10 Essential Spock’s Beard Songs

Spock's Beard Songs

Photo: By Holger Nassenstein (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The next time one of your friends makes that ridiculous statement that there are no good bands anymore, do them a favor and hand them a Spock’s Beard CD. Spock’s Beard is one hell of a band. If record companies actually promoted their bands and kids actually brought music, bands like Spock’s Beard would become household names the way bands like Emerson Lake & Palmer, Led Zeppelin Genesis and Pink Floyd became in the 1970’s.

The band Spock’s Beard have been around for a while. The group formed during the grunge years when bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were ruling the world of rock music. Progressive rock music faced an uphill battle in the 1990’s. Nonetheless bands like AnglagardPorcupine Tree, Marillion and a host of others carried the torch that they all began to swing in different directions.

Spock’s Beard released their first album entitled The Light in 1995. At the time the band consisted of Neal Morse on lead vocals, keyboards, and guitar Alan Morse on lead electric guitar, cello, mellotron, vocals, Dave Meros on bass, and Nick D’Virgilio on drums.

In 1996, the band released their second album entitled Beware of Darkness which introduced keyboardist Ryo Okumoto. The album The Kindness of Strangers was issued in 1998, Day for Night in 1999, V in 2002 and Snow in 2002. After the album Snow was released, founding member Neil Morse left the band. Spock’s Beard continued to release albums. 2003’s Feel Euphoria would be the first album released without Neil Morse on board.

The album Octane was released in 2005, followed by an album named after the band Spock’s Beard in 2006. The bands tenth album was released in 2010 and was called X which all sort of made sense we guess.

The year 2013 saw a major change in the band’s personal. The band;s longtime original drummer Nick D’Virgilio left the band and was replaced by Jimmy Keegan.  Spock’s Beard also brought on Ted Leonard  as the band’s new vocalist. The band released the album The Oblivion Particle in 2015.

Our Top 10 Spock’s Beard songs list is an attempt to define some of the peak moments in the band’s career. These are simply subjective selections on our part and fans of the band are bound to have many different favorites especially the hardcore fans who will undoubtedly find fault with our list. However, for those rock fans who may not know the band, we hope that you find these songs as interesting and impressive as we do and go out start collecting some of this great band’s progressive rock CDs.

# 10 – The Water

We open our Essential Spock’s Beard songs list with the epic suite “The Water,” from the band’s debut album The Light.  It was tough to choose between the two epic suites on this amazing debut album. The albums’ opening suite “The Light,” is also just as captivating as well as the album’s other two tracks “Go the Way You Go” and “On the Edge.” Would it be cheating if we picked every song from their amazing debut album?

# 9 – Tides of Time

Listen to this track LISTEN TO IT ! We wanted to make sure that you don’t touch that dial. This one reminds us of Genesis Trick of the Trail period. It’s amazing that music like this is being released in 2015. “Tides of Time,” was the opening track to the band’s The Oblivion Particle CD. Oh yeah!

# 8 – On A Perfect Day

We are listening to this track and trying to decide what we like better: the killer guitar playing, the smoking keyboard riffs, the phenomenal drumming, the progressive bass line, the perfect tuned vocals or just simply the great composition itself? “On A Perfect Day” was released on the band’s Spock’s Beard album in 2006. Listen to that break at 3: 41 that eventually gives way to those beautiful acoustic guitar licks that cascade into the piano rolls only to be embraced by a full band musical reunion. This is vintage 1970s progressive rock with a modern 21st Century feel.

# 7 – The Doorway

The seventh entry on our essential Spock’s Beard songs list is the live track “The Doorway,” taken from the X Tour Live recording. The beautiful piano introduction to the song is so well recorded it sounds as if the musicians are performing in your living room. The juxtapositions between the song’s minor key verses and major key choruses and the interplay between the musicians lead to an enticing and profound listening experience that is the cornerstone concept of the live progressive rock experience.

# 6 – Submerged

One can instantly hear the impact the addition of Ted Leonard had on the band with this great song “Submerged.” The song was released on Ted Leonard’s debut album with the band entitled Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep.

# 5 – At The End Of The Day

If we had to choose one Spock’s Beard album to bring with us onto a deserted island, it would be hard to leave album V behind. “At The End OF The Day” was the album’s opening track.

# 4 – Cakewalk On Easy Street

We are trying to mix it up here on Spock’s Beard songs list because the band sounds different on every album. This great track, “Cakewalk On Easy Street,” was released on The Kindness of Strangers album in 1998. It was the band’s third album.

# 3 – Wind At My Back

Simply breathtaking and beautiful. Reminds me of early Peter Gabriel solo material. It’s not a copy; it just has the same soulfulness that Peter Gabriel had. The band Spock’s Beard knew how to write beautiful choruses sung with such marvelous harmonies. The song “Wind At My Back” was the closing track on disc one of the great 2 CD release Snow.

# 2 – The Great Nothing

The epic piece “The Great Nothing” further proves Spock’s Beard should be a household name. This brilliant musical journey was released on the V album in 2000. The song’s thrilling opening chord is soon engulfed in a majestic string line that cascades into a Spanish acoustic guitar lick. From then on, the songs keep improving as the electric guitar licks set the stage for that iconic progressive rock organ groove. It’s feeling a bit like Yes, at the moment, and that’s a good thing. We need more music like this in the 21st Century. Thank you Spock’s Beard for keeping this music alive.

# 1 – The Healing Colors Of Sound

This one leaves you speechless. It’s so good; no words can describe this fantastic piece of music. It was a defining career moment for Neal Morse’s composition skills. Released on the 1999 album Day For Night. 

Updated Nov 8, 2023

10 Essential Spock’s Beard Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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