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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDEAD...and then some!...
When Alvin Lee & Ten Years After were first invited to play in America by legendary rock promoter Bill Graham in 1968, they wanted to release an album to coincide with the tour. Their 2nd studio effort "Stonedhenge" was not yet complete, so it was decided to do a live album. The result was one of the best live recordings of the period, and it arguably...
Published on 9 Aug 2002 by Herb Staehr

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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti-synergism - or a case of less is much more
Check out TYA early career, (i.e. after they stopped being Nottingham-based Viscounts). There was the eponymous first TYA album, which showed the band should not be included in the higher ranks of British blues boom (as were Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown). However, on hearing the original vinyl release of 'Undead' for the frist time approximately 35 years...
Published on 7 Oct 2003 by R. J. Heath


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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDEAD...and then some!..., 9 Aug 2002
By 
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
When Alvin Lee & Ten Years After were first invited to play in America by legendary rock promoter Bill Graham in 1968, they wanted to release an album to coincide with the tour. Their 2nd studio effort "Stonedhenge" was not yet complete, so it was decided to do a live album. The result was one of the best live recordings of the period, and it arguably remains as one of the best "Live Rock & Blues" albums ever! As indicated in my Visual History book on Ten Years After - when Alvin Lee first heard this album he thought "Well that's it, that is probably the best I'll ever play and there are going to be problems recording in the future because this encompasses just about everything the band can do". Fortunately things turned out much better for Ten Years After but, listening to UNDEAD, it quickly becomes evident that Alvin's initial concerns were not unfounded. This album absolutely "SMOKES" from the onset and the musicianship is remarkable throughout.
Ten Years After were quite different from the other "2nd British Invasion" blues bands of the late 60's because they effortlessly fused jazz and blues, and that characteristic is exemplified in this album. "Woodchoppers Ball" and "I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Be Wrong Always" are absolutely stunning and every bit as impressive today as when they were originally recorded. A few critics later got some sort of perverse pleasure from claiming that Alvin Lee's guitar playing was "all haste and no taste", but none of that is remotely evident on UNDEAD. His highly accomplished and precise technique on the aforementioned two songs dances above, around & under any solos recorded by the other so-called "guitar gods" of the time. The four new tracks, comprised of material originally excluded due to vinyl record time limits, have made the remastered CD even better. "Spoonful" and "Crossroads" were, of course, played by almost all of the British blues bands and Alvin obligingly introduces "Spoonful" as a "Clapton - Howlin' Wolf number". But it's a treat to now hear TYA's own version of these tunes with Alvin's own inimitable guitar work.
In the wonderful booklet that accompanies the CD, drummer Ric Lee describes the added "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" as being, "a bit rough around the edges". Although it's not quite the polished version found on future TYA releases, it is very much a "diamond in the rough" - being an early and quite interesting 14 minute version of the song. The closer, "I'm Going Home", is only half the length of the famous Woodstock version that would emerge more than a year later - yet it is every bit as energetic, and perhaps even more so!
Following Woodstock and the increased stardom that resulted, Ten Years After concert venues quickly changed from clubs to sports arenas and their music subsequently emanated from stacks of 100 watt Marshall amplifiers. In most respects, the individual talents and contributions of all four band members (as heard on UNDEAD) were lost forever in that "wall of sound". This is another reason why UNDEAD is so special, you can actually hear what a great keyboard player Chick Churchill is!
I strongly recommended the other TYA re-releases ("Ten Years After", "Stonedhenge", "Live At The Fillmore East 1970" & "Cricklewood Green"). They all have bonus tracks and great new descriptive booklets authored by Ric Lee, with the original artwork plus several additional rare photos. But if you have not yet heard any of them, I suggest you start with UNDEAD ...It truly Rocks !!
Herb Staehr
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 19 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
This is an explosive album. My first real introduction into blues at speed. I first heard this album in 1981. I had no idea who it was, but it sure impressed me. The first track and the second, Woodchopper's Ball, are great examples of a very tight blues band with warm jazz influences.
These live tracks take the listener into the audience of a London pub in the late '60s. An electrifying experience.
There is a 12 bar blues track and for the musical technician (drummers) a 5 minute solo.
4 stars because this could get somewhat monotonous for the non drummers!
The first two tracks are worth the price alone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lived up to expectations, 2 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
I'm a longtime TYA fan, and "Recorded Live" was the first rock album I bought in my teens. I acquired all the other TYA albums bar Undead as I felt that since I had RL, Undead would be a bit extravagant. Its interesting how similar the 2 albums are actually, for example the drum solo - which is called Hobbit on RL, and "I can't keep from crying sometimes/extension on one chord". RL is a more refined, controlled live performance whereas Undead is more raw and spontaneous - one reviewer reckons RL sounds a bit jaded, TYA just going through the motions, and its a fair observation, although there are a couple of tracks (good morning little schoolgirl" and "Slow blues in C" which I miss as I haven't bought RL on CD yet. Overall though I'm pleased with Undead its a good album and Alvin Lee's guitar work still stands up there with the best of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British bluesrock in top, 15 July 2010
By 
Koos "Koos Reitsma" (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
British bluesrock conquered the musicindustry in the middle of the sixites, giving many good bands. One of them was Ten Years After.

