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Live at the Roxy London: April 1st & 2nd 1977

Wire Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Nov 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Pink Flag
  • ASIN: B000IFQLVY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Commerical
2. Mary Is A Dyke
3. Too True
4. Just Don't Care
5. Strange
6. Brazil
7. It's So Obvious
8. Three Girl Rhumba
9. TV
10. Straight Line
11. Lowdown
12. Feeling Called Love
13. NYC
14. After Midnight
15. 12XU
16. Mr Suit
17. Glad All Over
18. The Commercial
19. Mary Is A Dyke
20. Too True
See all 34 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Originally released in 2006, this 2 CD set of 2 live 1970's performances at the 2 iconic venues. The first, 'Live At The Roxy' was recorded over two consecutive nights at London's Roxy Club in April 1977. The CBGB set was captured at the New York club's auxiliary theatre in 1978 for a radio broadcast. The '77 shows presented on disc one feature the "classic" four piece line up making their debut in front of the world (or at least the half dozen or so who turned up to see the opening act of a "Punk Festival" in a club that held a hundred people max). The '78 recording on the other hand depicts a band hardened from extensive touring to promote their first album 'Pink Flag' and fresh from the studio, having just finished their second, 'Chairs Missing'. Recorded for the now defunct WPIX, the songs on disc two documents one of the handful of gigs they played on their first and only trip to the USA in the 1970s. These essential preludes to the seminal studio recordings of 'Pink Flag' and 'Chairs Missing' provide an illuminating context to any fan of those records, and at the same time show just how tight and angular the band were as a live proposition.

BBC Review

The punk credo of 1977 was 'anyone can do it'. But it helps if you've got brains. It helps if you have a drummer who can actually play. It helps if you've practiced a lot.

When Wire stepped onto the stage of the Roxy club in London on April 1st 1977 they had all of this and more. This historic recording captures both that set when they were bottom of the bill and a near identical one from the following night.

Loads of English bands in late '76 heard the first Ramones debut album, said 'I can do that!' and copied it. But Wire are already moving away from the charming but unoriginal punk templates of 'Just Don't Care', 'Mary Is A Dyke' and a silly sprint through JJ Cale's 'After Midnight'. Songs like 'Lowdown', 'Strange', 'Three Girl Rhumba' and '12XU' are defiantly original. Dispensing with standard song structures, the music is bent out of shape to fit the words, the mood brutal.

It also helps if you have the services of a sympathetic producer. Mike Thorn's crisp, clear 24 track live mixes remind you how important he was to the sound and texture of Wire's classic first three albums.

The other CD in this set is a recording of an ill-starred visit to CBGBs in New York the following year. Wire are jetlagged and sloppy. They produce incoherent versions of Pink Flag material and half decent attempts at 'Practice Makes Perfect' and the epic 'Mercy'.

But there's a strange moment at the very end. A DJ talks over an anonymous piece of American 'rawk' music. The music sounds pre-historic, something recorded thousands of years ago. By contrast, even thirty years after the event and even at their worst, Wire still sound thrillingly modern. --Nick Reynolds

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wire LIVE! 10 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
Very few deliberate live recordings of Wire exist from the1970s. Board recordings and bootlegs aside, only three full live sets were put to tape in the early years with any aim other than archival use. The first, 'Live At The Roxy' was recorded over two consecutive nights at London's Roxy Club in April 1977. The CBGB set was captured at the New York club's auxiliary theater in 1978 for a radio broadcast. These recordings were released only once before, on 'Wire: 1977-1979', the limited box set available only from the band's website. A third performance, taped at WDR's studios in Germany in 1979 for the Rockpalast TV show, can be heard as part of the CD+DVD package 'On The Box: 1979'. The '77 shows presented on disc one feature the "classic" four piece line up making their debut in front of the world (or at least the half dozen or so who turned up to see the opening act of a "Punk Festival" in a club that held a hundred people max). The '78 recording on the other hand depicts a band hardened from extensive touring to promote their first album 'Pink Flag' and fresh from the studio, having just finished their second, 'Chairs Missing'. Recorded for the now defunct WPIX, the songs on disc two documents one of the handful of gigs they played on their first and only trip to the USA in the 1970s. These essential preludes to the seminal studio recordings of 'Pink Flag' and 'Chairs Missing' provide an illuminating context to any fan of those records, and at the same time show just how tight and angular the band were as a live proposition during a period when wilful amateurism masquerading as chaos and anarchy were the rather tired order of the day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get to the Front of the Queue 4 Jan 2013
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Actually there was nothing tired about 1977 or 1978. But of course you had to have been there, there was no special ticket or reservation. It was about getting up and going. Also, because of that it was a time of intense energy. Either you were on the bus or you were not, it was very binary. If you were not on it, then you can only speculate and try to preconfigure what was going on. After the dust has settled it was clear it was the reality of living within one of the greatest creative junctures since the Weimar Republic, and prior to that, the Renaissance.

