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Built To Spill Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 5.05
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 May 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: City Slang
  • ASIN: B00004SUZN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,492 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Plan
2. Randy Describes Eternity
3. Stop The Show
4. Virginia Reel Around The Fountain
5. Cortez The Killer
6. Car
7. Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords
8. I Would Hurt A Fly
9. Broken Chairs

Product Description


Recorded during the band's 1999 US tour Live showcases Built To Spill's evangelical all-out guitar assault to impressive effect. Drawing from their three City Slang albums There's Nothing Wrong With Love, Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like A Secret, the nine songs roll over the listener like an electrical storm, with sparks showering from the guitars of main man Doug Martsch and his foil Jim Roth. It's possible to draw a straight line from Built To Spill through Dinosaur Jr right to Neil Young's back porch as the centrepiece cover of "Cortez The Killer" aptly demonstrates, clocking in at nearly double the length of the original. From the rousing opener "The Plan", via the clipped riffing of "Stop The Show" up to the closing 19-minute firestorm "Broken Chairs", Live acts a useful Built To Spill sampler and a highly effective live document. --Mike Pattenden

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly atmopheric Live offering from BTS. 12 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
As we all know, live albums are never the best, be it a bootleg or an official release. The guitars are never loud enough and the vocals and drums drown everything else out. Built To Spill Live however, appears to be the exception to the rule. The levels are spot on, and for a band that relies so much on Doug Martsch's guitar smarts and the off beat rhythms of the band as a whole, this is integral to their delivery. BTS are usually a three piece indie rock band, who thrive on subtle melodies and sweet guitar harmonies. As much of the studio albums are heavily overdubbed however, the band have employed a second guitarist to take up the sonic slack in the stage sound. This allows Martsch more than ample opportunity to play sweet stratocaster drenched solos and intricate guitar riffs with no real 'bottoming out' of the sound. Nowhere is this less beneficial than in their 23 minute cover of Neil Young's 'Cortez the Killer', which is so compelling that I have personally listened to it twice in a row. Three quarters of an hour of anyone's life well spent.
BTS's own songs sound polished and effortless; 'Car' is a delicate lament from their '94 album 'There's Nothing Wrong With Love' that sounds amazingly improved from the album version, with Martsch's voice crackling, emotive and stronger. 'The Plan''s complex guitar parts and childish melody is a perfect opener, with juxtaposition to spare and 'Stop the Show' could be an In Utero era Nirvana going through the rock motions.
This album is the best live album I've heard in a while, and having seen BTS a couple of times, I would say that this is about as close as you are going to get without leaving your living room.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album 27 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is AMAZINGLY good.
I love live albums but this really is wonderful. 2 very long tracks of around 20 minutes each build up brilliantly and the slightly faltering voice works so well live. Great band working really well together. Recently came across them and am really enjoying all their albums. What a wonderful mix of styles and influences (and have influenced other bands). this is one of the best live albums I have ever heard. Wish they would come to play in the UK sometime soon.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best work on one album 16 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
if you've never heard Built to Spill before then don't get this album as your first. however, if you are familiar with their work then you'll love this album. Some of their finest songs, all performed live. i love this album.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good performances, great sound 1 Aug 2000
By Jeremy York - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've seen Built To Spill a few times, in large and small venues that had one thing in common - the acoustics and the sound mix were pretty bad. With all the distortion and effects, it made it pretty hard to hear the actual notes being played in the louder passages.
This cd, in contrast, is very nicely mixed; you get to hear all the playing. Martsch's singing is a little strained here and there on tracks (I winced at the very opening of The Plan), but is pretty good overall. There are nice arrangements of songs from recent studio albums, with space in them for his guitar improv work. The more complex and subtle songs from Perfect From Now On get boiled down to essentials - melodic lines and riffs - with guitar noise textures to fill things out in place of the many guest musicians who played on that fine cd. Cortez the Killer, and Broken Chairs, both really let the guys stretch out with loose playing and effects for a great wall of sound. These two songs, especially, are the kinds of things that just sound like mud in a live venue - it's great to be able to hear things more clearly.
