The Neal Morse Band ¦ The Great Adventure

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The Great Adventure is the third studio album by American progressive rock supergroup The Neal Morse Band, released on January 25, 2019 via Metal Blade Records and Radiant Records.[6][4][7]

A concept album, it is a sequel to 2016's The Similitude of a Dream and both are loosely based on The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan,[8] besides having similar covers.[7] This album follows the protagonist's family as they journey to Celestial City to join him.[2][3] It is divided in five chapters, each ranging from 13 to 31 minutes long and involving from 2 to 6 songs, some of them evoking earlier melodies or preluding future ones.[4]

The album's first and third singles, "Welcome to the World" and "I Got to Run", premiered on Prog's website on December 8, 2018[9] and January 24, 2019, respectively.[10] The second single, "Vanity Fair", was released with a lyric video on January 18, 2019.[11] Videos for the title track and for "Welcome to the World 2" were released on December 18, 2018[12] and January 11, 2019, respectively.[13]

The album was released as a two-CD package, a special edition with a bonus DVD featuring behind-the-scenes/making of videos, and as a triple vinyl version.[14]

Background and writing

Well, it's more of a different view of The Similitude of a Dream. It's the journey of the abandoned son who was left behind in TSOAD. After the guy who is left behind has a vision, he tries to convince his wife to join him, but she won't. So, he takes to the trip on his own. It's based on The Pilgrim's Progress book which tells her story. Lyrically, it didn't work for us to tell the story from her perspective, so I thought, 'Why not sing from the perspective of the eldest son who was angry to be left in the city of destruction?'

Neal Morse when asked if The Great Adventure was a continuation of The Similitude of a Dream. [1]

Morse was not willing to create a sequel to The Similitude of a Dream at first, and neither was the band. Members were also against creating another double album. The quintet got together in August 2017[1] and then in January 2018 to perform some songs. Later in 2018, as Morse toured his solo album Life and Times, he revisited the recordings and used Pro Tools to work on the songs, ultimately creating a 2.5-hour version of the original album, which was well received by the band.[7][6][15][16]

Morse says there are "three or even four" versions of the album recorded as demos and that the record spent 18 months in the making. The final cut of the effort was finished in August 2018, when a 2.5 hour version of it was shortened to just under two hours.[1] Many songs and parts had to be cut, with Morse commenting that "everybody lost something that they loved on this album. And everybody gained."[15] The band barely made it in time for a January 2019 release.[7] Some songs, such as the closing track "A Love That Never Dies" and "Vanity Fair", had been written long before the sessions.[7][6][1]

The album's title was suggested by drummer and vocalist Mike Portnoy, based on the last line of The Similitude of a Dream, which says "let the great adventure now begin".[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Jesus Wired96%[2]
Sea of Tranquility[3]
Sonic Perspectives9.3/10[4]

Writing for Jesus Wired, David C. Coleman said "the members of the band musically complement each other to an extraordinary degree, creating a whole far greater than the individual parts" and pondered that "overall, The Great Adventure is not quite as earth-shattering as the career-defining The Similitude of a Dream but it's still a remarkable accomplishment and fitting conclusion for the tale of The Pilgrim's Progress.[2]

On Sea of Tranquility, Pete Pardo said the album is "perhaps even more proggy and certainly heavier" than The Similitude of a Dream. He praised all members' performances and finished his review by saying "while it's no doubt a little early yet to make any claims [about the album being better than its predecessor], The Great Adventure easily comes pretty damn close."[3]

Scott Medina from Sonic Perspectives said that "sonically, the band has never sounded better. The production is flawless" and that "the collective known as The Neal Morse Band rises to the formidable task of matching their most celebrated work, The Similitude of a Dream, proving they continue to grow and heighten the quality of their musical output."[4]

PopMatters ranked it as the eighth best progressive rock/metal release of 2019.[17]

Track listing

Act I (CD 1)

