David Longdon's Door One: a poignant reminder of a great talent in full, unfettered flight

Door One is a sophisticated, beautifully realised posthumous solo album from Big Big Train frontman David Longdon

David Longdon: Door One cover art
(Image: © English Electric)

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Big Big Train’s David Longdon had all but finished this solo album when he died in an accident last November. It comes wreathed in that tragedy, but taken on its own merits it’s a sophisticated, beautifully realised record. 

On typically strong, soulful vocal form, Longdon is surrounded by pedigree musicians including Fish bassist Steve Vantsis, ex-King Crimson drummer Jeremy Stacey and sax virtuoso Theo Travis. 

With a musical palette leaning more into art-pop/rock than Big Big Train’s prog, he broaches a range of subjects including irreconcilable relationships (the anguished Watch It Burn, the brooding Forgive But Not Forget), life’s inherent messiness (There’s No Ghost Like An Old Ghost) and the performer’s lot (The Singer And The Song, a grand showpiece). 

Overall the album is the sound of a great talent in full, unfettered flight, and poignant closer Love Is All rings all the truer for Longdon’s sad absence.

Grant Moon is the author of Big Big Train – Between The Lines: The Story Of A Rock Band.

Grant Moon is the News Editor for Prog and has been a contributor to the magazine since its launch in 2009. A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.