Talking Elephant [Release date 21.07.14]
6 March 2013 was a sad day for British rock, when it was announced that Alvin Lee had died suddenly. He was 68 but had seemed to be invincible. However, with Ten Years After and subsequently solo, he never really re-captured the great success of Woodstock in 1969, the festival that catapulted him to world attention and a highlight of the subsequent film.
So, inevitably, this 1983 Reading set includes those Woodstock set-pieces ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ and ‘Going Home’ (along with ‘Hobbit’ and ‘I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes’). Recorded for Tommy Vance and his venerated “Friday Rock Show” we are swiftly transported back 30 years and are in the midst of the action. This album was originally issued on the Raw Fruit label in 1990.
Ten Years After had already split up once – in 1975 – and in 1983 reformed for a gig at the Marquee Club in London and the Reading Festival. Lee demonstrates his legendary guitar hero fluidity against the very tight rhythm section of Leo Lyons and Ric Lee and punctuated by Chick Churchill’s wonderful Hammond.
Of course, there are other TYA live albums including ‘Recorded Live’ in 1973 and ‘Live At Fillmore East’ (2001) and sadly there is inevitable duplication especially as in 1983 the band weren’t promoting new product. However the inclusion of their classic ‘Love Like A Man’ and ‘I May Be Wrong But I Won’t Be Wrong Always’ (originally on their 1968 live album Undead) makes this a useful and compact late-career summary. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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