Chapter 1[5]
2."The Dream Isn't Over"2:40
Total length:12:46
Chapter 2
3."Welcome to the World"5:30
4."A Momentary Change"3:42
5."Dark Melody"3:29
6."I Got to Run"6:05
7."To the River"5:02
Total length:23:48
Chapter 3
8."The Great Adventure"6:06
9."Venture in Black"5:16
10."Hey Ho Let's Go"3:22
11."Beyond the Borders"3:08
Total length:17:52

Act II (CD 2)

Chapter 4
1."Overture 2"3:46
2."Long Ago"3:45
3."The Dream Continues"1:20
4."Fighting with Destiny"5:23
5."Vanity Fair"4:00
Total length:18:15
Chapter 5
6."Welcome to the World 2"4:01
7."The Element of Fear"2:34
8."Child of Wonder"2:28
9."The Great Despair"6:18
10."Freedom Calling"7:31
11."A Love That Never Dies"8:38
Total length:31:30


The Neal Morse Band[7][4]

  • Neal Morse – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
  • Eric Gillette – guitars, lead vocals
  • Mike Portnoy – drums, vocals
  • Randy George – bass
  • Bill Hubauer – organ, piano, synthesizers, lead vocals

Additional musicians[4]

  • Amy Pippin, Debbie Bresee, April Zachary, Julie Harrison – backing vocals on "A Love That Never Dies"
  • Chris Carmichael – strings

Technical personnel

  • Rich Mouser – mixing[1]
  • Jerry Guidroz – drum engineer[4]


Chart performance for The Great Adventure
Chart (2019)Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[18]39
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[19]181
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[20]36
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[21]9
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[22]14
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[23]12


  1. ^ a b c d e f Frazier, Preston (January 31, 2019). "Neal Morse on 'The Great Adventure,' Sequels and Cruise to the Edge: Something Else! Interview". Something Else!. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Coleman, David C. (January 8, 2019). "Review: The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure". Jesus Wired. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Pardo, Pete (February 24, 2021). "The Neal Morse Band: The Great Adventure". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Medina, Scott (January 1, 2019). "The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure (Album Review)". Sonic Perspectives. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "The Neal Morse Band - The Great Adventure". Ultratop (in French). Belgian Entertainment Association. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "NEAL MORSE Explains Decision To Scrap Initial Version Of New Conceptual Double Album 'The Great Adventure'". January 20, 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Cavuoto, Robert (January 6, 2019). "Neal Morse on the Band's Newest CD, The Great Adventure – It's amazing this album got done!". My Global Mind. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Keeley, Robert J. (February 26, 2019). "The Great Adventure by The Neal Morse Band". The Banner. Christian Reformed Church in North America. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Munro, Scott (December 4, 2018). "The Neal Morse Band premiere brand new track Welcome To The World". Prog. Future plc. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  10. ^ Munro, Scott (January 24, 2019). "The Neal Morse Band premiere video for new single I Got To Run". Prog. Future plc. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  11. ^ Munro, Scott (January 18, 2019). "Watch lyric video for The Neal Morse Band's catchy new track Vanity Fair". Prog. Future plc. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Blum, Jordan (December 18, 2020). "The Neal Morse Band Invites You to 'The Great Adventure' (premiere)". Pop Matters. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  13. ^ Munro, Scott (January 11, 2019). "The Neal Morse Band share studio video for Welcome To The World 2". Prog. Future plc. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  14. ^ "The Neal Morse Band release title track video from 'The Great Adventure'". The Rock Pit. December 20, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Beaudoin, Jedd (March 5, 2019). "The Neal Morse Band's 'Great Adventure'". KMUW. Wichita State University. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  16. ^ Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina (March 6, 2019). "'The Great Adventure': The Neal Morse Band gets emotional about new songs". Entertainer Mag. Times Media Group. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  17. ^ Blum, Jordan (December 6, 2019). "The Best Progressive Rock/Metal of 2019". Pop Matters. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  18. ^ " – The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  19. ^ " – The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  20. ^ " – The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  21. ^ " – The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  22. ^ " – The Neal Morse Band – The Great Adventure". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  23. ^ "Neal Morse Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 16, 2021.


