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Ten Years After - Undead (2002) Retail CD
When Alvin Lee & Ten Years After were first invited to play in America by legendary rock promoter Bill Graham in 1968, they wanted to release an album to coincide with the tour. Their 2nd studio effort "Stonedhenge" was not yet complete, so it was decided to do a live album. The result was one of the best live recordings of the period, and it arguably remains as one of the best "Live Rock & Blues" albums ever! As indicated in my Visual History book on Ten Years After - when Alvin Lee first heard this album he thought "Well that's it, that is probably the best I'll ever play and there are goingmore… to be problems recording in the future because this encompasses just about everything the band can do". Fortunately things turned out much better for Ten Years After but, listening to UNDEAD, it quickly becomes evident that Alvin's initial concerns were not unfounded. This album absolutely "SMOKES" from the onset and the musicianship is remarkable throughout.Ten Years After were quite different from the other "2nd British Invasion" blues bands of the late 60's because they effortlessly fused jazz and blues, and that characteristic is exemplified in this album. "Woodchoppers Ball" and "I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Be Wrong Always" are absolutely stunning and every bit as impressive today as when they were originally recorded. A few critics later got some sort of perverse pleasure from claiming that Alvin Lee's guitar playing was "all haste and no taste", but none of that is remotely evident on UNDEAD. His highly accomplished and precise technique on the aforementioned two songs dances above, around & under any solos recorded by the other so-called "guitar gods" of the time. The four new tracks, comprised of material originally excluded due to vinyl record time limits, have made the remastered CD even better. "Spoonful" and "Crossroads" were, of course, played by almost all of the British blues bands and Alvin obligingly introduces "Spoonful" as a "Clapton - Howlin' Wolf number". But it's a treat to now hear TYA's own version of these tunes with Alvin's own inimitable guitar work. In the wonderful booklet that accompanies the CD, drummer Ric Lee describes the added "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" as being, "a bit rough around the edges". Although it's not quite the polished version found on future TYA releases, it is very much a "diamond in the rough" - being an early and quite interesting 14 minute version of the song. The closer, "I'm Going Home", is only half the length of the famous Woodstock version that would emerge more than a year later - yet it is every bit as energetic, and perhaps even more so! Following Woodstock and the increased stardom that resulted, Ten Years After concert venues quickly changed from clubs to sports arenas and their music subsequently emanated from stacks of 100 watt Marshall amplifiers. In most respects, the individual talents and contributions of all four band members (as heard on UNDEAD) were lost forever in that "wall of sound". This is another reason why UNDEAD is so special, you can actually hear what a great keyboard player Chick Churchill is! I strongly recommended the other TYA re-releases ("Ten Years After", "Stonedhenge", "Live At The Fillmore East 1970" & "Cricklewood Green"). They all have bonus tracks and great new descriptive booklets authored by Ric Lee, with the original artwork plus several additional rare photos. But if you have not yet heard any of them, I suggest you start with UNDEAD ...It truly Rocks !! Herb Staehr
|1||Rock your mama|
|3||I may be wrong but I won't be wrong always|
|5||Spider in your web|
|6||At the woodchoppers' ball|
|7||Standing at the crossroads|
|8||I can't keep from crying sometimes/Extension on one chord|
|9||I'm going home|
- Ten Years After - Undead (2002) Retail CD
- 799 x 799 px
- 119 KB
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- 20/11/11 by amsreddevil
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