What does it sound like?:
I set myself the following challenge;
Don’t use the phrase “he makes his guitar sound like bagpipes”
I was fan of BC and had the first two albums. Loved The Crossing, Steeltown was Ok but diminishing returns set in pretty quickly for me.
So, a box set of bootlegs/live recordings from the period well past their heyday didn’t fill me with an immense feeling of excitement.
The non existent sense of excitement was immediately dashed when i realised that two or three of the discs were effectively semi acoustic run outs.
What you get is 5 CD’s each a mix of nights and years on tour. Some well known songs and a couple of cover versions – some of which are not very good. others are worse. The well know songs are here over and over again and even some of the covers turn up two or three times each.
The fully electric versions are better but even then the bootleg mature of the exercise means they simply don’t sound good which must minimise the audience/market for the set.
I’m sorry but what is the point of this, if you were there then maybe… buy some semi acoustic singalongs of the hits – Chance and In a Big Country are great songs but the terrace chant versions here don’t add much and i can’t see myself ever listening to them again unless someone pays me.
On the “positive side” They sound like bootlegs should, slightly muffled and tinny so job done on authenticity.
It all feels and sounds like a slightly shameful and hopefully unsuccessful cash in.
Disc 4 and 5 are the busking pub singalong ones and are poor. The semi acoustic approach actually detracts from the big sound (of Scotland!) that for me represented their pomp/peak.
Don’t fear the Reaper and Rockin’ in the free world are performed in a way that if you saw someone on the tube busking them you may give them 20p to stop.
The version of daydream believer that closes disc 5 didn’t download and frankly i feel mildly blessed.
What does it all *mean*?
It means that you should go back and listen to The Crossing, its really very good.
It may mean that Steve Lillywhite was a genius as well.
If you want to respect the band and their achievements go and buy the studio albums again. Before you do that make sure that at least some of the money will go to the band members and their families.
Goes well with…
A donation bag to a charity shop.
Might suit people who like…
Big Country covers bands