Greenslade - Live 2001 ? The Full Editon

Year of Release: 2002
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:46:00

For one that was not even born during the heyday of progressive rock, it's quite hard to understand how the genre ever managed to grab a hold of the world and call upon its attention for a while. Sure, bands like Yes just have that unavoidably endearing quality that could especially appeal to a youth with more than just a slight tendency towards getting stoned, and their seminal albums were so impressive that they still hold up today rather well despite the ubiquitous presence of stupid critics. But when one actually looks at the bands that made it big, there just didn't seem to be that many. At least not enough to understand why people such as the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten hated it so much. But then, when one starts to get a bit deeper into the symphonic rock era and listens to bands like Greenslade, it becomes easier to elucidate the answer.

Forget Zappa, Magma, Henry Cow, Faust, Tangerine Dream, and the like; progressive rock of the symphonic kind was king at the time. And among the lot of bands to conform the rank soldiers of the movement was Greenslade; a band that with a revamped lineup has recently released Live 2001 - The Full Edition. The problem is that it's hard to know whether or not this is actually a good thing.

It is at least for the fans, as the live rendition of both classic and new Greenslade material is supposedly flawless and perfectly smooth in its loyal renditions, so that there seems to be a fandom consensus that it was a perfectly good idea for this band to release a live album. The rest of the world, however, may not find such a release agreeable, or any further Greenslade release for that matter. In fact, when listening to Live 2001 - The Full Edition, one is brought to the realization that Dave Greenslade's compositions have not aged well, and that their kitsch has only increased with time to the point that when one becomes somewhat interested in the absorbing beginnings of a track like "Catalan," the attention turns into shock as talent turns clownish. Kind of like Andrew Lloyd Weber's corniest moments elevated to the nth power.

Not everything is quite so dismal, of course ... both "Cakewalk" and "Large Afternoon" actually have their interestingly driving moments, "Sundance" is a rather pleasant track with a palatable taste for unpretentious drama, and "Bedside Manners Are Extra" has a certain short passage that forces the listener to shiver under the presence of something slightly ominous. Moreover, every musician here is in top shape; especially Tony Reeves with his well-placed and undeniably refined bass arrangements, but unfortunately the strength of good shape does not suffice to patch the weakness of composition and elevator music harmonic patterns and sounds. There is, for instance, the Greenslade "classic" "Joie De Vivre," which when looked objectively upon, is really nothing more than a famished man's version of ELP; and even then it's one of the album's highest points ... who knows? Maybe Rotten wasn't completely wrong.

Similar artists: Elegant Simplicity, ELP, Caravan

Cakewalk (4:51) / Feathered Friends (6:45) / Catalan (8:14) / No Room-But A View (3:40) / Large Afternoon (4:12) / Sundance (8:35) / Wherever I Go (5:18) / On Suite (6:07) / In The Night (6:29) / Bedside Manners Are Extra (5:20) / Joie De Vivre (11:32) / Spirit Of The Dance (3:42)

Dave Greenslade - keyboards
John Young - keyboards, vocals
John Trotter - drums
Tony Reeves ? bass

Greenslade (1973)
Bedside Manners Are Extra (1973)
Spyglass Guest (1974)
Time And Tide (1975)
Live (1999)
Large Afternoon (2000)
Live 2001 - The Full Edition (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: June 2nd 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 942
Language: english


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