Veröffentlichungen von Neal Morse Band die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

The Great Adventour: Live In Brno - 2019 ¦ Innocence & Danger ¦ The Great Adventure ¦ An Evening Of Innocence & Danger: Live In Hamburg

Neal Morse Band auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Neal Morse (born August 2, 1960) is an American singer, musician and composer based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1992, he formed the progressive rock band Spock's Beard with his brother Alan and released an album which was moderately successful. In 1999, he joined Dream Theater's co-founder and then drummer Mike Portnoy, together with Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and Marillion's Pete Trewavas they formed the super-group Transatlantic.[1] In 2002, Neal Morse became a born again Christian, left Spock's Beard and began a Christian rock solo career, releasing many progressive rock concept albums about his new religious faith. In the meantime, he continued to play with Transatlantic and formed three new bands with Portnoy, Yellow Matter Custard, Flying Colors and The Neal Morse Band.


Band career

Morse grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles as one of four children. His father was a choral director. Morse started to play the piano at the age of five and started to learn to play the guitar at the age of nine.[1] During his twenties he wrote two musicals (Hit Man and Homeland), did some session jobs, tried to get a deal as a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles, and recorded a few country and western demos with his brother Richard.

After about ten years, having played in small Californian clubs with various groups including Burlesque, Morse founded Spock's Beard together with his brother Alan, to give voice to his great passion for Progressive Rock.[2] Their first album, The Light (1995), was moderately successful. Despite having released the first two Spock's Beard albums to good critical acclaim, Morse found himself struggling economically. His brother Richard advised him to go to Germany to play hit songs as a one-man band in pubs, accompanying himself with piano or guitar, to generate income.[2] Morse then began periodic travel between California and Germany, where from time to time he remained for several weeks to work as a pub musician. During his periods in California, Morse continued to alternate work on new compositions for Spock's Beard, and live performance with them. At that time Morse was also part of the Eric Burdon band, touring with them, too.[2][page needed] The popularity of Spock's Beard's continued to grow and they would soon become one of a number of successful progressive rock bands during the late nineties (along with Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, and The Flower Kings).

While with Spock's Beard, Morse released two solo albums of more conventional straightforward rock music. In 1999, he joined former Dream Theater co-founder Mike Portnoy, Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and Marillion's Pete Trewavas to form the supergroup Transatlantic.[1] The band has released five studio albums (SMPT:e, Bridge Across Forever, The Whirlwind, Kaleidoscope and The Absolute Universe) plus live albums from the tours behind each studio disc: Live in America, Live in Europe, Whirld Tour 2010: Live in London, More Never Is Enough and KaLIVEoscope. In concert, the group has included Daniel Gildenlöw of Pain of Salvation, and occasionally Ted Leonard, Morse's eventual replacement in Spock's Beard.

Morse recording on a classical guitar

In 2003, Morse, Mike Portnoy, Paul Gilbert and Matt Bissonette formed Yellow Matter Custard as a Beatles tribute supergroup. They took the name from a lyric in The Beatles song "I Am the Walrus": 'Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye...' On March 26, 2012, Morse released the first album of the newly formed band Flying Colors (Mike Portnoy on drums and vocals, Dave LaRue on bass, Neal Morse on keyboards and vocals, Casey McPherson on lead vocals, and guitar, and Steve Morse on lead guitar). In 2014, he gave life to another group, The Neal Morse Band (with Mike Portnoy, Randy George, Eric Gillette and Bill Hubauer), that released its first studio album The Grand Experiment in 2015. The group's second outing, The Similitude of a Dream, was released on November 11, 2016, and the sequel to that album, The Great Adventure, was released on January 25, 2019. Their fourth release, Innocence & Danger was released on August 27, 2021.

