Thursday, July 8, 2010
Live Albums & Reunions
I believe it was Cheap Trick's three night stands in various cities back in 1998 when they devoted each night to performing a full album in its entirety that started the trend. (Though it could be said, The Who playing "Tommy" in 1969 may have been the first.) It has become more commonplace and less of a novelty these days, with everyone from Judas Priest to Echo & The Bunnymen to Arthur Lee & Love and Lucinda Williams devoting full concerts to one classic album.
Todd Rundgren has taken the trend a bit further by asking fans what they'd like to hear, with 1973's "A Wizard/A True Star" getting the fan vote for full live treatment last year, and two records, 1974's "Todd" and 1980's "Healing" sharing the bill in an upcoming, short series of doubleheaders in September.
There is also news of The Who re-re-visiting "Quadrophenia" sometime in 2011. (The Who already showcased the full album in concert back in 1998, with some special guests.)
When Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band announced toward the end of the their last tour that certain nights would be devoted to certain albums, my initial thought was, "Why announce it?" If you were a fan with a ducat and the ESB opened with "The Ties That Bind," then suddenly played "Sherry Darling" into "Jackson Cage," "Two Hearts" and so on, wouldn't you have lost your head? The only benefit I see in knowing ahead of time that the band was playing "The River" side to side, was knowing just when you could visit the facilities for some relief. (I chose "I'm A Rocker.")
Which brings me to my list of the albums I'd like to see performed live, side to side, with advanced notice or not.
In no particular order:
Todd Rundgren- Something/Anything?
This seems like the obvious choice, which leads me to believe that Todd will never do it.
Roxy Music- Siren
This record was the transition from the band's experimental glam years into their suave and smooth years, and remains my favorite album by Bryan Ferry, et al.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions- Get Happy
Not my favorite EC record, but certainly in my Top 5. Elvis may not have the energy these days to bust out twenty 2 minute rockers in less than an hour, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't try.
Tom Waits- Rain Dogs
When I saw Waits perform on the "Rain Dogs" tour in 1985, he might have played the record in its entirety, but not side to side. This still remains his finest work, blending both his early Tin Pan Alley style with his later, often abrasive carnival barker persona.
Rolling Stones- Now
Yeah, right! But man...
Faces- Ooh La La
The band is reuniting for a tour with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall taking on lead vocal duties for the once brilliant, but now painfully embarrassing Rod Stewart. And I know "Ooh La La" isn't considered the Faces best, but it is my favorite.
Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart- Beck-Ola
I'd forgive Rod The Clod for blowing off Ian McLagan if he somehow pulled this one off.
Rockpile- Seconds Of Pleasure
The Nick Lowe/Dave Edmunds feud (?) seems to be deeper than most realize, and a Rockpile reunion, with Billy Bremner and Terry Williams seems the least likely of all. But, one can dream.