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Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 November 2013
(Review by Susy's husband)
It arrived on Friday, so I listened to the CD in the car on the way home from work. A.Smith is quite right about the quality of the sound, although it is not a case of Colin's microphone not working, it is the audio that is poorly mixed, and whilst it does seem to get a bit better around track 6 it is still the worst bit of mixing I've ever heard, sufficiently bad to put someone off Climax Blues Band if they had never heard them before.
But it was the video that I bought it for, and when I watched the DVD at the weekend I was pleasantly surprised, the sound quality is much better. Still not what I would call perfect, but good enough!
And it was everything that I had wanted - THIS was the CBB that I remembered. I had lost "live" contact with CBB in 1972 when I went off to work in hotels - you get no social life in that trade, when everyone is out having a good time that is when you are always working - I bought each and every new record as it was released, but never got to see them live again. Now, here they were in 1976 exactly as I remembered them, even down to the same guy handing Pete his guitars who had shown me the ropes when I did a little bit of time as a roadie for them. This brought back so many wonderful memories of my youth, so from that point of view it rates 5 stars, but I have only given it 4 due to the poor audio quality on the CD.
If, like me, you are an ardent Climax Blues Band fan then it is a must buy, even more so since the sad passing of Peter Haycock on Oct. 30th this year, but if you have never really heard/seen CBB then this is not the DVD/CD to be buying as it will not truely show you just what brilliant musicians they were. If it is a DVD you want then get Climax Blues Band - Live From London [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] - although this is a little later in their career (1984) and both Derek Holt and John Cuffley had left by then, or for a "Live" CD get the newly remastered Cd of FM Live recorded in 1973. Both are available through Amazon, and will give you a much better feel as to what CBB could really do.
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on 13 November 2013
A very nice CD / DVD Package which at times shows the band in full flight. The only major problem is that sadly Colin Cooper's contribution is lost in the mix, literally. As a showcase for Peter Haycock it is well worth watching, but the tracks on which Colin takes lead vocals - Running Out Of Time, Seventh Son and Going To New York, he just can't be heard, and his backing vocal contributions which are essential to the band's harmonies are lost totally, I have a feeling his main microphone was not working at all and his harmonica mic was being relied on. For me, it does ruin what would have been an excellent set...a little rusty here and there and some rough spots, plus a sitting down TV studio german audience, but the band really get into gear for Using The Power, All The Time In The World, Seventh Son. John Cuffley's playing is fantastic, Derek Holt bouncing with energy, nice touches from Richard Jones but generally too low in the mix, Peter Haycock showcasing his brilliant guitar playing with his array of exotic shiny guitars. I like the 'asides' between tracks which are just all part of the 'warts and all' recording... and what was John Cuffley thinking wearing that shirt, clashing against the stripes on the giant stamp backdrop...! :-) Prior to this I only had half of this set on a very poor quality dvd so it is nice to see it as close to 'full glory' as it can get. Stamp Album is an excellent album and the songs from it here sound great, I like the re-arranged Running Out Of Time, the studio version is a Climax classic, but when played live a new dimension was added.... All in all, it is enjoyable but....with Colin it would have been a classic... and it pains me to only give it three stars, and that is not fault of this release, it was just the way it was.... maybe not the greatest tribute to the sadly departed Colin and Peter, but definitely worthwhile.
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