Solo career

Morse became a born again Christian in 2002. He left both Spock's Beard and Transatlantic immediately following the release of the Spock's Beard album Snow, in response to a calling to make his personal faith more prominent in his recorded output. He felt this would not be possible or appropriate in a band context. The period leading to this decision is described on the solo album Testimony (2003), an epic, introspective composition which features Kerry Livgren of Kansas and Mike Portnoy. One part of his conversion to Christianity, omitted from Testimony but described in full on Testimony Live and later in the song Jayda on Testimony 2, was that his daughter Jayda had been diagnosed as having a hole in her heart that required open-heart surgery. However, before Jayda received surgery, the hole disappeared following a church service in which Morse's wife and others prayed for God's healing.[3]

In 2004, Morse wrote and recorded a new concept album featuring Portnoy and Randy George (on bass guitar). Guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy made a guest appearance on guitar and vocals. The album, titled One, is about man's relationship with God from his Christian perspective and was released on November 2, 2004. In 2005, Morse released two non-prog Christian albums. In January, Morse recorded Lead Me Lord with the Christian Gospel Temple Choir, his children, and his friends. Morse wrote about half of the tracks. This was released in February and is available for a donation. In July, Morse released God Won't Give Up, which was written around the Snow period. This is a pop album similar to It's Not Too Late, but with Christian lyrics.

Morse in 2007

In the summer of 2005, a member of his church approached Morse to tell him that he should make an album based on the tabernacle and that he should keep it a secret. Morse nonetheless mentioned that he was working on a secret project before he had written a note or even committed himself to do the project. Mentioning it during a radio interview created enough buzz to convince him to make the album. There was a contest on his message board to guess the participants, theme, and meaning of the album based on a series of clues. The secret project was finally revealed to be ? (also known as The Question Mark album, rumored to be influenced in title by The White Album) and is about the tabernacle in the wilderness and the tabernacle of the heart. The studio band is Neal, Mike Portnoy, and Randy George with guests Mark Leniger, Alan Morse, Roine Stolt, Steve Hackett, and Jordan Rudess.

In 2006, Morse issued Cover to Cover, a collection of cover versions by Mike Portnoy, Randy George and him, recorded during the production of ?, One and Testimony, proving that despite the new focus of his solo career Morse wasn't averse to tackling songs with non-religious themes. In early 2007, Morse released Sola Scriptura, a concept album detailing the life and struggles of the German theologian Martin Luther, and corruption within the medieval Church. Portnoy and George once again teamed with Morse and were joined by Paul Gilbert (of Racer X and Mr. Big) who contributed a few solo parts.

Immediately following Sola Scriptura, Morse released the acoustic folk album Songs from the Highway. The studio album Lifeline was released on September 30, 2008. Morse was once again joined by Portnoy and George, just four months after the release of the Sola Scriptura live DVD. A live album, So Many Roads, recorded with his European band, was released on June 30, 2009. Testimony 2, a sequel and expansion of the autobiographical story from the first Testimony album, was released May 23, 2011. As had become Morse's pattern, he followed that album with a tour and live DVD. Also in 2011, he released a book, Testimony, a continued autobiographical look at his life story and spiritual journey explored in more detail than in the associated Testimony albums.

Momentum was released on September 11, 2012, an album that, in structure, featured several shorter songs and one epic.

In recent years, Morse has recorded two more cover albums with George and Portnoy (Cover 2 Cover in 2012 and Cov3r to Cov3r in 2020), a guest-heavy prog rock musical retelling the life and Passion of Christ (Jesus Christ the Exorcist, released in 2019), and a biographical album in the vein of Sola Scriptura based on the conversion and writings of Paul the Apostle (Sola Gratia, released in 2020).

During his early solo years, Morse focused most of his touring in Europe and had a band made largely of European musicians. The incarnation that toured in Europe for Sola Scriptura, for example, included Collin Leijenaar (drums, music director), Paul Bielatowicz (guitars), Elisa Krijgsman (guitars), Wilco van Esschoten (bass guitar), Jessica Koomen (vocals, keyboards, percussion) and Henk Doest (keyboards). For Testimony 2, Morse reunited members from the band that toured the initial Testimony album, including Portnoy, George, Rick Altizer and others. He then held a contest to assemble a full-time band, which eventually toured behind Momentum.[4] This new band consisted of Mike Portnoy (drums), Randy George (bass), Eric Gillette (guitars, keyboards) and Bill Hubauer (keyboards). Guitarist Adson Sodré was in the band until visa issues forced his departure.

