Reviews of There's Gonna Be A Storm
from Amazon.com contributors

Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
This 26-cut compilation rounds up virtually everything ever 
recorded by the Left Banke, the awesomely talented pop band 
best known for the classically-influenced 1966 hits "Walk 
Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina." Songwriter/pianist/guiding 
light Michael Brown composed some of the loveliest melodies 
of the era, which were typically fleshed out with complex 
contrapuntal harmonies and string arrangements; "Barterers 
and Their Wives" sounds almost medieval, while the soaring 
"Desiree" is positively majestic in its epic sweep. Brown 
left before the recording of the band's second album, which 
means that the quality level dips slightly near the end of 
the disc. Despite this, any '60s pop collection is woefully 
incomplete without it. --Dan Epstein 

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Spotlight Reviews
Much more than just "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty 
Ballerina," April 4, 2000.  Reviewer: RedTunicTroll from USA, 
Earth
A "complete" collection of the Left Banke's recordings, 
totalling over 75 minutes of incredible music. A great buy 
for both the casual fan of the band's two hits ("Walk Away 
Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina"), as well as the avid collector. 
The collector, though, will be a bit frustrated by the 
package's organization.

While this disc features a version of each song issued by the 
Left Banke, the takes, mixes and ordering are maddeningly 
inconsistent. For example, the first 11 tracks of the CD 
comprise the same 11 tracks as found on the debut LP. However, 
the CD changes the ordering by pulling the B-side of the first 
pre-LP single up to track #2. This might make sense to those 
who followed the releases when they were originally issued, 
but the compilation inconsistently doesn't pull the other 
pre-LP single sides ("Pretty Ballerina" and "Lazy Day") in a 
similar way. Also, is it my imagination, or are these single 
mixes slightly different from the ones that turned up on the 
LP? Other singles are handled in a similarly inconsistent way:
 non-LP sides such as "Ivy Ivy" and "And Suddenly" are 
intermixed with tracks from the second album, "Left Banke 
Too." I really can't guess what was going through Bill Inglot's 
mind as he sequenced this disc. Ah well, I suppose that's what 
programmable CD players are for. After so many years of 
listening to the original LP sequence, it's really 
disconcerting to have the songs pop up in a different order!

That complaint aside, let me say that this is an *exceptional* 
disc. Inglot's mastering sounds crisp, and about as full as 
the original vinyl (which wasn't all that full a sound to 
begin with). This is one of very few CD's I've bought for 
which I own almost all of the original vinyl. There are a few 
bonus tracks here, but mostly it's nice to hear all of this 
music without the surface noise of my worn originals. I was 
especially happy to gain a new appreciation for the second LP. 
Although Michael Brown had left by the time the sophomore 
effort was recorded, there are a lot of outstanding tracks to 
be found here.

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Don't Walk Away from This Left Banke Collection, February 2, 
2000
Reviewer: Steve Vrana from Aurora, NE USA
The sixties pop landscape is littered with one-hit wonders and 
artists who didn't fit the narrowly defined niche of what a 
rock band should be. The Left Banke falls into the latter 
category.

Their two hit singles combined rock with classical elements 
(string-laden arrangements and graceful harpsichord accents) 
and assured them a permanent place on Classic Rock radio 
playlists. Both "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" were 
composed by classically-trained musician Michael Brown, who 
was all of 17 when "Walk Away Renee" hit #5 in 1966.

In addition to their only two hits, the Left Banke's debut 
album Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina contained equally 
gorgeous music. "She May Call You Up Tonight" and "I've Got 
Something on My Mind" feature their trademark choir-boy 
harmonies. 

"Ivy, Ivy" with its delicate horns and accoustic guitar was 
released as a single, but failed to chart. [The flipside, 
"And Suddenly," however, was a sappy pop song that would have 
been better suited to Davey Jones of the Monkees.] A fourth 
single, "Desiree," features a string section but would peak at 
only #98 in October of 1967. At this point the creative force 
of the band Michael Brown left the band. [Footnote: Brown 
would go on to co-found Stories, but leave that band before 
its international No. 1 "Brother Louie" was recorded.]

