Friday, September 27, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 4

Today's listening, dominated by Rush due to the alphabetical nature of my iPod's contents:

Rush - Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 12/16/74
Rush - Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 5/15/75
Rush - Agora Ballroom, Cleveland 8/26/74
Frank Zappa - Ahead of Their Time

The 3 Rush shows are from Cleveland, which was the first market they broke into in the US on their way to superstardom. The shows are a revelation, as Rush was still in their early Who/Zeppelin power-trio mode, and playing with absolute abandon. The shows are all in stunning sound quality, too, and are a rare glimpse at this period in their career before they began to develop into more complex music (already evidenced by the later two of the shows, where they debut songs that would end up on their 2nd album).  The earliest show also contains two original songs that they never played again (Garden Road and Fancy Dancer) and as such, is vital listening for any serious fan of the band. Finally, the Zappa album is a live album from late in the original Mothers of Invention period (~1968) that is mainly a conceptual piece recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. While it doesn't translate as well to a pure audio experience, there are several excellent cuts, mainly the full version of The Orange County Lumber Truck.


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