Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 6

I'm really having fun with this, while at the same time realizing it's going to take me a LONG time to get through my entire iPod!

Today:

Rush - All the World's a Stage
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
The Allman Brothers Band - The Allman Brothers Band
The Rolling Stones - Altamont Festival, California 12/6/69
The Allman Brothers Band - American University, Washington, DC 12/13/70

First up is Rush's first live album, from a homecoming gig in Toronto in 1976. It's simply incredible, finding the band really hitting their stride during their early period, and includes a blistering live version of the epic 2112. George's first post-Beatles album is also his best, containing many songs that were written while he was in The Beatles (some were even recorded by The Beatles but left off of their albums). The self-titled Allman Brothers debut album is excellent, containing some of their signature songs (Dreams, Whipping Post, Trouble No More), which they would stretch out in their excellent live shows. The Stones show is the legendary fiasco at Altamont. The recording itself isn't great sounding, but I have always enjoyed having it for historical reasons. The band sound uneasy from the start, as do the crowd, and even though the sound is MUCH better on the Gimme Shelter film, this audience tapes captures the tense atmosphere and violence in the crowd. This show has long been hailed as the festival that killed the 1960s, with Hell's Angels beating up members of some of the bands (they punched and knocked out Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead refused to go onstage after that happened), and of course we all know how a drug-addled man in the crowd, Meredith Hunter, pulled a gun on someone and was stabbed to death by a Hell's Angel while the band played Under My Thumb (and it's all captured in grisly detail in Gimme Shelter). What's rare about this show is that it's the first time they played Brown Sugar live, 2 years before it was released on album, and the only time they played the Jimmy Reed cover The Sun is Shining. The final album is an official bootleg released by the Allman Brothers of a killer show at the end of 1970.

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