Thursday, November 15, 2007

Casual Listening Extra 11-16-07

Casual Listening


November 16, 2007

Are Live Albums Worth the Trouble?

Well, it depends. If you’re Os Mutantes, then no. If you’re James Taylor, then yes. Os Mutantes is a hip Brazillian rock band from the 1960’s that’s enjoying a revival. The music is cool, but unless you’re a superfan, it’s a lot like what’s on their other records, except with poorer sound quality. Taylor’s One Man Band, on the other hand, is a definitive performance for the 70’s balladeer. Folk music tends to translate to a live album – there’s something about the intimacy and immediacy of the performance that better expresses the essence of the music than the studio. Check out Simon & Garfunkel’s Live From New York City, 1967 to hear some of the best versions of their classics. Rock, on the other hand tends not to translate, unless the musicians are doing something radically different from what’s already on record.

Queensryche – Take Cover (rock)

The band puts aside the full metal jacket to give an unusual selection of rock covers. Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine,” The Police’s “Synchronicity II,” and Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s “Almost Cut My Hair” all share space on this disc. More interesting for its novelty value than its musical value, it’s still pretty interesting.

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