Guest appearances

Morse (left) performing in the Netherlands, 2007

In 1997 he became a member of Eric Burdon's I band. They also released the concert film Live at the Coachhouse. In 2000, Morse provided vocals for the song "The First Man on Earth" on The Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer, one of Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Ayreon albums. Neal Morse tracks have also appeared on the CPR Volume 1 (2004), CPR Volume 2, and The Tsunami Projekt anthologies. Morse also participated in recording the ProgAID single "All Around the World". The profits for both The Tsunami Projekt and the ProgAID single were donated for victims' relief from the 2004 Asian tsunami.

Morse has been a guest musician on several 2005 albums, including Ajalon's Threshold of Eternity, Roine Stolt's Wallstreet Voodoo, Salem Hill's Mimi's Magic Moment, and Mark Leniger's Walk on Water. Morse was one of several musical guests to appear on Dream Theater's 2007 album Systematic Chaos, on the song "Repentance". These guests were recorded apologizing to important people in their lives for wrongdoings committed in the past. Morse provided vocals for the first track on Jordan Rudess' tribute album The Road Home.

In 2020, he joined Matt Smith of Theocracy in releasing "And the Rest Is Mystery" under the Project Aegis moniker.

Radiant Records and Waterfall

In 1998, Morse founded his own independent record label, Radiant Records. The label serves as an outlet for his work in a variety of capacities—including development, licensing, promotion and distribution.[5]

In 2005, Morse created his fan club, the Inner Circle. The monthly membership provides an email newsletter and special releases to members every other month.[6] Over the years, he has released many behind the scenes features, demo sessions, and bootlegs to the Inner Circle. See Inner Circle discography

In 2019, at the dissatisfaction of current streaming services and their treatment of artists, Morse created his own streaming service, Waterfall. Most of Morse's and his collaborator's discographies can be found exclusively on the platform.[7]


In 2014, Morse created Morsefest, a weekend concert festival held at his local church, New Life Fellowship, in Cross Plains, TN. The name of the event was chosen by Mike Portnoy against Morse's wishes, however the name stuck.[8] The inaugural Morsefest occurred on November 14–15, 2014 and featured the Testimony and One albums played in their entirety with string, horn, percussion, and choir sections as well as a morning Inner Circle acoustic show.[9] This two-day format with a large array of added musicians has continued annually featuring albums and musicians from all of Morse's projects, The Neal Morse Band, Spock's Beard, Flying Colors, and most recently in 2022, Transatlantic.

In 2020 and 2021, Morsefest went on with "Lockdown" editions due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a limited live audience, and for the first time, a virtual streaming option.[10][11]

In 2023, in addition to the show in Tennessee, Morse took Morsefest on the road to Europe for the first time to The Boerderij in Zoetermeer, Netherlands and again in 2024 to Trinity Church in Essex, United Kingdom. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Morse and the NMB played Testimony along with Testimony 2 in their entirety. [12][13]



  1. ^ a b c "Neal Morse Interview". Guitarhoo!. December 24, 2013. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Morse, Neal (2011). Testimony. Amazon Media. pp. 1982–8. ASIN B005T768P0.
  3. ^ Neal Morse's "Testimony Live" DVD
  4. ^ "The Neal Morse Band - biography". Inside Out Music. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  5. ^ "Radiant Records". Facebook. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  6. ^ "Inner Circle". Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  7. ^ "Waterfall". January 28, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  8. ^ "Morsefest Interview". Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  9. ^ "Morsefest 2014". Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  10. ^ "Morsefest 2020 Lockdown". September 21, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Morsefest 2021". October 11, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  12. ^ "MORSEFEST 2023 EUROPE". Neal Morse. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  13. ^ "MORSEFEST LONDON 2024". Neal Morse. Retrieved January 18, 2024.

External links

The Neal Morse Band ¦ The Great Adventure
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