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Roxy Music - Viva! Roxy Music CD (album) cover


Roxy Music


Crossover Prog

3.78 | 69 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars Having heard pretty much all the early Roxy Music albums and seeing a few videos from the some of their live performances I decided to give this album a shot. Generally I'm very picky when it comes to live performance and they don't often leave me feeling content. In most cases I either require an almost perfect set-list or an exceptional live performance and neither of these criteria is satisfied by Viva!.

There are many repertoire classics missing from this performance like Re-Make/Re-Model, Ladytron, Virginia Plain, Editions of You and The Thrill of It All. What we do get is a set-list with a few interesting surprises. The inclusion of The Bogus Man and In Every Dream Home a Heartache really peaked my interest because it was exciting to hear how these compositions would work without Brian Eno's contribution.

The concert opener is the unexpected Out of the Blue which I never considered to be a great song but it actually works slightly better compared to the studio version. The shortened version of The Bogus Man was watered-down for the live setting and missed a lot of the elements that I enjoyed in the 10-minute art rock jam from For Your Pleasure. In Every Dream Home a Heartache, on the other hand, felt almost as good as the original with the audience sound giving it a bit more edge. The expanded version of If There Is Something felt quite unnecessary since the atmospheric jam had no real purpose and the result felt plain and a bit dull.

The biggest highlight comes to us towards the end where the band performs a flawless version of Do the Strand which almost made me change my mind about the rest of this album experience!

I was very surprised to find out the the album was compiled of live performances from three venues over a period of three years (1973-1975) because of the smooth flow which the the performance offered. It was equally interesting to know that John Wetton played the bass on many of the tracks and, together with Eddie Jobson, might even have injected the performances with minor doses of prog!

In conclusion it's safe to say that I have mixed feeling towards Viva! so I can't really recommend it to anyone who haven't heard any of the previous Roxy Music albums. Still it's far from fans only type of album. Plain and simply good, but non-essential!

***** star songs: Do The Strand (4:00)

**** star songs: Out Of The Blue (4:44) The Bogus Man (7:05) Chance Meeting (2:58) If There Is Something (10:37) In Every Dream Home A Heartache (8:23)

*** star songs: Pyjamarama (3:36) Both Ends Burning (4:46)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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