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Living The Blues
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A double vinyl album released in late 1968, it's now on a 2-disc CD. Unlike the original vinyl, this allows you to listen to both sides of the live 40 minute Refried Boogie Parts 1 & 2 without have to leave your chair, unless it's to run screaming out of the room. Only joking; it's actually better than I was expecting, but I'll get onto their endless boogie later.

The first seven tracks (side one) are a mix of blues covers, rewritten blues standards, and originals and in general it's pretty good. It opens with a good version of Pony Blues sung by Hite which is followed by My Mistake an original and haunting song written and sung by Wilson to terrific effect. Also included is their massive hit Going Up The Country. It's all very solid enjoyable stuff.

Parthenogenesis, the final track (side 2 of the vinyl), is 20 minutes long and one of the most astonishing pieces of music to come out of the 60's rock and blues bands. Consisting of nine segments, it's mostly instrumental and begins with a couple of pieces with Wilson on jaw's harp (the polite name for the jew's harp) which are dark moody sonic pieces concluding with and unbelievable version of Rollin' and Tumblin'. Wilson's up front again with a jaunty piece where he overdubs his harp playing four times and accompanies himself on guitar. Then there's Hite singing accompanied by John Mayall on piano. Swiftly passing over the drum solo, Henry Vestine overdubs his lead guitar five times for a slow feedback-laden piece which segues into a melancholy instrumental with Wilson's expressive chromatic harp accompanied by a sitar. The penultimate track is the full band playing behind Vestine's Albert Collins-styled lead guitar and it all ends where it began with Alan Wilson's atmospheric jaw's harp. The whole thing is just amazing as it shows how much subtlety and variety the band could play with and how they could go places you'd never expect. Much to my surprise, it isn't the pretentious load of crap it's been accused of but is in fact highly accomplished and I just love it.

Less than two years later Alan Wilson, who gave so much light and shade to the band, was dead and Canned Heat just wasn't Canned Heat any more. All that was left was endless endless boogie.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The tracks on this magnificent cd are
1. Pony Blues
2. My Mistake
3. Sandy's Blues
4. Going Up the Country
5. Walking by Myself
6. Boogie Music
7. One Kind Favor
8. Parthenogenesis: Nebulosity/Rollin' and Tumblin'/Five Owls/Bear Wires/Snooky Flowers/Sunflower Power/Raga Kafi/Icebag/Childhood's
9. Refried Boogie (Part 1)
So on a single cd from See For Miles you have all but Refried Boogie (Part 2) of one of the ten greatest live concerts ever to be recorded....in my view this is right up there with Live/Dead at the top of the "desert island" pile.
This is a concert like nothing else done by them, or by anyone else. If you are turned off by their later weak efforts, you will be amazed at how good this CD is. It has a timeless appeal like Robert Johnson's records that sounds good across the decades of time since it was recorded. There is some really hot guitar work along with some truly bluesy harmonica "duets" and lush, full, soulful horns. I bought the record in 1968 and played it until it wore out. It was out of print for years. This CD is the real deal. If you like blues music, you will love this CD.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I had the original vinyl of this but like so many it went many years ago, so I was delighted to see this new copy with the second live album from the original vinyl present in its entirety!

For me this album, their third caught the Heat at their peak as each of their first three albums improved with a decline setting in after number three. This album shows the band playing traditional style blues yet also experimenting within the format. Along with the song that for me will be forever associated with Woodstock, namely Going Up The Country, there is another excellent Wilson song in the form of My Mistake. Bob Hite is in good voice on Pony Blues Boogie Music, and of course there is the segmented marathon of Parthenogenesis with a couple of guest appearances. The second CD is the monster Refried Boogie which for me has always been amazing where each band member has their section to stretch out over 41 mins, with the shining star always being the Sunflower in my opinion who has a phenomenal solo - just as good as I remember it after all these years, (especially if the volume is cranked up to 95db or more!!!). One slight disappointment is that this live performance is still divided in to 2 tracks as it was on the original vinyl rather than uninterrupted.

If you like this, then I am sure you will enjoy Canned Heat / Boogie With Canned Heat, their first two albums on a single CD. The saddest thing is how many of the this band are no longer with us.

