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Max Webster - Live - Magnetic Air CD (album) cover


Max Webster


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3.08 | 14 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars They're just Max Webster, here to thin the thickness of your skin

During their unfortunately short lived career Canadian hard rock outfit Max Webster managed to put out five excellent albums and this live offering, recorded after the release of their fourth album A Million Vacations. While this one is not quite as essential as their other material it's still a great disc. Housed here is a rather odd collection of songs considering the Webster catalog, but a good set none the less. However, any fans won't be disappointed by the actual performance of the songs, as Mitchell is on fire with his axe, not to mention that he rips through his vocal parts like there's no tomorrow. There's also a good chunk of time spent talking to the audience (although not so much that it becomes distracting) between some of the songs, much like big brothers Rush often do.

Getting back to the song list, this is likely the only strange part about the album. Obviously aimed more at the fans than anyone else, this one features less of the band's hits and more tracks that the fans would want to hear. Rather frustrating, however, is the lack of a couple songs. Exempted from the play list are some of Webster's greatest tracks. The debut's coda, Lily for example, would have made this an amazing effort. Recent hit from A Million Vacations, Paradise Skies is included, but the beautiful Let Go The Line is not.

This is nitpicking, of course. Included on the album are a number of songs which any fan will destroy themselves just to hear. The prog flavored In Context Of The Moon is a welcome addition as if fan favorite, hard rocker Hangover. Lip Service provides some well needed keyboarding fun while Here Among The Cats pulls out some twisted Canadian blues. Gravity and Waterline also make great appearances.

It's clear that the band were simply limited as to what they could chose with only a single LP to put the music onto, and it's rather unfortunate that they weren't able to go all out with a double LP and let loose on some more fan favorites. Nitpicking aside this is still a great disc that any progger will enjoy. Webster were quite good live! Performances are sharp and the songs are well picked (even if some favorites are excluded). 3.5 stars! Recommended, but fans are more likely the ones to enjoy it.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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