This two discer retrospectively sounds tight and angular. It operates in the same world as Generation X, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols and the Clash before they began to experiment. Within its structure you can detect a dash of deutsche cold flourish to enter strange new worlds. So on disc one you get 34 tracks of pristine bristling angry surreal punk, alive at the Roxy. More people have heard this gig than were ever there; and a second disc of a sojourn to the USA playing the beginning of Chairs Missing.

I always thought the Roxy live album sounded like a pair of dustbin lids being hit whilst being heavily filtered through a wooden door,. But here the sound has been cleaned up into something much more like the doors being finally opened. Then you are instantly pushed right to the front of the nights entertainment.

It actually sounds quite awesome.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punk Rock History Lesson 15 Jan 2007
By directions - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though much concert documentation has been made of early punk groups such as The Ramones or the Sex Pistols, lesser known groups have not had their live material unearthed in official form. Wire is one of the most important punk/post punk groups from the time but has been reticient to release live recordings until recently ("Wire on the Box:1979"). By 1979, Wire were clearly in the post punk camp. It is fascinating to hear them progress to this stage live. The first disc includes two full concerts from 1977 from the Roxy where Wire are clearly still in the traditional punk phase (including the unreleased Ramones take off "Mary is a D---") but with later traits to come (classic songs such as "Strange" come off well). The sound quality is reasonable for a recording of this nature. The 2nd disc (I had heard about the concert from a friend who was in the scene at the time, great to hear it live)is from CBGB's from 1978 and unfortunately, the sound recording takes a nose dive in quality, which is a shame because by this time Wire had fully evolved into the band it would become (highlights include "I am the Fly"). However, in releasing the full concerts, instead of the usual greatest hits live or tampering with the sound, Wire has done the listening public a favor. This is assuredly the way they sounded live but is furthest from nostalgia (Wire still record and perform) but rather a blueprint for future bands who decided to take their sound from the sonic minimalism of punk and into something more sophisticated and essential.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For the aficionados only 10 Jan 2007
By Nick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a collection of three Wire performances, two at the Roxy in London and one at the CBGB Theatre in New Work. Ultimately I found this release very disappointing, especially considering its high price and the terrible sound quality of the CBGB performance.

On the first disc are two sets recorded at The Roxy in London, recorded some time before the release of their debut album, Pink Flag. They feature identical setlists and were performed to an almost empty room, so there is little audience interaction. The liner notes reveal that these recordings do have some historical value, however, as they were instrumental in getting the band signed to EMI.

On the second disc there is a short set they performed at the legendary CBGB Theatre in New York, featuring material from their first two albums. This performance was recorded by a radio station, but very badly! The sound quality is just awful, making me seriously regret my purchase.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different flaws on each disc, but well worth getting for the non-casual fan! 17 Jan 2010
By Jason from Iowa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have recently read the great 33 1/3 book on Pink Flag which references these Roxy recordings more than a few times, so I had to hear them for myself. I have Behind The Curtain so I had an idea, I guess, what to expect, but boy was I still in for a surprise. Wire are really rough on the 1st disc, with some early songs (jettisoned by the time Pink Flag came around) somewhat of an embarrassment, and some of the Pink Flag material crudely played (Lowdown is far too fast, not as heavy, something like 12XU is too slow, Mr Suit is far more imprecise than you know it as.) That said, as a document to 'how it came to be' - Pink Flag never came from NOTHING it came from ideas integrated into traditional rock combo music (note their non-ironic cover of Glad All Over!) and as a history lesson it's fascinating. As something to put on when ya'all feel like rockin', it's maybe not as successful.
Now the 2nd disc I think will get a lot of play around here. In deference to the reviewer on here, yes, it is pretty roughly recorded - it's slightly distorted and the mix isn't that fantastic. But as a document on Wire's first trip to the U.S. - post Pink Flag, perhaps at their peak, this is a great listen. Most of the material is from the just-recorded Chairs Missing but because this was their first trip to the States they threw in some Pink Flag material (though not 12XU! They're STILL Wire). An example of what a great band they were is the live version of 106 Beats That - it's faster, mathematically almost 10% faster than the studio version! And it's really, really played with a lot of guts. It is also great to hear stuff like "Marooned" and "Men 2nd" without the production of Chairs Missing, just a raw rock band. Closing the set with a raucous yet precise version of "Mercy" - I always loved this song and never knew there was this much Rock Power in there!
So with shaky performances on one disc and shaky production on the 2nd, sure, you may not want to part with 20 bucks for this (though there are several used copies for less) - but if you're an obsessive 70s Wire fan, you cannot go wrong and I guarantee once you adjust to the weird radio sound on the '78 set you will love it very very much!
5.0 out of 5 stars I lived it, now I can play the CBGB show over and over. 28 Nov 2013
By Dave Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
new CD, no hassles and great music.Wire has always put out the best British Punk albums and now we finally get to hear the early music live. Put me in a Blessed State!
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