Live Dates - Comments

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Live Dates - Personal View

"Not a really sparkling album" says Andy in USASH issue #5 Tune Talk article. "A rather bad time for the band, having just returned from an exhausting Stateside tour".

As Iíve mentioned, I didn't see the band live until 1997. So as there was not much to compare with, I did welcome this double album. Wishbone Ashís music suits the live environment and a live recording is better than nothing for a "remote fan" like me.

The King Will Come

"They made it." The expectations rise during the final tune-up. The King Will Come was/is a perfect opener. The recording quality seems quite good; all the instruments can be heard. Tedís solo in the middle isnít bad. Nowadays thereís several live-versions available of this song and this, I think, is the one closest to the studio version (understandable as this performance is done only about a year after the studio version was released).


A even more "metallic" version than the studio version. Andyís guitar solos have more bite. Otherwise no dramatic changes compared to the studio version.

Throw Down The Sword

The third part of the "trilogy" awakens the audience; the clap their hands during the intro. A nice version.

This is a chapter I have to add somewhere among the comments of this live recording: The production of a live recording makes it easier to deduct whoís playing what. Another reason is of course the fact that thereís no overdubs. So all the solos are easily credited to the real player.

Rock 'n Roll Widow

The song made by the "illustrious" members of the band. The "weeping guitar" can be heard in the live version too. So these effects werenít "artificial" as I sometimes thought. Tedís really a master of the steel guitar.

Ballad Of The Beacon

An all-electric version with Andy and Mart taking turns in lead vocal just as in the studio version. No fade out in the end as in the studio version but a short version of their "funny finales" that I enjoy so much.

Baby What You Want Me To Do

Hey this is bluesy! Some very tasty solos played by Ted and Andy. Both individually and as dual leads. This gives a good view of how Martin sometimes is playing both bass guitar and rhythm guitar with only one instrument! He really knows his job when thereís two guys playing lead guitars... I lift my (imaginary) hat to you! (Itís a Finnish way of saying that you really respect someone).

The Pilgrim

While listening to the live version of The Pilgrim there's a chance to compare how the guys make the transition from the intro to the 7/4-part. On a studio recording itís easy because of the overdubbing. The live version of The Pilgrim solves the "dilemma"with some fade outs and Steveís cymbals. The quiet part of this song is quite "eerie".

Blowin' Free

This song is a must as it was some sort of single hit. Just before Ted starts his slide solo in the finale, thereís a short passage where all the guitars (bass included) play the same melody. It is a part that I like. A fine piece of teamwork and a possibility to imagine the feeling of togetherness during the live performance. This song seems to get the loudest public response when itís finished so the decision to take this song out of the Argus album as a single was a good one.

Jail Bait

One of the many live versions of this song. Here we have some more examples of Martinís "combined" rhythm/bass guitar. The guitar battle in the middle maybe isnít one of the best ones. At least when youíve heard other live performances of this song.

Lady Whiskey

A all-verses-sung version of the "Whiskey drinking family". Most of the later versions left the "daddy-verse" out. Iíve always liked the drive on this song and especially this version because of itís new double lead solo part. The idea of the "accelerating" guitars made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it. I still smile when I listen to it although my age has made me more reserved. :oP


Thereís two versions of Phoenix on certain CD-releases of Live Dates (see Printings for more information, if needed). The thing that amazes me is how come these versions donít feel like theyíve been "streched out" too much. Although the lengths of the live versions at hand are almost double compared to the studio version. While I listen to these versions I bear in mind the studio version and compare them. I recognize the places where there are some additions, like improvisations. Still the lengthening doesnít make the live versions boring at all! I only wish Iíd been among the audience and not just listening to the recorded version.


Written by: Rainer Frilund - Last update: Jul, 2004