Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Association Live
Genres: Pop, Rock
You wouldn?t think that a band with such a polished studio sound would be a good live act, but the Association were real pros, not only capable of hitting those incredible harmonies in a live (and high-altitude!) setting, ... more »
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You wouldn?t think that a band with such a polished studio sound would be a good live act, but the Association were real pros, not only capable of hitting those incredible harmonies in a live (and high-altitude!) setting, but also?given their reliance on studio musicians?surprisingly capable players as well. This April 3, 1970 show at the University of Utah also reveals some other sides of the band, as they cover some songs (Let?s Get Together; Babe, I?m Gonna Leave You) that reveal, lurking behind those note-perfect arrangements, was a pretty fine folk-rock group. We?ve squeezed the entire, 74-minute double live-album on to one CD?it?s a great listen! Includes One Too Many Mornings; Along Comes Mary; I?ll Be Your Man; Goodbye, Columbus; Get Together; Wasn?t It a Bit Like Now; Never, My Love; Goodbye Forever; Just About the Same; Babe, I?m Gonna Leave You; Seven Man Band; Time It Is Today; Dubuque Blues; Blistered; What Were the Words; Remember; Are You Ready; Cherish; Requiem for the Masses; Windy, and Enter the Young.
A surprisingly-good set, now a better bargain
David Goodwin | Westchester, NY United States | 02/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been amazed at the sheer amount of abuse heaped upon this album. "Out-of-key," "poorly performed" and at worst "irrelevant," "The Association Live" gets an awful lot of flack, and in my opinion, most of it is sorely undeserved.True, the band wasn't exactly the hippest property around at the time (heck, this is from a Salt Lake City concert). And yes, there is a definate aura of studio tamper-ment that hovers around the album. But let's be honest, folks; how much does hearing The Association live and "raw" really matter?In fact, when this album works best, it works as a wonderful "prism" through which their sixties hits are refracted. For although their self-titled album was slightly behind them by this point, the spirit that formed it was clearly still in attendence (and you can read my review of their self-titled album if you want to know my opinion on THAT heavenly piece of plastic). Thus, pure live, slightly overdubbed, or pure studio, each song is given a spirited re-arrangement that manages to freshen up even the most saccharine of their hits. Call me a heretic, but I think the version of "Goodbye Columbus" here absolutely blows away the hit version; while some of the studio perfection is inevitably lost, the sheer energy (And these guys are more than capable!) of the rendition and rearrangement let it become something *more* than the studio version. The same goes for the played-to-death "Cherish," which I enjoy here far more than I do the hit version.Additionally, some of the re-arrangements are very indicative of a lot of thought and creativity. In particular, Terry Kirkman's flute becomes a primary instrument in many songs, and in some cases ("Along Comes Mary" and "Time it Is Today") this manages to completely transform the songs. Downsides? Well, some of the selections chosen are a bit dubious (although I absolutely love the inclusion of "Goodbye Forever," one of the oft-overlooked gems from Self-titled/Stonehenge), and while some of the rearrangements work, I'm ambivalent regarding the decision to turn "Dubuque Blues" into a "shouter." And the crowd banter, while amusing the first few times through, is occasionally a bit awkward (one skit about "getting in touch with those around you" goes on for uncomfortably long). This all used to be something of a foregone conclusion, though, as "Live" was previously only available as a prohibitively-expensive Japanese import. Thankfully, Collectors Choice has reissued the set domestically, and while these domestic CDs have come under fire for losing the bonus tracks on the Japanese issues, this had nothing to lose in the first place! A few listens have revealed nothing obvious missing from the import CD version.Still, most listeners (and especially Association neophytes and/or those who aren't exactly sure if a live album by such a historically-unhip band is a great investment) will do well by first tracking down a cheap vinyl copy of the album, which tends to be fairly easy to do. I love "Live" for its rearrangements of some seriously-overplayed tracks and uncelebrated gems, but those looking for something more approximating the hits will do better to stick with the studio incarnations."
