Essential Ballads. The other twist is that all tracks on both discs are “classics” all fully re-recorded (with the current line-up) and, of course, remixed.

Essential Rockers

Kicking off with one of the lengthiest tracks recorded in modern day Hard Rock, at approximately fifteen minutes in length, is the opening track “The Name Of The Rose/Wildest Dreams.” Immediately, you can feel the clarity and freshness in the production and new mix. Throughout, this CD contains some wonderful Hard Rock that revels with an epic, almost Celtic feel and style. The band’s sound is characterized by wonderful, harmonized vocals by Hughes, twin guitars, and various musical nuances and sounds (e.g., guitar vox, wooden flutes, keyboards, etc.) all helping to paint a larger-than-life picture. No other band comes as close to having an epic flare akin to a modern day version of the legendary Thin Lizzy (without the guitar harmonies) than Ten. Especially effective is the “bite” of the lead guitars of Francis and Halliwell, as their musicianship gives all the tracks an endearing “edge” in that regard.

Essential Ballads

The ballads CD is merely that … a collection of ballads, albeit above average ballads. Most listeners will probably go into this disc with pre-conceived notions. They’ll either dislike them (i.e., prefer the “Rockers” and never listen to this disc more than once) or adore them. Herein lies the disparity in the target audience of this combined collection. There is one, or is that two, saving graces … once again that being the lead work of Francis and Haliwell. Their lead work adds some muscle to some otherwise standard ballads … so much so, that fans of the “Rockers” disc might even find this CD tolerable.

Bottom line, this might be a tough one for some fans to ante up for, given the pricing of the two CD set with each CD potentially appealing to slightly different fan bases. Normally, to address this, other bands that have released this style of “Best Of” collections have sold the “Rockers” and “Ballads” collections as separate single CD issues. Even so, the quality production and mix, along with the collection of songs and guitar work of Francis and Halliwell make this a wonderful introduction for newcomers (and devoted fans) to a decade of Ten’s music repertoire.

Track Listing

Essential Rockers:
The Name Of The Rose/Wildest Dreams * The March Of The Argonauts/Fear The Force * Ten Fathoms Deep * Apparition * After the Love Has Gone * Remembrance For The Brave/Red * Spellbound * The Robe * Evermore

Essential Ballads:
Till The End Of Time * You’re In My Heart * Yesterday Lies In The Flames * Virtual Reality * We Rule The Night * Silent Rain * Through The Fire * Sail Away * Valentine


Gary Hughes – Vocals, Production
Chris Francis – Guitar
John Halliwell – Guitar
Paul Hodson – Keyboards
Steve McKenna – Bass
Lee Morris – Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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