Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Can't find the floor of the wardrobe...
on 11 October 2013
Like others buying this set I was a teenage fan of TRB. Little did I know as a pimply 13 year old watching the band's 1977 Top of The Pops appearance that I would soon gain an education on political and social issues of the time. Even my Dad, who could exhibit various isms thought Tom was a top chap when he personally replied to my fan letter, enclosing a signed Café Society single and other paraphernalia. Although numerous bands of the time paid lip service to being on the same level as the fans, folk like Tom and Paul Weller made efforts to practice what they preached. This set includes practically everything TRB released and more besides, all compiled with care and attention. The booklet contains plenty of pictures and memorabilia and is well annotated. The audio re-mastering is sprightly and fresh, making it hard to believe this material is over 30 years old. There's an excellent Peel session, featuring a version of "Don't take no for an answer" which trumps the `Rising Free' EP take. There's also 2 vintage BBC concerts for radio: one from March '78 when the original group was at the height of its powers and another 13 months later with the less cohesive 2nd incarnation of the band (still good live though). The "Power In The Darkness" LP is of course the central document of this set and it still stands out as one of the best LPs of its era: well crafted songs, performances and production. The political message is sadly just as relevant now as it was then - the title track could've been written yesterday. And with the "2-4-6-8" b-side - Tom's slight re-write of "I Shall Be Released" - we have one of the best Dylan covers ever.
The added DVD makes this a must-have purchase. Peeling back the years with a fascinating Granada TV documentary which is as much a great piece of social history as it is a TRB one. Lovely to see individual interviews with the band and made even better that the documentary includes some fabulous live performances - Danny Kustow's stage antics during "2-4-6-8 Motorway" are priceless. During his guitar solo he struts, gyrates and gurneys hilariously, both mocking and celebrating the role of `Guitar God'. That duality was at the heart of his playing and now older I appreciate the debt his bluesy, soulful playing owed to Paul Kossoff (Danny's Les Paul was once owed by Kossoff). If Danny's recent appearance in a video-link interview on Tom's website is anything to go by, he's become another sad casualty.
This set is a great trip down memory lane for old gits like myself but there is much to enjoy and marvel at for those of a younger age coming to this music for the first time.