on 4 April 2014
With all the GD live albums available these days, it makes me wonder why there weren't more released in the 70s when they were flying. I personally think that many of their live albums available now have surpassed or at least equal to Live/Dead, Skull & Roses, and Europe 72.
This one is a good one and in my opinion one of their live albums up with those previously mentioned albums. 1977 was an excellent year for live shows for the band.
Disc 1: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Jack Straw, They Love Each Other, Mexicali Blues, Peggy-O, Cassidy, Loser, Lazy Lightning =>Supplication, Brown-Eyed Women, Promised Land
Disc 2: Scarlet Begonias=> Fire On The Mountain, Estimated Prophet=>He's Gone, Drums=>
Disc 3: The Other One=>Wharf Rat=>The Other One=>The Wheel=>Around And Around, Johnny B. Goode
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo starts proceeding nicely to set up what turns out to be a great show. A smooth & relaxed version of this track has Jerry playing with a lot of feel.
More sweet Jerry guitar on Jack Straw complements Bob who is in fine voice. Excellent version.
Bob's Mexicali Blues at 3:40 long is the perfect short-track between two 7+ minute tracks. And a damn good rendition at that.
Cassidy is another Bob winner. And again, beautifully played and paying special attention to carefully laid out vocal harmonizing. Donna Jean is working it competently.
Jerry chips away at an emotional solo in Loser.
It's obvious the guys have purposely wanted to start the show with a mellow, easy to digest flow. It may sound safe, however, it's as far as possible from being boring with them all playing in such well-executed form.
Lazy Lightning=>Supplication follows on with an outstanding intricate rhythm provided by Phil, Micky, Bob, and Bill. Weir is a brilliant rhythm (if you could call it that) player. Jerry fires up with a heap of excellent lead.
Scarlet Begonias=>Fire On The Mountain falls into an infectious groove that is irresistible. It however does have Donna threatening to wreck this version with her moaning and over-reaching till her vocals break - it is off-putting when the rest of the band are delivering seamlessly. Still a great version of this coupling though.
Estimated Prophet coming off their latest album at the time "Terrapin Station" was very fresh and this inspired version lives up to its potential - really cool track.
Drums=>The Other One=>Wharf Rat=>The Other One=>The Wheel=>Around And Around is a brilliant sandwich containing an extremely strong Wharf Rat & The Wheel. Bob keeps trying to lead into Wharf Rat during The Other One until eventually the rest of the band take the bait. The Wheel is a excellent. Jerry's vocals and guitar brilliant throughout. The last part of the sandwich, Around and Around, surprised me as I don't normally care for it - this version rocks!
Overall, it is very noticeable that the vocals are at the right level (almost) throughout, and in fine shape.
If this is ever re-released, or if you can score a reasonably priced copy, go for it! I highly recommend it.