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Lana Lane - Queen of the Ocean





LANA LANE - QUEEN OF THE OCEAN
(Original 1999 press release)

(Los Angeles, January 1999) The "Queen" of international Symphonic Rock has announced the release of her fourth studio album. QUEEN OF THE OCEAN is a fireworks display of symphonic progressive art rock and metal, combining diversified arrangements with crystal clear hook lines and melodic vocals which leave an indelible impression. Lana Lane's typical trademark is her soaring vocals, which the press describe as "clear" and "expressive", as well as "sad", "dramatic" and "angelic". QUEEN OF THE OCEAN follows in the noble footsteps of Lana Lane's three previous studio albums, LOVE IS AN ILLUSION, CURIOUS GOODS and GARDEN OF THE MOON. After an eventful year in 1998, which included the release of a LIVE IN JAPAN Album, the 33 minute long EP ECHOES FROM THE GARDEN, a BALLAD COLLECTION CD, as well as numerous live activities by the Los Angeles - based band, the new album shows that they are still bursting with energy as 1999 gets underway and that their creativity remains boundless.

A large part of the brilliant result must be credited to producer Erik Norlander, Lana's longtime musical and personal partner. Norlander produced QUEEN OF THE OCEAN in his own Walden West Recorder Studio near Los Angeles, and he also played all the keyboard parts on the album. Norlander explains that this time, he used Mellotron and Minimoog keyboards - cult instruments since the early Seventies - and the inimitable sound of an original Hammond organ - more than ever before. In contrast to the previous albums, for which the tracks of the individual instruments were often recorded in very different studios, Lana Lane decided that this time all of the recording sessions would take place within her own small microcosm. The album's guitar parts were played by a veritable six-string armada. The flagship is Neil Citron, the band's masterful lead guitarist and a musician of breathtaking technique with a definitive feeling for melodic hooks. Female guitarist Danelle Kern was responsible for the heavy rhythm guitar, and Mark McCrite added his own colourful acoustic parts.

However, job allocation wasn't all that strictly adhered to, with Citron playing an excellent rhythm guitar on the tracks "Rainbow's End" and "Frankenstein Unbound". The most renowned Lana Lane band member is certainly bass player Tony Franklin, whom insiders will know from his time with The Firm or Blue Murder (feat. John Sykes). Franklin plays a mean bass on QUEEN OF THE OCEAN, giving the album, in combination with the accentuated drumming of Tommy Amato, a very individual, atmospheric sound.

QUEEN OF THE OCEAN audibly follows an unusual, very demanding concept, in which numerous guitar licks are combined with two or more string instruments, wind instruments or Moog parts. You find contrapuntal passages alongside polyphonic lines. And Franklin's grooving bass enhances the songs with a flowing movement. The crowning point of all the songs is, however, the impressive vocals of Lana Lane. Her style of singing combines technique with passion, resulting in an inimitable voice as every note she sings reflects not only her love of all kinds of melodic rock music, but also her affinitity for the great jazz and big band singers of the world. And Lana is always interested in new sources of inspiration. As a result, on QUEEN OF THE OCEAN -- as she had previously done on GARDEN OF THE MOON -- she worked together with the Chapman Stick musician Don Schiff and his unusual instrument, whose contribution makes "Let Heaven In" an impressive audio experience. In addition, the new album includes an excellent symphonic version of "Without You", a song by Lana's cousin, the glam rocker Davy Vain. The fantastic cover art is again provided by Polish surrealist artist Jacek Yerka, who has painted the incredible covers for all of Lana's six releases to date.

QUEEN OF THE OCEAN shows another, exciting facet of Lana Lane. While her 1995 debut album, LOVE IS AN ILLUSION, is a wonderful Hard Rock/Heavy Metal work, its successor, CURIOUS GOODS, was a mixture of Progressive Metal and Art Rock. GARDEN OF THE MOON, the band's third album, virtually combined the two directions and added symphonic arrangements. The album ended a trilogy and paved the way for Lana Lane's first Japanese tour, during which the band's first live album, logically named LIVE IN JAPAN, was recorded. In the meantime, there was the EP ECHOES FROM THE GARDEN, a collection which included extra tracks and alternate versions from the GARDEN OF THE MOON production sessions. QUEEN OF THE OCEAN closes the circle, for which fans of this genre have made Lana Lane their hero. And now the band is on their way to new musical horizons and the "Queen" of Symphonic Artrock and Metal will continue to bestow new, exciting ideas upon her kingdom. Watch out for more, watch out for the Queen of the Ocean!

 


"THE THREE QUEENS" (updated December 2007)

Because of the politics of the international record business, there are three distinct versions of the Lana Lane Queen of the Ocean album -- one from Japan,, one from Germany and one from the USA. The Japanese and European were both released in 1999, and these versions have the eight "standard" tracks and essentially identical artwork. The difference lies in the bonus tracks, which are unique for each version.