They're Just As Great Live As In The Studio
Alan Caylow | USA | 01/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Known primarily for their late-60's hit singles, one thing that too many people overlook about the Association is that they were also a great live band, as this 1970 release, "The Association: Live" proves beyond a doubt. Recorded in concert on April 3, 1970 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, this seven-man band are in top form. They're more raw-sounding live, but still with all of the great vocal harmonies and musical chemistry that made them so good on record. This is a 74-minute, 22-song set with the Association going through their repertoire up through their 1969 self-titled masterpiece, which they were touring for at the time. Many Association favorites are featured, including "Along Comes Mary," "Goodbye Columbus," "Never My Love," "Time It Is Today," "Cherish," and their biggest hit, "Windy," all performed wonderfully. Not only that, but the band do a fine cover of the Youngbloods' "Get Together," plus a jaunty, previously unheard song called "Just About The Same," as well as absolutely haunting renditions of "Remember" and "Requiem For The Masses." And if that wasn't enough, the Association also perform three songs from their brilliant self-titled album: "Goodbye Forever," "Dubuque Blues," and "What Were The Words." The band are also very funny showmen, such as the bit where they try to get the audience to "get in touch" with one another, and Larry Ramos---the lone Hawaiian in the band---remarking how hard it is working in a group "with six token whites." Priceless!Interestingly, though, the Association don't look back upon this live album with great affection. The University of Utah, where this gig was recorded, is apparently at a high altitude, and the band say that the slightly-thinner air affected their vocal performances. Well, guys, you could've fooled me, because you sound superb on this recording. To heck with thinner air---this is a GREAT live performance. If you love this band as much as I do, then you just *gotta* pick up "The Association: Live." And thank you, Association, for all of your great music."
A great group, a great performance, a great album
Timothy D. Hadley | Springfield, MO | 02/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Association, who sold more records than the Beatles between 1968-1970, were arguably one of the late '60s most popular performing groups. They were without a doubt one of the best on-stage groups ever, almost without peer in the vocal skills and harmonic blend that was so sorely missing in most guitar-heavy bands.
The Association also excelled in tight, carefully staged performances that mixed humor, conversation, and skits with their songs to produce professional performances that connected with audiences in ways that few groups before or since have ever achieved. All of these qualities are clearly in evidence on this excellent album, recorded in Salt Lake City on April 3, 1970 at the University of Utah.
The fact that this performance contains a few flaws, which it does, and the fact that some quibbles can be made about the group's selection and arrangement of songs for their "Live" album, which they can, do not prevent this performance or this album from showcasing the many exceptional qualities that made The Association one of America's most popular rock bands between 1966 and 1972. I saw the group perform twice, first in 1967 and again in 1969, a few months before this album was recorded, when they were at the peak of their mature powers as a performing group.
Their stage presence was electrifying, and hearing them perform their songs in person was like hearing the records themselves, except better, because it was live. I doubt if there ever was before, or ever has been since, a group with seven members who could ALL sing as well as The Association, as their 2003 induction into the Vocal Music Hall of Fame attests to. It is difficult to describe the powerful effect that occurred when they unloaded in full voice on songs like "Requiem for the Masses" or "Cherish."
Furthermore, often lost in the praise for the group's vocal talents is acknowledgement of their instrumental abilities, which were considerable. With the addition of Ramos, the group had three first-class guitarists in Alexander, Yester, and Ramos. Yester also expertly manned the keyboard when needed, and Bluechel had long been recognized as one of southern California's top drummers. Kirkman could play more than 20 brass and wind instruments, many of which featured prominently in the group's hits. And Cole's melodic bass joined with Giguere's able rhythm guitar to assist in providing a more-than-capable foundation for the group's harmonies and melodies. These guys had the full musical package, including a totally professional stage presence.
In my opinion, this version of "One Too Many Mornings," though marred a little by the heavy fuzz, is their best ever. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for "Dubuque Blues" or "Never My Love." And why did they perform "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You"--perhaps a sentimental favorite for the band but definitely not for their fans--and leave out "Yes I Will," one of their best songs ever? Who knows?
But it's still The Association--great sound, great vocals, great music. Anyone who ever saw them perform in person will love this album, because it has everything in it to remind them of the great group that they knew and loved. And for those who never got to see them--this album will be almost as good as the real thing: The Association--Terry, Jules, Jim, Russ, Brian, Ted, and Larry--live, in concert. Enjoy!"