Search - Alvin Lee :: In Flight

In Flight
Alvin Lee
In Flight
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #2

German digitally remastered reissue of 1974 live album recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre. Includes two bonus tracks, 'Somebody Callin' Me' & 'Put It In A Box'. Repertoire.


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CD Details

All Artists: Alvin Lee
Title: In Flight
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Repertoire
Release Date: 11/3/1998
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Blues Rock, British Invasion
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 766488674620


Album Description
German digitally remastered reissue of 1974 live album recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre. Includes two bonus tracks, 'Somebody Callin' Me' & 'Put It In A Box'. Repertoire.

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CD Reviews

A True Original
Timothy P. Scanlon | 12/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Back in 1980 (or early '81), I went to a concert at my university (W.IL Univ.) to see a group I really liked, Molly Hatchet. They were the featured band, and playing back up for them was Alvin Lee. What a phenomenal night that turned out to be! Alvin Lee blew Molly Hatchet off the stage, and gave the appreciative crowd 3 encores to boot before finally apologizing to a hungry Chicago blues audience of students who obviously wanted more. He came out after the third encore and said, "I'm sorry everybody, but we're just the back up band, and we've got to clear our equipment off the stage. Thank you and good night!"
Molly Hatchet was none too thrilled with the audience by the time they came out, and they knew full well who the night belonged to, and it wasn't them. It was just a single man named Alvin Lee. We wished he'd have played all night, and completely forgot about Molly Hatchet.Anyway, this is a very good Alvin Lee CD which displays his versatility as a great guitarist and true original."
Too much company
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 02/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"'In Flight' is a two-disc live recording made by 'Alving Lee & Co.' in 1974 at the Rainbow Theatre in London. It was the follow-up to 1973's 'On the Road to Freedom', Lee's first album without his Ten Years After colleagues. Alvin arrived with a cargo hold ('In Flight' analogy...) of new tunes and a supersized backing band, including horn man Mel Collins and a trio of backing singers called Kokomo. It's a lively, high-energy set, sure to please someone, but probably not the old TYA crowd. Until the second half of the second disc, Alvin's trademark lead guitar excursions are in short supply, instead being supplanted primarily by Collins' up-front and center presence. The texture of the music has changed as well. While Ten Years After segued effortlessly from blues-rock to psychedelia to folk and country-rock, this new Alvin Lee is pounding out something perhaps best described as boogie-rock. 'In Flight' has it's moments, but should certainly not be confused with Lee's gritty and brusk previous work; so be forewarned.

Being different isn't necessarily a bad thing, and this music definitely possesses appeal. The compositions unquestionably announce Alvin as a matured writing talent. There is a wealth of new, well-turned tunes that Lee pulls out of his back pocket here, beginning with the "chug-along blues" (as Lee describes it in his personally scripted liner notes) opener, 'Got To Keep Moving'. Other highlights include the funky 'You Need Love Love Love' which possesses a great vocal hook, the sweet boogie of 'Let's Get Back', and the most TYA-sounding number, 'Ride My Train'. As you move deep into the second disc, Alvin moves his lead guitar heroics to the front burner, displaying his firy skills on tracks such as 'Keep a Knocking', and a Chuck Berry sound-alike 'Johnny B. Goode' rave-up on 'I've Got Eyes For You Baby'. For whatever reason, 'I'm Writing You a Letter' is offered up twice, as track number five on the first disc, and as track eleven (and the last from the Rainbow Theatre set) on the second disc. It's a decent number, but I'm unsure why Lee felt compelled to include both performances.

There are several covers that deserve mention here. Alvin's version of 'Slow Down' may best represent how 'In Flight' and Alvin Lee & Co. differ from TYA. While you might expect Alvin to go bonkers with his guitar and vocals on this potentially scintillating track, it comes across as a much more smooth and polished piece. The mid-1970's did that to a lot of psychedelic and blues-rockers from the 1960's, and Alvin seems infected (tracks 3 and 5 on disc 2 do blend a bit of wah-pedal guitar in the background, but it's a case of Johnny-come-lately). The same can be said for his covers of Elvis Presley's 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'Mystery Train' (these tracks represent The King as he was in 1974, not 1968, if you know what I mean), as well as 'Money Honey'. Each of these songs relies far too heavily on Mel Collin's sax and Kokomo's backing vocals rather than Lee's astounding guitar virtuosity, which is what made him great.

Disc one runs 40 minutes as does disc two, although disc two tacks on two worthy bonus tracks that add another 14 and 1/2 minutes of music, sporting one live track and the lone studio recording in the package. Track 12, 'Somebody Callin' Me' is another 6:25 of boogie-rock from an unidentified venue. The recording is of good quality, but because the Rainbow Theatre tracks are simply stunning in their vibrancy, this one comes off a bit bland. Lee's vocals, in particular, feel buried. The last track runs 8:06, and was recorded in 1977. 'Put It In a Box' is, I would venture to say, the best track on the entire disc. It launches into a sweet funk-groove from the first strains, and features a fat, fuzzy guitar foundation, setting up Lee's exquisite leads. Kokomo is included on the track, but in this case their contribution strikes a nice balance with the other key elements of the performance. This album really needed this final touch-up.

Given the right audience, 'In Flight' could certainly bring hours of listening pleasure... I just don't happen to have an ear for much of what Alvin Lee is queing up here. It seems unfortunate to me that as the 1970's progressed, so many of the great talents from the 1960's abandoned their formula for success to adopt the restrained sound of the times. That's evident here as Alvin's guitar essentially gets mothballed. As mentioned, Lee does supply his own liner notes, but other than that, 'In Flight' is a fairly sparse package. This one's interesting to hear to bring closure to Lee's career, but I don't consider it a 'keeper'. Check out 'Cricklewood Green' to see what Alvin Lee is truly capable of."
"IN FLIGHT" oh yeah!
Scott N. Murphy | Winthrop Harbor Illinois | 01/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Having been an Alvin Lee fan since the 60"s,I can say that this two disc set gives the listener a true rendition of what Alvin Lee can do with a guitar.From 50's rock,thru the "Blues",with a touch of soul and jazz,Alvin lays it out.You can feel his love of music and the guitar in every track on this set.His playing and vocal renditions make a combination that's hard to beat."