An Outcast of the Islands (1998)

1. Macassar 2. As Far As I Can See 3. First Quartet 4. Goodbye to Albion 5. The Straits of Malacca 6. Aissa 7. Denpasar Moon 8. Second Quartet 9. No Way Back 10. Holding Out My Hand 11. The Outcast 12. Burning Bridges 13. Reap What You Sow 14. Trying to Get to You 15. Poznan Pie 16. Burning Bridges (Live) 17. As Far As I Can See (Live)

With a help of members of Quidam and Abraxas, Andy Latimer, Dave Stewart, members of an orchestra, and even insects and animals of Java ;-), Colin released his first solo album under his real name in 1998. As it was remastered in 2003, tracks 15-17 were added as bonus tracks. According to Colin's interview, as an Englishman living in Germany with experience of visiting Indonesia for many times, he was inspired by Joseph Conrad's book "An Outcast of the Islands". Thus, although this album is not a concept album, its lyrics have close connection with the book as well as Colin's own thoughts derived from the story.

Each song has special quality, and the structure of the album is just perfect. He also introduced a modest amount Indonesian sounds, and they give nice extra touch to the music. This album simply proves what a brilliant song writer Colin is!!! So, it is really difficult to choose 'an outstanding tune' from this collection of great songs, but I must pick 'Aissa' (track 6) because of its beautiful melody led by rich fretless bass sound. 'Poznan Pie' (15) is a real fun song, and it always makes me smile/grin ;-)

As Far As I Can See (1998)

1. As Far As I Can See 2. Poznan Pie 3. Sailing Home 4. Sailing Home 5. Bandung

This is a single CD released from Oskar in Poland. Tracks 1 and 3 were taken from "An Outcast of the Islands" and "Jalan Kopo" (by Sabah Habas Mustapha) respectively. Track 2 was later included in the remastered edition of "An Outcast", and tracks 4 and 5 are live recordings from Colin's solo show in Poznan on 9 May 1998.
To see a full-sized image of this CD, please click here.
(Special thanks to Gehehohu-san who provided information and the image of the CD.)

Denpasar Moon (1999)

1. Denpasar Moon 2. Goodbye to Albion 3. Denpasar Moon (live) 4. Sailing Home (live) 5. The River and the Sea part 1 (live)

Another single CD released from Oskar. Tracks 1 and 2 were taken from "An Outcast of the Islands", while tracks 3-5 are live recordings from an acoustic show in Ponzan, 9 May 1998. Track 4 is the same version as track 4 of 'As Far As I Can See' single. (According to the credit here, track 3 has to be 'Denpasar Moon', but in reality, track 3 is 'Sailing Home' again. Is it due to a production fault??)
You can see a full-sized image of this CD by clicking here.
(Special thanks again to Gehehohu-san for the information and a scanned image.)

Live at Polskie Radio 3 (1999)

Disc 1: 1. Introduction by Piotr Kaczkowski 2. City Life 3. Refugee 4. Hymn to Her 5. Macassar 6. As Far As I Can See 7. Goodbye to Albion 8. Aissa 9. Denpasar Moon
Disc 2: 1. No Way Back 2. Holding Out My Hand 3. Burning Bridges 4. Reap What You Sow 5. Drafted 6. Cloak and Dagger Man 7. Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine 8. Poznan Pie 9. Trying to Get to You

During his solo tour in Spring 1999, Colin and his band had a show at a radio station in Warsaw on 13 April 1999, and it was released as a 2-CD live album. Backed by Dave Stewart and members of Quidam and Abraxas, Colin is in charge of bass and acoustic guitar as well as singing. The band warms up the audience with Camel songs, and plays "An Outcast of the Islands" in its near entirety. The choice from Camel songs makes me curious, because although Colin toured with Camel for the "Stationary Traveller" tour, he was not originally involved in 'Refugee' (Disc 1-3) and 'Cloak and Dagger Man' (Disc 2-6). Anyway, there are a lot of great songs, and it's a great fun to listen to it! That's what is important about music, isn't it? For me, "An Outacst" is an album which brought me into Colin's music, but this is the album that really grabbed me and dragged me deep into it.

Poznan Pie: Live in Concert (1999)

1. City Life 2. Refugee 3. Hymn to Her 4. Macassar 5. As Far As I Can See 6. Goodbye to Albion 7. The Straits of Malacca 8. Aissa 9. Denpasar Moon 10. No Way Back 11. Holding Out My Hand 12. Burning Bridges 13. Reap What You Sow 14. Drafted 15. Cloak and Dagger Man

Released from Oskar/Kartini, this video captured most of Colin's show in Poznan on 12 April 1999. There is an unfortunate accident of a microphone in front of Jacek being dead most of 'Goodbye to Albion' (track 6), but never mind, it is just so great to see Colin Bass Band on stage playing Colin's own songs! We can also see close-ups of his hands while he is playing solo ('Aissa' (track 8) and 'No Way Back' (10) especially), as this is something we can't see on Camel video/DVDs ;-). 'The Straits of Malacca' (7) is a tune which is not on his live album (above). At the end of the video, there is a video clip of 'As Far As I Can See' which was filmed also in Poznan. (Witek, thank you for this information!)

