Michael Kydonieus | San Francisco, CA United States | 11/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, I know it's technically a Tony Williams album (and his drumming IS excellent), but Holdsworth is all over these records. As noted by another fan, this is really two albums. The first, "Believe It!" is a classic. Intensely funky jazz fusion, great tunes, and the way-ahead-of-its-time, incendiary guitar of Holdsworth. The second, "Million Dollar Legs" is another story. Put yourself in the shoes of the owner of the record company that put this out. You've just released one of the greatest instrumental fusion records EVER. What do you do? Easy--with the same personnel, add vocals to some of the tracks, water the music down into vapid R&B and tell Holdsworth to tone down his guitar playing--WAY DOWN. One of the great cultural crimes of the 70s. Despite this, I'm STILL giving five stars to this cd. Yes, "Believe It!" is that great. If you would like to read more reviews like this, check out JazzboNotes.com. "
Jazz Rock Fusion...Believe It!
J. Thomas | Out on the Lost Highway | 07/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Williams was already a legend by the time he recorded Believe It and Million Dollar Legs, the two Lifetime albums packaged together here. Having been drumming for Miles Davis and John McLaughlin for several years, Tony teamed up with guitar genius, Alan Holdsworth. This is early seventies jazz rock fusion. Nothing more, nothing less. At the time college radio stations were playing music like this and Return to Forever, it was called "progressive" music. Tony's masterful drumming and Alan's killer fretwork combine at times on this disc to jangle your nerves but if there was ever a tune that defined what jazz rock fusion or progressive music was all about, FRED is it. FRED alone is worth the price of this CD, the fact that the cd is actually two albums from the Holdsworth/Williams line up just makes it even more of a bargain. This is a must have for aspiring drummers and guitar dreamers. I've only ever heard one band cover FRED and it took 3 guitarists to do it. When this particular band lost one of their 3 guitar players, they dropped FRED from their set. I uesd FRED to close every "jazz" show I did on NC STATE radio station WKNC from '78 to '81. Tony is gone now but FRED lives on."
This Is IT!
El Kabong | 08/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The pleasures of this incredible reissue CD are so numerous and deeply satisfying that just thinking about it makes me grin like an idiot. (I know, I know, I walked right into that one.) This is technically the second version of Lifetime, as the first recorded in the early 70s and featured the late great Tony Williams (he is SORELY missed), Jack Bruce, John McLaughlin and Larry Young. (Curiously, given that roster of heavyweights, it's not as godlike as you'd think.) This is the retooled 75/76 version, featuring Williams, Allan Holdsworth , Alan Pasqua & Tony Newton, and right from Jump Street these guys plant their feet and stand tall, unafraid to inject a strong dose of funk into their searing fusion. The CD combines both Lifetime II albums, "Believe It" & "Million Dollar Legs" - two of the most brain-frying, genre-warping albums EVER. Powerful and unforgettable compositions that swirl styles magically, whether metallic funk ("Red Alert"), symphonic jazz ("Inspirations of Love"), soulful prog ("Sweet Revenge") - you'll listen to this over and over with excitement and awe. This was my first-ever encounter with Holdsworth: the guy was so far ahead of his time here, it took me a year or so to begin to dig his intensely personal guitar playing. You can't take your ears off his beautiful tortured tones! Although he's had his moments since then, he's never approached the heights he scales on these two records: to those newer fans who've always wondered what the hell is the big deal about Allan Holdsworth, look no further. ..."
Get In The Groove
James Espio | 07/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tony Williams Lifetime in this collection is composed of Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Alan Pasqua on keyboards, Tony Newton on bass and some vocals, and Tony Williams on the drums.
Tony Williams got his start early on the drums by being a drummer for trumpeter Miles Davis when he was only 17 years old and left at the age of 23. Miles Davis was extremely impressed with the skill that Williams possessed. Miles commented, "Tony played on top of the beat, just a fraction above, and it gave everything a little edge because it had a little edge. Tony played polyrhythms all the time. He was a cross between Art Blakey and Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes and Max Roach."
The Lifetime rhythm section grooves and grooves hard in this album. The mixture of jazz and funk creates the perfect environment for a rhythm section, sometimes forgotten in jazz in favor of wind instruments, to shine. Each player gets his time to shine in this album. The rhythms that Tony Williams provides creates a central groove that can be heard at all times during the album. It is amazing to hear Williams not only lay down the beat, but also solo and fill like it is a beat. Holdsworth and Pasqua create their awesome and funky melodies on top of the hard grooving that Newton and Williams provide.
Vocals by Tony Newton are contained on "You Did It To Me Baby" and "Joy Filled Summer". String and horn accompaniment is featured on "You Did It To Me Baby".
It was great to listen to a great grooving album with electric instruments and the excellent drumming by Tony Williams. A must have for all funk drummers and a great CD for those of us that want to sit back and enjoy the groove.
Total Playing Time: 77:10 Total Tracks: 13 Originally Recorded in 1975-1976 as Believe It! and Million Dollar Legs by Columbia Jazz.
2 Classic LPs = 1 Awesome CD!
El Kabong | 11/01/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is two Tony Williams Lifetime LPs on one CD: "Believe It" from 1975, and "Million Dollar Legs" from 1976. Worth 5 stars just for the first 7 tracks from the "Believe It" album. It's considered Jazz/Fusion, but this CD rocks with the best of them... especially on "Fred", "Snake Oil", and "Red Alert". Allan Holdsworth plays guitar on all tracks also, and he's at the peak of his game here! Tony Williams, as usual, is no slouch either! Some of the best fusion ever recorded is right here on this CD, which runs nearly 80 minutes in length! As spacy, urgent and intense as you could possibly imagine! Don't miss this one whatever you do!!! One of my top favorite albums of all-time, regardless of category."