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The Waterboys - Karma To Burn
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£11.04+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2006
This cd really captures some of the excitement and passion of a live Waterboys gig. There is a good mix of old and new songs, and some songs which had me scratching my head a bit when I heard them on the studio albums really come alive in concert (eg Peace of Iona). The weakest points of the album are the two cover versions, but perhaps that only emphasises the strength of Mike Scott's songwriting. A great cd that embraces the best of Folk and Rock in a way that only the Waterboys can!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2008
I was slightly disappointed with this album. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad and certainly has it's moments but, being a big fan of The Waterboys music, I expected better. The albbum features a mixture of acoustic and full band tracks recorded live in Britian and Ireland during 2003-4.
The highlight for me is the fantastic version of Long Way To The Light; Steve Wickham's magnificent fiddle playing makes it very different to the original studio version. Glastonbury Song, Open and The Return Of Jimi Hendrix are all well worth a listen too.
The biggest fault, in my opinion, is the pedestrian playing of the rhythm section, Carlos Hercules and Steve Walters, on the tracks which feature a full band. It's not that they're bad musicians, but compare it to the intuitive understanding between the band that is evident on "The Live Adventures Of The Waterboys" and you'll see what I mean. The energy of that album is sadly lacking here. This is particularly true on Fisherman's Blues and The Whole Of The Moon which have presumably only been included here to attract the casual buyer, as neither song has anything new or different about it to attract the existing fan, who probably has better live recordings of these tracks already.
Overall, not a bad album, but if you want to hear one of the greatest live bands on peak form, try and get hold of "The Secret Life Of..." instead- that features a disc of their legendary Glastonbury 1986 set and is a true ***** album.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2006
Live albums were a standard climactic release for rock bands in the 70s and early 80s but a rare commodity now. In the old days, you were not really a major band till you had released a live LP – preferably a double album with extra points still if recorded in Japan.
Like most music fans today I have very mixed views on live albums. Sure there are some classics (Neil Young’s Live Rust is my favourite and Thin Lizzy’s Live & Dangerous an acknowledged career high point) though they often don’t really capture the atmosphere of the live experience. The extended guitar solo which was so exciting at the gig is often tedious in the confines of the living room. The usually more satisfying live video or DVD have now largely taken over as “product” for recording the live experience anyway…
Cue to The Waterboys Karma Burn which I suspect sadly is audio rather than audio-visual for purely economic reasons. The Waterboys are one of my favourite bands though KB does fall into some of the usual traps for live albums. This is not helped by the tracklisting – the first two tracks are each about seven minutes long – nor the unwise decision to put their lengths on the back of the LP. Casual listeners may be disheartened to see that they still have almost 10 minutes to go till the end of the song after the man body of the epic Pan Within. If however, they persevere and listen whilst in the right mood, they will be rewarded by some excellent music.
Karma Burn was recorded at various venues in Britain and Ireland from 2003-2004. It features the now established line-up of mainman Mike Scott on vocals and guitar, the virtuoso Steve Wickham on fiddle and Richard Naiff on keyboards supported by the muscular rhythm section of Steve Walters (bass) and Carlos Hercules (drums). The songs chosen from the album draw on Scott’s long career with a sensible mix of the hits (Fisherman’s Blues, Glastonbury Song and his most famous song, Whole Of The Moon) and more obscure choices (Open, My Dark Side and unfortunately, one of his worst songs, The Return Of Jimi Hendrix). The lengthy Pan Within is a highlight when in the mood for Mike’s extended electric guitar solo and though most of the rest of KB is excellent, there’s little else here that is truly exciting. I would have probably preferred a few more acoustic versions like the ones The Waterboys played when I saw them in 2003 and more tracks from Universal Hall – only Peace Of Iona is featured from the album the group were promoting on their 2003-4 tour.
Having said this, Karma Burn is a very worthwhile purchase for a Waterboys fan though a studio compilation is probably a better introduction for the uninitiated. The live album is a rare breed these days and, although KB has its flaws, it’s better than many thoroughbreds and a worthy addition to Mike Scott’s compelling body of work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2005
This is a CD bursting with sublime contrasts, from the electricity of tracks such as Medicine Bow (driven at a breathtaking pace by amazing drum technique) to the sublime acoustic calmness of Peace of Iona. The CD spans various styles from mellow Van Morrisson to, incredibly, Jimi Hendrix! You will hear why new bands site Mike Scott as such an influence today. The quality of sound is excellent. And Steve Wickhams fiddle playing is amazing - is he the best electric fiddle-player in the world? Enjoy!
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'Peace of Iona' and 'Long Way to The Light' are enough reason to buy this album with beautiful live versions. In fact there are 13 really good reasons to buy this album.
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on 20 June 2014
Disappointing ... The rhythm section really lets Mike Scott down here as another reviewer commented ...

I hope they will perform at Cropredy this year ...
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on 10 April 2014
Saw the Waterboys in December and wanted to replace this CD, as we had lost the previous one, great CD, love this band, and this CD gets alot of play in our home.
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on 7 February 2013
Well worth the money and a good account of the live Waterboys experience. I would heartily recommend to fans and non-fans alike.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2005
For anyone who has attended a Waterboys concert in the last couple of years this recording transports you back there. I would have liked more newer tracks but the live versions of Glastonbury Song and Fisherman's Blues are spine tingling.
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on 20 February 2015
If you want to see a great live band this is it. Brilliant album
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