Lots of folks rant and rave over Martsch's guitar god status, but I think they're off base a bit. He's not a technical wizard capable of intricately difficult parts like a Steve Morse or Vai. Rather, this is a guy with a good ear for sounds and textures, a good composer and arranger, who happens to use the guitar to make his music. His playing tends to strong melodies contrasted with broad washes of noise and texture; plus, he's got a good command of dynamics. I say this just to warn anyone who buys this cd hoping for more "clean" traditional technical playing - you might be disappointed.
My only regret with this cd is that there wasn't room for some of the stranger covers that Built To Spill have been known to do, like a Macy Gray song (!) or Ozzy's classic Mr. Crowley.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guitar masterpiece 5 Dec 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'd give it 4.5 if I could. This was the album that got me started on BTS about 2 years ago, so I agree with the people saying this is a good way to get introduced to the band. This album, more than any other I've heard from BTS (or probably anyone, for that matter) has absolutely amazing guitar work.
The two 19 minute tracks are excellent. The meandering guitar on Cortez the Killer is pretty good (and that's the best Neil Young impression I've heard), but the real jewel is Broken Chairs, with its awesome buildups and creshendos.
The Plan, Randy..., Stop the Show, and Car are all significantly better live, as the guitar is allowed to stand out more. And Virginia Reel is amazing. The guitar on that one soars. Seriously, with that song I put on the headphones, close my eyes, and imagine soaring through the clouds.
So overall, this album is really special. If not for Singing Sores, which lacked the interesting guitar work found everywhere else, and Hurt a Fly, which was the exception by being better in the studio version, this would definitely be a perfect album.
If you love great guitar, you really should own this.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Showcase of a Guitar Rock Genius 19 April 2000
By William Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This collection of built to spill live tunes, including a halo benders number and a neil young cover, showcases Doug Martsch's incredible talent for creating minimalist guitar melodies. Songs from "Perfect From Now On" are given new life, and "The Plan" from Keep it Like a Secret is expanded into a classic jam piece. Martsch's guitar greatness is especially shown on the cover of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer," which is turned into a guitar driven improvisational piece. I was a little skeptical of a BTS offical live release, because I wondered how it would come off. In my mind, it came off as a great representation of a great band.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Live Album In Ages 10 Sep 2000
By Michael Topper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although the studio albums have their moments, Built To Spill are one of those groups that really light up as a live act, something which "Live" documents flawlessly well. I am not a particularly big fan of the "song" parts of the group's songs (they're just a little too nondescript to these ears) but that's not really what the band's about on this release: what's on display here are some of the greatest guitar heroics to be heard in several decades. The soundscapes which are created in tracks like "Cortez The Killer" and "Broken Chairs" (19 minutes each!) must be heard to be believed (and check out the picture-perfect Neil Young vocal impersonation in "Cortez"!). Even a relatively short track like "The Plan" contains a mind-blowing solo which travels through several different and uniquely original styles. Put simply, the guitarists can play ANYTHING, and use whatever effects are at their disposable to maximum advantange. The overall effect is extremely loud, overpowering, majestic and (gasp!) psychedelic. The studio work sounds like a dry run in comparison; for those who want a first taste of Built To Spill, "Live" would certainly be my first recommendation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I recall... 5 May 2000
By Tim Salazar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
standing up, in a mess of hundreds of kids packed like sardines in venues across seattle, watching doug fiddle with his pedal, standing up, looking around, and squeaking out a word in between songs. "Thanks."
the same way, everytime.
this album certainly catches built to spill's live shows perfectly, and the recording can fool you into thinking it's not live at all. the guitars are separated onto different channels, so you have one coming in one ear, and the other....well, yeah. it sounds good, to say the least.
but i can't help but feel that for a live album, it's not exciting. which i guess can be taken as a moot point, who says the show has to be exciting? but sitting there through 20 minutes of self-indulgent guitar fiddling *at* a show, is different from sitting there at home listening to it.
i would stand there and think "god this is great, i hope he doesn't stop playing/god this is great, but i wish he'd stop playing 'cause that kid behind me keeps jumping on my feet." that sort of conflict you can't quite sort out, because what you're feeling is too engrossing.
if for nothing else, the love as laughter cover and the neil young cover make it worth it. And the Halo Benders song sounds good too, you can pretend to be Calvin Johnson and fill in his baritone if you're feeling up to it.... But everything else sounds pretty much the same with slight twists.
not at all a bad album, something to have for a completist, and a good intro for a beginner.
and i still think scotty gets bored on the drums.
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