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Ironically, just about his best
DM | 11/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's well known that Mason didn't want this album put out. And it carries clear signs of its "unauthorized" status -- it's a messy, confusing package, half-studio & half-live, with one song (in a different version) repeated from the DAVE MASON / CASS ELLIOT album, and another song Mason didn't write (Pearly Queen) carelessly overlooked under an "all songs by" credit.
So it's ironic that this just might be the best Mason album there is! ALONE TOGETHER may have held that distinction at first. But HEADKEEPER's live versions of 3 A.T. songs blow the originals out of the water. The spare, acoustic solo performance of "Can't Stop Worrying, Can't Stop Loving" heard here, for example, makes the undistinguished full-band studio version instantly obsolete. And the live version of "World In Changes" is one of the best pieces of early '70s rock, period. The studio side, while not quite as memorable, still showcases Mason as an excellent songcrafter. And why did he feel the need to remake the title track on a later album (without that awesome extended ending, no less)? It was perfect the first time!"
A must-have for the collection!
James J. Jenkins | Weare, NH United States | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the combination of live and studio material on this one. Yes, it seems as if Dave may have preferred to wait and add more live tracks to this album, adding the studio stuff to "It's Like you Never Left." However, "Headkeeper" on the latter is a completely different version from the one found here. This version is all Dave on vocals, with no harmonizing on the chorus, and it features a fabulously spacey ending. I can't pick a favorite, I just love them both equally. "Here We go Again" is a shorter version of "Silent Partner" without the moog bass, unfortunately, but again the two complement each other well. The HIGHlight, of course, is the live material, and I agree with the previous reviewer that "World in Changes" is becoming my favorite live number by far. Also, any album with "Pearly Queen" in concert goes straight to the top of my list. Buy it for the live stuff, appreciate the studio stuff, but make sure to add it to any collection!"
Dave Mason's Magical Music
Whamo | San Clemente, California | 12/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dave Mason said his songwriting tried to tap the sub-concious in an interview years ago. "Alone Together", his first record was printed on pyschedelic vinyl with an art-deco album cover with a creative cut. It's a collector's item. Before that, Traffic, a super-group that split three ways: Stevie Winwood went to Blind Faith; Dave Mason went solo; and Jim Capaldi went to jazz (Mark/Almond band?). I caught Dave Mason, live, in the 70's at U.C. Riverside, and he played a set similar to the one on this record. Dave also plays on Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland", probably the best classic rock album of all time. Dave Mason peaked with "Headkeeper"; it's an album I've enjoyed for decades. It's relaxing, inspiring, and whimsical, all at the same time. I love the organ player, the drummer, and Mason's guitar wails. The provocative lyrics flow like a master poet or novelist on top of the melody and conga beat. Dave Mason's music took a nosedive after this album. Drugs? Drink? Who knows? If he tours Southern California again I'll try to catch him. I find all I need in this album...just a song. Thanks to Dave Mason for making the journey of my life a little better."