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Greenslade - Live 2001 - The Full Edition CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 15 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Joie De Vivre

Greenslade never was one of the really big and essential Prog bands. Nevertheless, I think that a comprehensive Symphonic progressive Rock collection should have at least one of their albums. I have all of their albums (studio as well as live) and for me they are all good ones, but the present live album from 2001 is the only one that I've rated above three stars. I must confess that I initially gave this album too only three stars, but after having re-listened to the band's back catalogue, and also given this live many more spins, I have now decided to upgrade my rating to four stars. This means that, in my considered judgement, Live 2001 - The Full Edition is the best Greenslade release.

However, having that said, I must add that the original studio albums from the 70's had certain charms that have not all been successfully carried over to this much more recent live presentation. Fans of vintage keyboards in particular may perhaps be put off by the more modern keyboard sounds that can be heard here. I fully respect those who would prefer the original albums over this one for that reason. Yet, for me, the original studio albums also had certain flaws that to a large extent have been remedied here. The vocals is one such aspect. It is often pointed out that the vocals were a weak aspect of Greenslade's earlier albums. Here the lead vocalist is John Young who also plays second fiddle to Dave (that is, second keyboards). Young is a much more "conventional" vocalist and some may think that his voice is commonplace and not distinctive. While there might be some truth to this, I think that he really lifts these songs, even though I would agree (again) that the originals had a certain charm as well. The rest of the band here consists of John Trotter on drums and Tony Reeves on bass, both also doing a very good job.

Another consideration that speaks in favour of this live album is the song selection. While the presence of so many songs from the comeback album Large Afternoon may put some fans of classic Greenslade off, nobody can deny that it is great to have some of the band's best songs on one and the same album. These include Catalan (from Time And Tide), Spirit Of The Dance and Joie De Vivre (from Spyglass Guest), and Sundance (from the self-titled debut). Catalan in particular is here improved over the studio version. Young sings songs like Feathered Friends and the title track from Bedside Manners Are Extra very well even if they were never big favourites of mine. Though there are some songs that I would rather have heard, like Pilgrims's Progress for example, the set list is well chosen.

The album that they were touring in support of when this live recording was made is Large Afternoon. Released in the year 2000, this was the first new Greenslade album in 25 years (and still the latest one to date). From this album comes five of the 12 songs in the set list. Cakewalk, Large Afternoon, and On Suite are in the style of, and in my opinion up to par with, the better of classic Greenslade material. No Room - But A View and In The Night, however, are more towards soft Rock and the lyrics are rather lame and prosaic. The song Wherever I Go is in a similar, ballad style, but I don't know where this song is taken from. Taken on their own these songs are nothing to get excited about, but within the context of the others they bring diversity to the proceedings and they don't manage to bring this album down too much.

This live album is not perfect, and it may not be all the Greenslade you will need, but it is a very good live album that deserves to be heard by fans of keyboard-dominated progressive Rock everywhere (even by those who were not too impressed by the group's 70's albums).

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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