Packaging is a double CD in a slimline box with cardboard slipcase (!!!), and it contains 12 page booklet with some interesting information. I'm so pleased that I decided to repurchase this album so do yourself a favour and invest in one yourself.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is in my opinion the best Canned Heat Album ever made. Yes "Boogie with Canned Heat" is great too, but this was their peak performance!!!
I can't understand all those people who moan about the length of the "Refried Boogie"! Like the tracks on disc one "One Kind Favour" and "Parthenogenesis" you hear some of the greatest Solo Guitar playing that ever existed! Henry Vestine is in my opinion the second greatest Guitarist (After Jimi Hendrix) who ever lived!!!
He was the only Guitarist that I know of who incorporated constant but controlled amplifier feedback into his play! Just listen to the "Refried Boogie": First you hear an amazing growling feedback for one second, then there is the tuning of some strings and then Alan Wilson's guitar agressivly slices down the Staccato Rhythm of the Boogie! After the amazing Bass Solo of Larry Taylor all hell breakes loose when Henry Vestine unleashes one of the most powerful guitar performances of all times!!! What a huge sound played only on an small valve amplifier with both the amp and guitar volume set to maximum!!!

Yes the "Fried Hokey Boogie" is great too, but you can't loose the feeling that the time restriction on that Album prevented the players to go to their maximum performance abilities... Just compare the two Drum Solos of Fito de la Para!!! On Fried Hokey it sounds
un-coordinated whilst on Refried you have a proper intelligently worked out Drum Solo!
You have to look at this album with the view that it was recorded in 1968, a time where most bands smoked a lot of dope and used L.S.D., so inevitably there was a lot of experimenting with sounds.
I wish I had a time Machine and journey back to '68 and see the "Refried Boogie" performed live!!!
Well all that's left, as "The Bear" woud say, is:
And don't forgett to Boogie...Boogie..Boogie...
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on 29 October 2014
I think the best way to describe Canned Heat, is to imagine if a group of nerds & Geeks formed a band, this then might be what you would create, as apposed to somebody like The Rolling Stones, which you image would be full of all the cool kids, plus there isn’t that aggressive snarl that you associate with the Stones on the late sixties.
That almost obsessive attention detail does mean the band created an exceptional record, taking the blues as their base camp, but evolving the music into something fresh & contemporary with outstanding musicianship.
Theme wise, the song’s subject matter veers from heartache to boogieing (the band should have really copyrighted that word!).
Talking about musical innovation, we then arrive at Parthenogenesis which a lot of reviewers seem to find self indulgent & pointless, but if you’re trying to push musical boundaries it always going to be challenging. So what the track consists of is nine short sections of music, rock, blues, honky-tonk, drum & guitar solos, but the highlight is Raga Kafi, as the title suggest an Indian influenced piece but with an outstanding harmonica solo by Al Wilson.
On disc 2 a live jamming session, like when Hendrix or Zeppelin go off on one in the middle of a concern. Although classed as two songs, it the same piece divided into two (perhaps it was originally released on vinyl) & basically gives each member of the band the spot light to show off a bit. Great to listen to, but a shame it’s not the entire concert.
So if you’re a fan of blue/rock such as Fleetwood Mac or Cream, this is defiantly a worthy addition to that exclusive club.
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on 1 October 2014
Ho Hum.
I love this but I always edit it and I like the fact that they gave me the full fat edition so I could have the choice.
Really it's rambling, unfocused and self indulgent.

It's a bit like those experiments where they dose spiders with assorted drugs and see what webs they build.
This is what happens when you give unlimited chemicals to a blues band,

It's part of history but you wouldn't want all of it all the time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 1999
The live LP was released separately in Australia and here it is on CD at last. I was beginning to think it had been lost. Highly recommended. The first time I have ever heard a one-track LP.
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on 2 May 2012
THIS 2 ALBUM SET HAS HAD ITS FAIR SHARE OF PRAISE AND CRITISIM
BUT ALL IN ALL IT STILL HOLDS UP WELL. PARTHENOGENISIS IS CERTAINLY THE MOST AMBITIOUS TRACK, WITH ITS VARIOUS CONTRASTING SECTIONS, AND THAT BRILLIANT USE OF A JEWS HARP . REFRIED BOOGIE THOUGH LONG IS STILL ENJOYABLE. I ORIGINALLY HEARD THIS
ON VINYL AT A FRIENDS HOUSE, WAY BACK IN 1969, SO IT WAS GOOD TO CATCH UP WITH IT AGAIN.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2008
"A Musician" has to understand that music is product of its times. I bought this in 1969 and I still (occasionally) listen to it now. Yes, CD2 is long but that's what the best bands did then. It was experimental, stretching and although I can appreciate it isn't 2008's cup of tea, it was one of a number of landmark albums out of that era. I thought Henry Vestine's solo was great. Obviously, comparisons with a, say, Mars Volta today are unreasonable. Cut some slack, A Musician!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2006
I agree with most of the previous review, but the album is full of gems. Yes, most of the guitar and bass and drum solos on 'Boogie' are disposable, but the first half of the track is boogie heaven, with Al's slide playing. And don't forget the brilliant blues piano song and some other cool bits in Parthenogenesis. And the whole of side 1 is ace!
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