Although "Undead" is their second album, it's one of their strongest. This live record is simply a perfect example of how the British Blues Boom scene sounded in those days. The band plays tight, fresh and is in form. The bluesrocksongs sometimes have a jazzy-influences, wich makes your head nod with some of the faster songs. The songs have good tempo, Alvin Lee his playing is realy nice. He plays in control without overdoing himself. We all now "I'm going home" from Woodstock. But I prefer the original Undead version, because the band keeps the song in control.

Undead is live British Blues Boom. We should be thankful for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a Classic forty years after, 29 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
The announcement that Alvin Lee had died came as a real shock to me, and I immediately decided that it was time to relive the memory that I had from my youth - I had Undead on vinyl, and wore it out - now I can't listen to the remastered version without expecting it to jump in the places that it did in my youth.

Well, anyway, as I had this on vinyl and also on cassette and reel to reel, none of which is now playable, I decided that the time was right to revisit this blast from my past - I saw TYA live in 1969 on their tour with Blodwyn Pig and Stone the Crows, and they were great live - much more so that on their studio albums. So Undead to me is a reliving of this era. It's a raw, unrelenting, driving album which is the more exciting as it does manage to convey some of the feel of their live gigs. I cannot agree that the extra tracks detract from this album, as I believe that they add a lot. For those who want the original album, just set your CD player to miss the extras, and you've got it.

Alvin Lee was an exciting guitarist, and his sheer speed did, on occasion, mask his technique - but hey, that's academic, as he was undoubtedly one of the best guitarists of the late 60s/early 70s.

So what have we here? - A reissue of a classic album, and the remastering does show up some of the shortcomings of the original masters - recorded live in a small and probably smoke filled room above a pub, the original recording would have presented problems, and the sleeve notes to the new version allude to these. And the sleeve notes actually add something to the album which is unusual in iteself. Written by drummer Ric Lee, they actually do help to put Undead into a perspective.

In all, this album still does it for me - and it will be on my CD machine a lot as I weep into my beer over the loss of one of the rock/blues eras greats.

Yes, it is different from the later albums, owing more to jazz than any of the others, and therefore it is not truly typical of what many TYA fans are looking for, but for this reviewer, the album is a reliving of the band that I saw live, loud, and sweaty all those years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars solid live recording from 1968 era, 26 Nov 2012
By 
Michael Dobey (colorado springs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
This version has 9 tracks instead of the five on the original and is the one you should get. (2006) version. As many others have stated the band really came alive on this one with their blend of hard rockin blues and even a whiff of jazz influence. THis still wasn't the great psych hard rock protometal band of just a year later but it was excellent music. It was strange that this was their second release ,coming a year after their debut. Their studio second release would come later , to be followed by the explosive 'sssh'. Still this is a fantastic live recording of true powerful musicians who were more than just straight rockers to be sure. In a earlier age these guys would have been a jazz combo. They can let loose a free form like that if they want. I have everything this band put out and many lee solo efforts and I can tell you that this is great and it reflects 1968 in a good way that still sounds interesting and jamming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars undead, 17 May 2011
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This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
The best TYA album, Goin' Home live at Kleeks goes right through you. Excellent sleeve notes compared to my vinyl copy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars old man, 16 April 2013
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This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
Just had my copy of Undead
I haven't a chance to listen to Alvin Lee playing Going Home" since the 70'S.
He was influenced by Elvis Presley with true Rock and Roll
I recommend this cd to budding guitar players
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti-synergism - or a case of less is much more, 7 Oct 2003
By 
R. J. Heath "djaitch" (Loughborough, Leics, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
Check out TYA early career, (i.e. after they stopped being Nottingham-based Viscounts). There was the eponymous first TYA album, which showed the band should not be included in the higher ranks of British blues boom (as were Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown). However, on hearing the original vinyl release of 'Undead' for the frist time approximately 35 years ago, I discovered something different and it has been a important favourite ever since. Musically it was more advanced than the usual blues riffs played then by many an average British band This was Hammond organ lead music, with Alvin Lee more restrained and less technoflash (witness the Woodstock performance). They were digging some jazz, tunes by written by other folk and by TYA, beit with a bluey feel. For instance 'Woodchopper's Ball', which reportedly had TYA jamming with Woodie Herman at the Newport Jazz Festival soon after. Indeed, I would suggest 'Undead' is an early jazz rock album. And then we had the third TYA album 'Stonedhenge', with yet another change of direction.
Lurch forward three decades and we have this remastered CD of 'Undead', the complete Klooks Creek gig. But what a real disappointment. I was hoping they had dug up more of the jazz flavoured material from the archives. But alas I discovered to give the 60's audience (and now us) a 70 minute set, TYA had been forced(?) to dip back into the bag of 2nd rate blues heard on their first studio album. As result we have a major dilution of what was a classic British rock album of the late 60's.
I strongly recommend go searching for the original Deram CD, unremastered and without the additional, (superfluous, detracting, distracting) tracks and ponder what TYA would sounded like if they had pursued that type of rock music?.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit dated ..............., 11 Aug 2004
This review is from: Undead (Audio CD)
There's no denying that Ten Years After produced some wonderful music for the time and if you listen to Rock & Roll Music To The World you'll understand why. Undead though is typical of the time; shallow live album that would have been great over a few beers down the pub as a spotty teenager but is too jazz influenced. Some of the jazzier numbers like 'I may be wrong' and 'Spider In Your Web' are not reflective of their true talent.
If you want an introduction to TYA try a different album.
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