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Quasar - Quasar Live 1984 - 1990 CD (album) cover

QUASAR LIVE 1984 - 1990

Quasar

 

Neo-Prog

2.05 | 4 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars UK band QUASAR have been around for a good 30 years by now, with a constant array of line-up alterations along the way. Following the release of two studio albums in the 1980's they more or less disappeared, but suddenly reappeared again in 2010 with the live album "Live 1984 - 1990"

The initial four tracks here are live recordings by the 1984 edition of Quasar. And on stage it appears that this band was vastly superior to the studio entity that recorded their debut album two years earlier. In Susan Robinson they had a strong female vocalist that gave the songs a much stronger presence overall, and the songs themselves appears as far more dynamic and sophisticated on stage than they appear on the album. More contrast, more depth, more tension.

The following five pieces documents that the 1990 line-up of Quasar can be described in very much the same manner. Hitchings is the lead vocalist on these recordings, and she's just as able on stage than in the studio if not even more so, and the band as such appears to be a tighter and more vital entity when performing in front of a live audience.

When that has be said, this is a live album that comes with it's fair share of shortcomings too, and in this case they are fairly massive. I don't know what happened when this disc was put together, but something has gone terribly amiss in the mix and mastering process. Turning the volume up and down from track to track is not something you enjoy doing when listening to an album, and this is a case where you have to adjust a lot. Second track Fire in the Sky in particular suffers from this, so much lower mixed than the other songs that it is quite shocking I'm afraid.

Another and more major fault is the recording quality. Opening cut Seeing Stars from the 1984 version of the band the worst of the lot, so uneven, unbalanced and generally poorly recorded that this one comes pretty close to being unlistenable. And while the recording quality of final track Power In Your Hands is somewhat better, the uneven recording quality that especially makes the gentler parts of this song suffer a lot makes me give this one a rather similar conclusion. The other tracks are marginally better recorded, by chance or by accident, but this is by no means a collection of live cuts recorded in a professional manner. This is bootleg quality live material, and substandard at that.

As far as live albums go, this archival collection from Quasar is one that can only be recommended to a select few people: Those who saw the band live back in 1984 and 1990 and dearly want to dream their way back to the actual concerts, and to ardent fans of the band that have a strong need to find out what the band sounded like live back then. A live album for the very specially interested only, even if the performance of the band as such doesn't leave much to be desired.

Windhawk | 2/5 |

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