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Live At The Roxy : London (1977) - Live At Cbgb : New York (1978)
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Descriptions du produit
Originally released in 2006, this 2 CD set of 2 live 1970's performances at the 2 iconic venues. The first, 'Live At The Roxy' was recorded over two consecutive nights at London's Roxy Club in April 1977. The CBGB set was captured at the New York club's auxiliary theatre in 1978 for a radio broadcast. The '77 shows presented on disc one feature the "classic" four piece line up making their debut in front of the world (or at least the half dozen or so who turned up to see the opening act of a "Punk Festival" in a club that held a hundred people max). The '78 recording on the other hand depicts a band hardened from extensive touring to promote their first album 'Pink Flag' and fresh from the studio, having just finished their second, 'Chairs Missing'. Recorded for the now defunct WPIX, the songs on disc two documents one of the handful of gigs they played on their first and only trip to the USA in the 1970s. These essential preludes to the seminal studio recordings of 'Pink Flag' and 'Chairs Missing' provide an illuminating context to any fan of those records, and at the same time show just how tight and angular the band were as a live proposition.
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On the first disc are two sets recorded at The Roxy in London, recorded some time before the release of their debut album, Pink Flag. They feature identical setlists and were performed to an almost empty room, so there is little audience interaction. The liner notes reveal that these recordings do have some historical value, however, as they were instrumental in getting the band signed to EMI.
On the second disc there is a short set they performed at the legendary CBGB Theatre in New York, featuring material from their first two albums. This performance was recorded by a radio station, but very badly! The sound quality is just awful, making me seriously regret my purchase.
Now the 2nd disc I think will get a lot of play around here. In deference to the reviewer on here, yes, it is pretty roughly recorded - it's slightly distorted and the mix isn't that fantastic. But as a document on Wire's first trip to the U.S. - post Pink Flag, perhaps at their peak, this is a great listen. Most of the material is from the just-recorded Chairs Missing but because this was their first trip to the States they threw in some Pink Flag material (though not 12XU! They're STILL Wire). An example of what a great band they were is the live version of 106 Beats That - it's faster, mathematically almost 10% faster than the studio version! And it's really, really played with a lot of guts. It is also great to hear stuff like "Marooned" and "Men 2nd" without the production of Chairs Missing, just a raw rock band. Closing the set with a raucous yet precise version of "Mercy" - I always loved this song and never knew there was this much Rock Power in there!
So with shaky performances on one disc and shaky production on the 2nd, sure, you may not want to part with 20 bucks for this (though there are several used copies for less) - but if you're an obsessive 70s Wire fan, you cannot go wrong and I guarantee once you adjust to the weird radio sound on the '78 set you will love it very very much!