Saturday, 28 May 2016

Ten Years After - Hobbit

Recorded Live is the third live album by British blues rock musicians TEN YEARS AFTER, which was released as a double LP in 1973.

This album, containing no overdubs or additives, was recorded over four nights in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Paris with the ROLLING STONES mobile recording truck and later mixed from sixteen tracks to stereo at Olympic Studios in London. The album was rereleased as a CD in 2014, with seven previously unreleased tracks.

Once TEN YEARS AFTERs performance in the Woodstock film cemented their command of the concert stage, it was only a matter of time before Chrysalis would want a full live album from the band. Undead from 1968 doesn't do them justice; five years later with over a half-dozen studio albums under their belt to choose from, 1973's double Recorded Live set is really the definitive document of TYA at their absolute best. For 2013, Chrysalis and Rhino have taken the original set, remastered it and expanded it with seven previously unreleased tracks that cast light on a four-piece powerhouse that took ownership of a concert stage from the first note on.

Taken from the band's January 1973 in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Paris, Recorded Live lifts off elegantly enough with three steady and strong rockers — "One Of These Days" "You Give Me Loving," and "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," each offering bursts here and there of Alvin Lee's amazing speed and dexterity on the guitar, along with some pumping bass from Leo Lyons. Drummer Ric Lee takes flight on "Hobbit," but then keyboardist Chick Churchill assumes a lead role on two of the bonus "Time Is Flying" and "Standing At The Station" that make you wonder why he never gets the credit he deserves. The interplay on the latter with Alvin Lee is almost too astonishingly mind-blowing to describe.

"Help Me Babe," "I Woke Up This Morning" "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Jam," four more bonus tracks, begin the second CD. This "Jam" and the other one that ends the first CD aptly convey the band's collective strength at improvisation and more or less reading each other's minds. "Scat Thing," "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes," "Silly Thing" and "Slow Blues In C" all get to the core of the band's blues roots before 'Extension On One Chord" and 'Slow Blues in C" fire off all cylinders and "I'm Going Home" finishes them off. The version is as hyper-active and astonishing as ever, although the immortal Woodstock version remains singular in its spontaneous brilliance and moment in time. "Choo Choo Mama" boogies the set to its conclusion, and you're strongly advised to take a long break before moving on.

Extraordinary blues/rock guitarist Alvin Lee had already begun pursuing his solo career in earnest by the time he returned for the 28th and final U.S. tour of the original TEN YEARS AFTER. Upon completion of the 1975 tour, TYA would split up and not return until a reunion was staged in 1989. 

Although a cult fave, the band burst onto the world music scene after it appeared in the documentary film, Woodstock, one of whose highlights was the performance of "I'm Goin' Home" by Lee and the band. This show, recorded at Bill Graham's Winterland ballroom, opens with a rockin' (but incomplete) version of the band's radio hit, "Rock & Roll Music To The World." They follow it with one their classics, "Love Like A Man." Muddy Water's "Good Morning Little School Girl," is next, and leads to long and tasty slow blues.

A 20-minute version of "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" is followed by a 12- minute but incomplete "I'm Going Home." After a souped-up version of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen," Lee and the band close with two of their own hits: "Choo Choo Mama" and "Baby, Won't You Let Me Rock 'n' Roll You."

One of the biggest blues/rock acts on the planet between 1969 and 1974, TEN YEARS AFTER could attribute their far reaching success to two things: Promoter Bill Graham and their appearance in the landmark music documentary Woodstock. Graham was among the earliest U.S. promoters to book the band, and he made them a staple act at both the Fillmore East and West, and of course, Winterland.

By the time this show was recorded. TYA had become primarily a vehicle for Alvin Lee's blistering guitar work, its songs comprised of equal parts rock, blues, and jazz. In 1972, the band would leave Decca Records (the label that signed them in 1967), and move to Columbia's corporate home. Columbia would take the band in a more radio friendly/pop driven direction (hence, the hit single "I'd Love To Change The World"). Frustrated with the popular music trend, Alvin Lee left the band, which disbanded soon after the second Columbia release in 1975.

The original lineup made one reunion LP and did one more tour in 1988/89 before disbanding again. In 2003, Ric Lee assembled the group again, although Alvin would not participate. He was replaced by guitarist Joe Gooch, and the band is still recording and touring today.

Today's tune "Hobbit" live in ( Frankfurt 1973) - The Ric Lee's Drum Solo.

Recorded Live: 8/4/1975 - Winterland - San Francisco, CA

More info @

Official Ten Years After Web

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