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4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD+DVD, PAL
  • Label: Rock Action Records
  • ASIN: B003TY14YU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,559 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I'm Jim Morrison I'm Dead
  2. Friend Of The Night
  3. Hunted By A Freak
  4. Mogwai Fear Satan
  5. Cody
  6. You Don't Know Jesus
  7. I Know You Are But What Am I?
  8. I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School
  9. 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
  10. Like Herod
  11. Glasgow Megasnake

Disc: 2

  1. The Precipice
  2. I'm Jim Morrison I'm Dead
  3. Hunted By A Freak
  4. Like Herod
  5. New Paths To Helicon Part 1
  6. Mogwai Fear Satan
  7. Scotland's Shame
  8. Batcat

Product Description

Product Description

Special Moves - Mogwai [CD]

BBC Review

It’s mildly surprising to realise that Special Moves is the first live album Mogwai have released in their 14-year lifespan, discounting radio session collection Government Commissions. Certainly, much of the reputation they garnered back in the late 90s, when they were a youthful squad of Glaswegian miscreants, was based on their live performances, and people’s hyperbolic reports thereafter. What they lacked in spectacle and overt charisma (they’re not a band given to a flamboyant stage show, and most of their songs are instrumental) was more than made up for by their tendency to be incredibly loud; there were tales of spectators literally bleeding from their ears. In more recent years, the musical dynamic that many associated with them – the quiet, delicate build-up usurped by a sudden explosion of metallic chaos – has often been set aside, perhaps due to a fear of becoming formulaic. Nevertheless, it’s very much a part of Special Moves, which was recorded over three dates in Brooklyn last year.

Tracks from Mogwai’s more recent releases – for example, this album’s winningly-titled opener I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead – boast a more textured palette and, if you will, maturity than their earlier output. Guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has certainly outstripped the generic post-rock style he helped to inspire, and does justice to some of his more direct influences – My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields and Robert Smith from The Cure, to name two. Extraneous touches, such as the occasional keyboard parts contributed by Barry Burns and the electronica-style glitches threaded through 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, also ensure that Special Moves is a varied 75 minutes.

For all that, though, it’s the two oldest songs on the recording that provide the purest endorphin rush. Mogwai Fear Satan and Like Herod, both from their 1997 debut album Young Team, have the ability to make you jump from your skin, as if they’d sneaked up behind you and burst a balloon. Yet, as Mogwai’s popularity across three separate decades suggests, there’s a lot of mileage in their cheerful sadism. Packaged with the band’s first live album is Burning, their first DVD: eight tracks from the same trio of shows, filmed in artful monochrome.

--Noel Gardner

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 23 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
You have to love them don't you? I'm surprised how few reviews there are for their previous albums, I would have thought that their extensive fan base would have ensured loads of positive feedback - or are they/we(the fans) just too cool for that?
Nevertheless Mogwai have built up a solid back catalogue and a lot of it is displayed herein. The included DVD is a record of the concert - and is a tad arty farty to be honest but this is what they do, moody exciting music that reaches across artistic boundaries. I mean the Zidane thing was just so crazy it really worked, but in many ways this album is a conventional live "best of" given the added twist of having been filmed and presented in this way. No real surprises then, this is one for the fans.
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By Mr. M. A. Reed TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a fabulous package this is : Mogwai's first full live record spans three nights in New York in April 2009. The CD is a full 75 minutes of tasty rock action - every note is clear and precise, every punch of drums and strum shows that Mogwai's strength comes in creating a mood, an atmosphere, a fog of feeling that betrays the influences and also sounds distinctly of itself. If you are a fan of Mogwai's hypnotic and medidative live show - the nearest equivalent for me is a Pink Floyd show where the music becomes a soundtrack to a bout of inner exploration - this is a fair recreation. The dreamlike quality of the 58 minutes of live footage by Vincent Moon (who really needs to buy some new cameras, as I'm bored of a subYouTube black&white now) enhances the mood of the music but is a predictable artistic trick ; with a stunning soundtrack. Between the CD and the DVD, you get 17 songs and two hours of great music - and a download code for the six DVD-only songs for a total of 17 audio tracks ; 11 on CD, 6 to download and 8 or so to watch. It's a useful, careful and tasteful package I will be returning to many times in years to come.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Mogwai's first live album, a recording of a gig in Brooklyn last year. It's a very lavish package, with a live album, the Burning live DVD, and also downloads of additional material.

There's a spread of material here from all their albums. The quality of the recording is very good, you can hear every scrape of guitar string even amidst the inevitable onslaught that comes in many of their songs. If anything, some of the tracks are even more embellished, I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead in particular benefits from additional keyboards. Later, Hunted By A Freak emerges as one of the strongest of the bunch. The roar of appreciation when it's off kilter guitar picking starts up is quite something to behold for an instrumental!

The track Cody contains some slightly thin vocals from Stuart Braithwaite and is a little jarring. The other tracks draw from all Mogwai's repertoire of talent, the slow-builders (Friend of the Night, I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School), the elephant-on-the-loose (Glasgow Megasnake), and the epic mindblower (Like Herod). For this last one especially it's well worth watching the `Burning' DVD (tastefully shot by Vincent Moon). When the sudden guitar assault comes mid-song the camera is on the crowd. You can feel their exhilaration as they simply scream and roar with a combination of fear and elation, which sums up Mogwai's live experience.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you buy this album you will either have saw Mogwai live or you will need to see Mogwai live. Beautiful music yet again with that hint of a live atmosphere makes this album one of their best.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album mainly because of the DVD and I wasn't disappointed. The high contrast scenes are visualy stunning. A great company for Mogwais music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
14 years in tha making and we finally have a Mogwai live album. I can understand any possible reluctance in releasing a live album in the past. Mogwai are unquestionably brilliant live but it is nigh on impossible to capture the aural maelstrom that is Mogwai live and do it justice, impossible to replicate that shockwave that hits you in the chest and takes your breath away the split second after they cut loose on a song like Helicon 1 or Xmas Steps. This is kind of hinted at a couple of times on the DVD, most notably on Helicon 1 where the sound goes a bit muddy and I have visions of the mixing desk going haywire and clipping out all over the place, unable to cope with the magnitude of what it is trying to process.

So is this a big drawback? Not really because this is extremely well recorded, drawing out the intricacies and delicate melodies in Mogwai's music that lie beneath the wall of sound, something that you don't always pick up when you see them play live. What you get then on the CD, if less so on the DVD, is a very intimate recording of a very ferocious live band. So what you lose on one hand, you gain on the other in what is a very valuable and interesting album. The quality of the DVD recording is not as good as the CD but has a stronger tracklist.

Definitely an album to be highly recommnded.
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