Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 31

Finally into the "C" albums! 

Rory Gallagher - Calling Card
The Beatles - Candlestick Park, San Francisco 8/29/66
Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey
Steely Dan - Can't Buy a Thrill
The Who - Capital Centre, Landover, MD 12/6/73
Led Zeppelin - Capital Centre, Landover, MD 5/26/77
Led Zeppelin - Capital Centre, Landover, MD 5/28/77

Opening up the "C's" is what may be my favorite Rory album of all...it's just chock full of great songwriting and playing, and includes some of his best songs such as the title track, "Do You Read Me," and "Jack Knife Beat." The Beatles' concert is their last-ever concert (apart from 1969's rooftop gig) and is actually a pretty decent show, although I still maintain that "Paperback Writer" never really worked for them in a live setting. Husker Du's major label debut after several seminal albums on indie labels is excellent...they've perfectly married their noisy hardcore/punk sound to the more melodic bent that was always bubbling below the surface. Steely Dan's debut album is almost two albums in one: those written and sung by eventual sole front man Donald Fagen, and those by the other fellow who would leave after this album. It's amazing how ahead of its time this record sounds, especially classics like "Do It Again," "Change of the Guard," and "Reelin' In the Years." Finally, a trio of shows from the same venue in Landover, Maryland. First, the Who's final show from their 1973 "Quadrophenia" tour...excellent and high voltage playing from the band at the end of what was a troublesome tour behind my favorite album of theirs (and one of my favorite albums by anyone, EVER). Wrapping up this batch are the 2nd and 3rd nights out of 4 nights Led Zeppelin played at this venue on the 1st leg of their 1977 US tour. Excellent shows, although typical of this tour with both exemplary and sloppy/lazy playing from Jimmy Page, who at this point was so under the influence of heroin that it really affected his performance from song to song, and sometimes within the song itself! Robert Plant's voice is also noticeably weaker in the second show, although he manages to recover after he warms up.  The band in general sound a bit sluggish in the second show when compared to the first.  All in all, however, these are two of the better shows from the 1977 tour.

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