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Great studio band
on 11 August 2011
The 1970s was, among other things, the great decade for the double live rock album. Unfortunately, 10cc's contribution to the format did nothing to enhance it. I remember the dismay I felt when it was first released, hearing the opening bars of 'The Second Sitting For The Last Supper', one of their best songs, and their fastest. There is nothing wrong with the playing on this album and their performance of the sometimes intricate vocal arrangements are impressive, but the rhythm section lacks the oomph a live recording needs. Graham Gouldman is a wonderful songwriter, but his bass playing sounds timid.
They were touring the 'Deceptive Bends' album at the time, having added three members since its recording. This line up would play on the next two albums, with the exception of keyboard player Tony O' Malley, who would be replaced by Cockney Rebel's Duncan Mackay. The whole of 'Deceptive Bends' is represented here, apart from one short track, together with the best of Stewart and Gouldman's songs from the original and best line up.
The biggest draw is the presence of an older song, 'Waterfall', a rare example of a song which was far better than its b-side status. The worst moment is O'Malley murdering 'Art For Art's Sake'. Why didn't Eric Stewart sing it? The one area of self-indulgence is an overlong version of 'Ships Don't Disappear'. Some of the instrumental passages are good, but the intro is dull. 'Live And Let Live' sounds better now than I first remember it, but it's only suitable for the diehard fan.