From my tape!
Atrocity | Sacramento, California, USA | 01/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I feel a special affinity for this release because, believe it or not, I supplied the master tape. Some time around 1980, a friend of mine found two 10-1/2" reels in a college radio station dumpster and gave them to me. I couldn't play reels that large, so they just sat on my shelf for several years until I got bold and decided to try to remount them onto 7" reels. At that point, I realized that I had an actual edited (spliced) master, but wasn't really sure what to do about it. So the reels sat until 2002 when I thought that it might be possible to contact the band via the Internet to find out if they wanted them. I was eventually put in touch with Banana, found that apparently no other copies were around and sent him the tapes. Forgot the whole thing until a couple weeks ago when it occurred to me to check to see if anything had ever come of it, at which point I found and ordered this CD.
All that aside, the music's a lot of fun and the CD sounds great. Scotch must have been doing something right: I sure didn't have a climate-controlled vault, but their tape obviously held up fine!
BTW, the CD doesn't give an exact date, but the tape boxes were marked December 5, 1971."
Very good live album from an underappreciated band
Daddy Gearhead | Washington, D.C. | 05/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this disc on something of a lark after hearing the Youngbloods' cover of the 1963 Dave Dudley song "Six Days on the Road," which I enjoyed quite a bit--a version still faithful to its country roots, but the most creative of all the many covers of that song I've heard (it sounds a bit like what you would expect the Grateful Dead to do with the song). I wound up enjoying the entire performance, from the beautiful keyboards of Lowell "Banana" Levinger's "On Sir Francis Drake," Jesse Colin Young's "Dreamboat" (to my ear, a bit reminiscent of Blues Image's 1970 "Ride Captain Ride"), the bluegrass mini-set of the banjo song "interlude," and a great and enthusiastic cover of "Old man tucker," and very good blues harmonica (and tasteful guitar fills) on Young's "Drifting and Drifting." Heck--I even enjoyed the hippy anthem "Beautiful" (there's a 1969 live version of the song also available on another album), even though the sentiments seem a bit dated at the distance of 37 years. I enjoyed the entire album quite a bit--well worth the $11 bucks it set me back to buy it used."
Good not great live memory of a great band
Larry W. Oconnor | Lynden, WA United States | 05/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"These guys did some of the best music of the late 60s-early 70s. Unlike much of the West Coast scene that focused on psychedelic angst (Quicksilver, the Fish, the Dead, Jefferson Airplane) or drunken self indulgence (The Doors), these guys played good time music. In so many ways they took the Lovin' Spoonful's sense of fun and joy in music and made it great music that wasn't "pop" and didn't dip into country rock like Poco and the Eagles.
During their career, they put out 2 live albums ("Rock Festival" and "Ride The Wind") both of which suffered from the same defects this effort shows. In all cases, there is some GREAT work on the album, just not enough to make it a great album.
This retrospective shows them during some of their best musical work, but falls prey to the cover junk syndrome that Jesse, Banana and Joe slipped into seemingly to fill space in concerts.
Elephant Mountain, and Earth Music were two of the best albums of the era. This recording is definitely worth finding if you're a fan, but find it on sale in a used bin somewhere or risk at least a little disappointment in the $17 outlay for a mixed effort."