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19 Reviews
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and Stunning Live Album
It amazes me that more people haven't discovered the absolute brilliance of this album.
Firstly, Portishead take the best tracks from their first two landmark recordings and improve upon all of them. In every area you hear virtuoso performances. The vocals go to places you've never heard before, the orchestration is perfection and every single instrument is both...
Published on 31 Mar 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I recommend the DVD instead
The DVD has better tracks (more tracks from the New York concert, notably Roads) and the audio on the DVD is mastered with more dynamic range, too.

The DVD gets 5 stars. Fantastic concert. Actually I only get on with half the tracks from the studio albums "Dummy" and "Portishead" ... and in the concert they performed all of the songs I like!
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and Stunning Live Album, 31 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
It amazes me that more people haven't discovered the absolute brilliance of this album.
Firstly, Portishead take the best tracks from their first two landmark recordings and improve upon all of them. In every area you hear virtuoso performances. The vocals go to places you've never heard before, the orchestration is perfection and every single instrument is both played with both technical perfection and masses of passion.
Secondly it is one of the finest productions you will ever hear. Every single sound from that day in NYC is captured with breathtaking fidelity and and delivered in a perfect mix. I've worked in some of the best studios around and know what I'm listening to. Records doesn't sound any better than this.
If you like Portishead then buy this album. If you haven't heard them before then buy this album. Roseland NYC Live was my introduction to the band and it took my breath away. The studio recordings, as groundbreaking and influential as they were, can not compete with the depth and emotion of this live album. A pinnacle of music in the nineties.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, 28 Jan 2007
By 
N. Rudas (Earth, Milky Way) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
Its been a long time since the last time I heard something new and loved it. In this case however it wasnt really new, the concert was 9 nine years ago. But it is something new for me, and I'm sure was/will be for many others as well.

I'm coming from a rock/metal background, but also listen to blues and jazz and bands like Pink Floyd and, more the more recent Radiohead and Muse. THANKFULY I did not see the label 'trip-hop' next to Portishead's name when I first listened to this album. Had I seen such a label I probably wouldn't even bother to listen to it. So, don't let the label trick you. It's never a good thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 May 2008
By 
coca-ebola (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
Other reviewers have said it all - I just want to clarify a couple of things
1) A couple of tracks here are not the same performances as on the companion video. One of them, Roads, was recorded at a festival (and certainly sounds like it!). The other - well, read on...
2) None of the tracks on this album deserve to be damned with the faint praise of "faithful reproduction of the originals". For one thing, they're all loud and vivid-sounding, with a fine balance of ambience and clarity (and this makes a particular difference to the second-album material - Cowboys is a speaker-blaster!). Elsewhere, Mysterons and Strangers have extended codas; Half Day Closing (with all its vocal processing intact) ends with a strange `Liberty Bell'-like sample (!); most importantly, Sour Times is not the standard arrangement but rather the slowed-down `rock' version that's been such a highlight of so many gigs.
The only reason I've given it four stars is that it should have been a double disc with alternate versions of the four video-only songs (and how about an uncut version of Western Eyes - the live version was really heavy (!), far superior to the studio take).
But don't overlook it because of that - after all, you're unlikely to find a bootleg that sounds this good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums ever!, 7 May 2011
By 
Juan Corsini (Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA) - See all my reviews
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I own the Roseland CD - In my opinion, this is one of the best live recordings ever made - but the difference between the vinyl and the CD, is substantial! If you own a relatively good turntable, this vinyl will blow your wig off. The textures are amazing and the deepness in the bass and sound is flawless. If you are thinking about it, don't. This album is a must have!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live it up, 18 Jan 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
Most live albums pretty much lose the feel of the original studio albums -- sometimes they sound tinny and distant. No such sound here. "Live: Roseland NYC" has not only an orchestra, but the jazzy trip-hop of Portishead's two albums, and the beautiful voice of Beth Gibbons. No wonder it was so good.

Portishead hit the big time with their sophomore album "Dummy," an exquisite blend of smoky jazz and subtle trip-hop. Which, admittedly, sounds like the wrong kind of music to play live, but it works wonderfully here. Portishead includes an almost equal mix of songs from their two albums -- six from "Portishead," five from "Dummy."

And surprisingly, the songs sound like simple redos of the mysterious, melancholy songs from Portishead's too-short career, not stage banter and stripped-down versions of lush songs. It's more than a little unusual to have a band's third album be a live one, but in this case it seems perfectly acceptable.

Backed by an entire orchestra, horns and some wicked turntables, the band plays remarkable versions of their songs. "All Mine" is even more beautiful and haunting than in the album, and "Sour Times" is even more breathtaking than it was originally. Most of the others are faithful renditions, given a powerful new twist with the strings and horns -- only a couple feel less cohesive in a live setting.

Frontwoman Beth Gibbons is known as having a lovely pop voice, and she is in excellent form here. A lot of singers are exposed in live performances as having less-than-stellar vocals, but Gibbons' performance demonstrates what a beautiful voice she has.

"Live: Roseland NYC" is a demonstration of what a good live album should be, showcasing one of trip-hop's best bands. Definitely worth checking out, both as as an accompaniment to Portishead's studio albums, and as a good listen itself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical., 20 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
One of the best live recordings I have ever heard, a perfect recording. The music is enchanting and Beth's vocals stir the listeners emotions like few others can.
If you don't own this album, you should buy it right now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 19 April 2014
By 
Jane Oliver - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
Re-discovered Portishead through this album after hearing one of the tracks on a BBC Radio 6 programme - some cracking tracks!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Dummy Returns, 19 Nov 2013
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One of the great acts in their time, unfortunately it didn't last for a long time; if you're a trip hop/underground fan, it is a nice combination.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I recommend the DVD instead, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
The DVD has better tracks (more tracks from the New York concert, notably Roads) and the audio on the DVD is mastered with more dynamic range, too.

The DVD gets 5 stars. Fantastic concert. Actually I only get on with half the tracks from the studio albums "Dummy" and "Portishead" ... and in the concert they performed all of the songs I like!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesomely unique Portishead, 31 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Roseland NYC Live (Audio CD)
Sometimes you have to make quite a few sonic compromises when you search for the ambience of a live performance, but this sounds spacious, tight and atmospheric.
If you like Portishead anyway, in many ways this is even more listenable than their studio recordings. You know you want one.
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