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801 - Manchester CD (album) cover




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2.18 | 3 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars If you are looking for another magical recording like the previous 801 Live, beware. This album has little of what makes that album great. Only Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormick remain from that version of 801. The songs are mostly from Listen Now, with a scattering from Manzanera's other albums.

The recording quality is fair. The liner notes, written by bassist Bill MacCormick, say the recording was done by Island Mobile. They should know better. It sounds like a tape taken directly from the mixing board, which is mixed for the sound in the hall, not for a home listener. The mix on the whole album is just bad. The vocals are almost pathetic. When Simon Ainley sang on the studio albums, he was not bad. Most of the song have Simon Ainley's vocals doubled, presumably by keyboardist Dave Skinner. The pair should have worked on their synchronization. And whichever one of them was affecting his voice with tremolo during You Really Got Me nearly ruins this great song.

The band itself is just okay. They are somewhat sloppy for the first two thisrds of the album. Initial Speed is almost painful to listen to. But after an extremely bad start to Diamond Head, which causes them to break and start over from the beginning of the song, they pull it together and play well for the rest of the concert.

Honestly, I love the studio recordings of all the original songs here, but there is just too much sloppiness for me to give this more than two stars.

Evolver | 2/5 |


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