I thoroughly enjoyed this disc! I think what makes these time warps so enjoyable for music fans isn't just the fashions and early video special effects, but the energy it pumps back into many of these songs that have long since become cliche and, let's face it, boring through their saturated presence on "classic rock" radio stations and use in commericials. For instance, I remember when I first heard "Born to be Wild" or "Sunshine of Your Love" (which aren't featured here, by the way) and thinking they were the heaviest things I'd ever heard. Don't get me wrong, they're still great songs, but aren't we a little sick of them? And doesn't being sick of them contribute to these songs losing their edge with the passing of time? I place Badfinger's "Come & Get It" in this same category of unfortunately overused & abused songs. Certainly BTO's "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" deserves this classification as well.
But in watching the live performances on this disc, I was reminded again of how fresh, young & energetic this music first was when it originally arrived on the scene. Badfinger, especially, demonstrates pure joy in showing off their crafty arrangement & it's quite a treat to see them pull off the harmonies and everything so precisely. When one considers the tragedy that followed this band, it's somewhat heart wrenching to see how much they so clearly enjoyed themselves and their music.
Another highlight is Alice Cooper, who appears not only to be changing his shirt at the beginning of "Eighteen," but also downing a bottle of booze before taking a seat at the front of the stage. It also seems to take him a little while to remember the lyrics, but his nonsensical ad-libs are practically a celebration of his inebriated condition. No wonder my mother was so scared of this guy! (Marilyn Manson owes Coop a gigantic artistic debt) Alice does finally decide to actually stand up, albeit wobbly, around the sencond verse or so. It's great! The presence of some lesser-knowns (at least to younger audiences anyway) like Dr. Hook, Bonnie Tyler & America provide a good idea of what the entire musicical terrain was like back then (there was a little more range than just Kiss & Led-Zep!). Choosing the Ramones as the closing segment couldn't be any more appropriate in representing the approaching trends of the 80s. Well done!