The Left Banke would record a second album, The Left Bank, Too 
in 1968, but attracted little attention. That's too bad. Songs 
like "Goodbye Holly," which was released as a single, is very 
reminiscent of the kind of pop music that Badfinger would make.

The band returned to the studio to record the single "Myrah," 
in 1969, but by then musical styles had changed. The Left Banke's 
baroque-rock sound had lost its audience.

This CD re-issue contains all of the Left Banke's debut (tracks 
1-11) and is essential listening. In addition, there are enough 
other good tracks on this compilation to make it a must-have for 
fans. RECOMMENDED

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my favorite 60's group., July 17, 2001 
Reviewer: losingsoul from south carolina
I think the overused terms "Ahead of their time" and "Flashes of 
genius" apply best to this wonderful band.  The song "Desiree" 
is almost perfect, but there are moments while you're listening 
where you can hear what might have been an even more profound 
song.  Had they followed these moments of sonic bliss through to 
the end they'd be more loved than The Beatles.  "Walk Away 
Renee," "Pretty Ballerina," "Barterers and Their Wives" and "She 
May Call You Up Tonight" are timeless.  As great as anything The 
Beatles, Love or Nick Drake ever did.  If you spend time 
listening to Belle and Sebastian, Red House Painters or Badly 
Drawn Boy, it all starts right here.

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Get the Left Banke Enshrined In the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, 
July 12, 2001 
Reviewer: David Chirko from Sudbury, Ontario Canada
Rock bands are often more than just the amplified cacophony of 
blaring guitars, bass and drums. Take the Moody Blues, for 
example; with the aid of a Mellotron and a band likened to a 
miniature orchestra, they developed classical-rock; or the Byrds, 
through the signature sound of a 12-string Rickenbacker and/or 
Moog synthesizer, they mixed folk, country, psychedelic and 
space elements with rock to fashion a totally new direction in 
Pop. Then there was the criminally unheralded Left Banke, who 
utilized string quartets and harpsichords to incorporate the 
fancifully contrapuntal style of Baroque music into rock, 
thereby designing yet another unique phraseology.

The Left Banke's 1992 CD release, "There's Gonna Be A Storm The 
Complete Recordings 1966-1969" features twenty-six tracks, 
gathered from their first two 1960s albums and elsewhere. (They 
did record another album, "Strangers on a Train," in 1978, but 
not released until 1986, and a few other songs, not included in 
this collection, probably because of space limitations and the 
fact said were recorded on a different label.) 

All of the beautiful pieces contained in this compilation have 
mellowed over the last thirty years. This is because much of the 
Left Banke's music, with its romantically defeatist, though 
cathartic lyrics--combined with ever so taut vocal and 
instrumental harmonies and majestically liquid melodies--still 
conjures a special awe in me, to this day.

For the Left Banke, music was always more than just a delicate 
melody. It was, indeed, a sonic excursion into a mystical wonderland 
that perhaps only artists, poets and other visionists fully realized 
in dreams. All of the flawlessly arranged and performed tunes on 
"There's Gonna Be A Storm" (the title is so apt because rain is 
alluded to in several of the songs) showcase vocals that ache with 
the call of a nightingale (though a few of the numbers offer a 
playfully raucous diversion in the singing style). There are, 
however, many other strands in the Left Banke's musical and 
thematic tapestry. For instance, social issues, jazz, electronic 
wizardry and even a dose of country are welcome components in the 
group's oeuvre. Therefore, the Baroque-rock genre they created is 
scintillatingly eclectic, its integrity now preserved in the Modern 
Age of diversity.

The works that touched me most on "There's Gonna Be A Storm" are: 
"Shadows Breaking Over My Head," "Desiree," "Dark As The Bark," 
"Sing Little Bird Sing" and the title track.

What else can be said about the most underrated band in Rock'n'Roll 
history? Well, Leonard Bernstein, in one of his 1960s TV programs 
"singled out the Banke as the perfect example of what rock music 
could be." Ironically, to this day, there has yet to be another 
baroque-rock ensemble who could even approach the magic that was the 
Left Banke. Hopefully today's cognoscenti will recognize "There's 
Gonna Be A Storm" as a most infuential masterwork of heavenly 
standards and help get the Left Banke enshrined in the Rock'n'Roll 
Hall of Fame.