Live Vol. 2: Acoustic Songs (2000)

1. Shameless Love 2. Hard Times 3. Refugee / War 4. City Life 5. Drafted 6. As Far As I Can See 7. Goodbye to Albion 8. Denpasar Moon 9. Reap What You Sow 10. Fingertips 11. The Water Is Wide 12. The River and the Sea 13. Sailing Home 14. Poznan Pie 15. The Parting Glass

This CD is a collection of live recordings from Colin's acoustic tour in Poland during 1999-2000. There are his own songs as well as four Camel songs (3, 4, 5, 10) and some cover songs. A medley from 'Refugee' to 'War' is very interesting. With three musicians on piano, guitar, and flute, Colin himself plays not bass but acoustic guitar. As can be heard from tracks 7 and 12, it is full of charm of his singing.

Gently Kindly (2002)

1. Gently Kindly 2. One Small Moment 3. The River & the Sea (Part 1) 4. The River & the Sea (Part 2)

A single CD from Colin's then forthcoming album. This album in production probably became "In the Meantime", but at the time it was entitled "Gently Kindly". The title track has a touch of trad music, and is said to be a single mix. Here Colin is playing drums as well. ...Well, we don't know what's happened to this song afterwards... where is it now? ;-)

This CD includes 'The River & the Sea" Part 1 and Part 2 (originally released in "Denpasar Moon") as bonus tracks.

In the Meantime (2003)

1. Dissident Song 2. So Hard to Say Goodbye 3. As We Say Goodbye 4. Slow Train Blues 5. Talk to Me 6. In the Meantime 7. Bridge of Sighs 8. When Will You Ever Learn? 9. One Small Moment 10. Gently Kindly 11. As We Say Goodbye (live) 12. Talk to Me (live) 13. When You Smile (live) 14. Dolphins (live)

This second studio album as Colin Bass sounds quite different from "An Outcast of the Islands" which is often said to be close to Camel albums. In addition to Polish musicians who supported Colin for his acoustic shows, Michal Wojtas of Amarok and Colin's old friend Ben Mandelson (= Hijaz Mustapha) play guitars, but quite a lot of parts were played by Colin himself. This album is a nice collection of vocal tunes some of which have a bit of folky flavour. If we compare this album with "An Outcast", the first impression may not be so strong; but the more you listen to it, the more you enjoy it. Especially track 2 with an impressive bass line and track 4 with an interesting effects show sophisticated maturity. Overall, this is an album with which you can really enjoy Colin's sensitive but heartwarming vocals. It can be an ideal CD to listen to on a cold winter day in a warm room :-)

In 2007, this album was remastered and re-released with five bonus tracks. Track 10 was taken from the above mentioned single 'Gently Kindly'. Tracks 11-14 are live recordings from Colin's acoustic tour in Poland in 2005 (at Wroclaw on 20 May). Track 13 is a new song, and track 14 is a cover version of Tim Buckley's song (it was composed by Fred Neil, and is available in Tim Buckely's "Sefronia" album).

COLIN BASS - JÓZEF SKRZEK / Planetarium (2005)

1. Star Overture 2. Eli 3. Goodbye to Albion 4. Singer, Oh Singer 5. Freedom with Us 6. As Far As I Can See 7. The Golden Harp 8. Denpasar Moon 9. Wish 10. I Bid You Goodnight 11. Refugee

A live CD from a joint show with Józef Skrzek, keyboard player from SBB, recorded at a planetarium in Chorzow, Poland, on 29 April 2004. The album opens with a spacey improvisation, and contains 4 songs from Colin's materials, 5 from Skrzek songs, and a funeral song from Bahamas which Colin played during his solo tour in 2004 and 2005. As they did not have enough time for rehearsing together, there were probably more improvising elements than we imagine. This is a unique collaboration, but quite honestly, sometimes Józef's keyboard solo did not go well with Colin's songs, and especially 'Goodbye to Albion' (3) and 'As Far As I Can See' (6) sound very very strange. As Colin played acoustic guitar, his sounds tend to be buried under Józef's keyboards when he played solo, but moreover, it is far too obvious that the volume of Colin's guitar and backing vocal on Józef's songs are far too low :-(. Having said that, this is still a good record of a unique occasion, and a wonderful performance of 'Refugee' is a great ending of the CD!!

Sound samples from these CDs except "As Far As I Can See" and "Denpasar Moon" are available here.