It's All Live Now
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Along with being one of the best bands of the 1980s, able to conjure up swirling dark clouds of moody psychedelic music built around Ian McCulloch's resonant vocals and songs that sink their hooks deep under the flesh, Echo & the Bunnymen were also a hell of a cover band, especially on a concert stage. It's All Live Now, an album culled from two mid-'80s live shows, proves that fact conclusively over the course of eight well-chosen covers the Bunnymen make their own. Seven are taken from a 1985 show in Sweden and find them in fine fighting form as they slash and crash through well-known songs by the Rolling Stones ("Paint It Black"), Television ("Friction"), and the Doors ("Soul Kitchen"), deeper cuts by the Modern Lovers ("She Cracked") and the Velvet Underground ("Run Run Run"), as well as the jangling Dylan classic "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and the garage rock nugget "Action Woman" by the Litter. Will Sergeant's guitar playing is especially brilliant on these cuts; he sometimes tends to sublimate his skills as a lead player in favor of creating atmosphere within the songs, but here he can really cut loose. Another song from the show, a ripping version of "Crocodiles, " is included too. Two more songs are taken from a 1983 show, a slow-burn take on the Velvets' "Heroin, " which a cheeky Mac introduces as "one of the first songs we ever wrote, " and an extended romp through "Do It Clean, " which features Mac, in one of his trademark bits of stagecraft, singing snippets of the old chestnut "When I Fall in Love" and James Brown's "Sex Machine." All the tracks were included on the 2001 Crystal Days box set, but they sound really good extracted and presented as a live document of a great band operating right close to its peak. ~ Tim Sendra Track Listing: She Cracked, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, Soul Kitchen, Action Woman , Paint it Black, Run, Run, Run, Friction, Crocodiles, Heroin, Do It Clean
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