JAPANESE VERSION: This version appears on the Avalon label and contains a previously unreleased bonus track cover of Marillion's "Seasons End". Total running time is 56:29. This version of Queen of the Ocean was released on February 21, 1999 in Japan:

1. In the Hall of the Ocean Queen
2. Night Falls
3. Queen of the Ocean
4. Let Heaven In
5. Frankenstein Unbound
6. Souls of the Mermaids
7. Rainbow's End
8. Without You
9. Seasons End - Japanese version bonus track (also appears on Disc One of the Lana Lane - Ballad Collection Special Edition)

EUROPEAN VERSION: This version appears on the Limb Music Products label in Germany and contains *three* bonus tracks taken from previously released Lana Lane albums: "Through the Rain", from the 1998 Version of the Love is an Illusion album, and live versions of "Escher's Staircase" and "Symphony of Angels" from the Live in Japan album. Total running time is 71:00. This version of Queen of the Ocean was released on March 29, 1999 in Europe and South America:

1. In the Hall of the Ocean Queen
2. Night Falls
3. Queen of the Ocean
4. Let Heaven In
5. Frankenstein Unbound
6. Souls of the Mermaids
7. Rainbow's End
8. Without You
9. Through the Rain - European version bonus track (also appears on Disc One of the Lana Lane - Love is an Illusion Special Edition)
10. Escher's Staircase (live in Japan 1998) - European version bonus track (also appears on Lana Lane - Live in Japan (1998) now out of print)
11. Symphony of Angels (live in Japan 1998) - European version bonus track (also appears on Lana Lane - Live in Japan (1998) now out of print)

USA VERSION: This version was released in 2005 by Think Tank Media and distributed by ProgRock Records. This is currently the only version available from Think Tank Media directly.

1. In the Hall of the Ocean Queen
2. Night Falls
3. Queen of the Ocean
4. Let Heaven In
5. Frankenstein Unbound (1999 remix) - "Medium length version" contains all of the extended solos and the better mix from the Echoes from the Ocean EP but not the ambient intro section.
6. Souls of the Mermaids
7. Rainbow's End
8. Without You
9. Rhapsody - USA version bonus track (recorded during the Queen of the Ocean sessions in 1999, this song also appears on the Japanese Echoes from the Ocean EP and as the bonus track to the European version of Lana Lane - Secrets of Astrology)
10. Symphony of Angels (live in Japan 1998) - USA bonus track. Remixed version taken from the Lana Lane - Storybook DVD (original mix first appeared on Lana Lane - Live in Japan (1998) now out of print)

 

All versions produced by Erik Norlander for Think Tank Media



MORE NOTES FROM THE PRODUCER'S DESK
(supplemental liner notes to the 2005 USA version release)

Six years later we revisit this classic and important album from Lana Lane. Queen of the Ocean is the last chapter in the first edition of the Lana Lane project. This album represents the culmination of writing, arranging and performing style that began with Love is an Illusion (1995) and then continued with Curious Goods (1996), Garden of the Moon (1998) and the first Ballad Collection (1998).

Following Queen of the Ocean and subsequent tour in 1999, this group of musicians was basically disbanded as Lana and I went to Europe in search of a new sound and new horizons. The first album to follow Queen of the Ocean was Secrets of Astrology (2000), a rather drastic departure from what we had done here on this album. The Ballad Collection II from 2000 (Disc One of the Ballad Collection Special Edition) went in yet another direction, one that we would develop and refine more on Winter Sessions in 2003. The Project Shangri-La album (2002) took us in yet another direction, somewhere in between Queen of the Ocean and Secrets of Astrology. We had intended to record much of that album in Europe again, but the tragic events of September 11, 2001 made that plan impossible.

Now a word on bonus tracks. There have been several bonus tracks released on the various international versions of Queen of the Ocean, Secrets of Astrology and Project Shangri-La. Due to the politics of the international record business, often a bonus track from one album's sessions would get assigned to another album entirely. What I have tried to do with the Think Tank Media editions of the Lana Lane catalog is to put the bonus tracks back with their original albums. In this case, "Rhapsody" was recorded during the Queen of the Ocean sessions, so here it is, finally back with its siblings from this album. "Rhapsody" originally appeared on the Japan-only EP, Echoes from the Ocean (1999). The rest of the content of that EP has been included on our Garden of the Moon Special Edition title. "Rhapsody" also appeared as the bonus track to the European edition of Secrets of Astrology in 2000.

Our cover of Marillion's "Seasons End" originally appeared on Queen of the Ocean as the Japanese bonus track. But that song was recorded during the Ballad Collection I sessions in 1998, so it has been removed from this album and instead placed on our Ballad Collection Special Edition release.

Lastly, the European version of Queen of the Ocean (1999) included a live version of "Symphony of Angels" taken from our Japan-only Live in Japan release from 1998. I remixed that track for the Storybook DVD (2004), and for sentimental reasons I have included it here as the final bonus track to this edition even though it has little to do with the rest of the Queen of the Ocean album. I hope you enjoy it!

Erik Norlander
Los Angeles, 30 April, 2005


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