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801 — 801 Live
(E.G. Records EGLP 26, 1976, LP)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-10-01

801 Live Cover art

Flashback to 1976 and one of the best "one-off" live units ever. Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno convened a special line-up to present live versions of recent solo material (Diamond Head, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), and Another Green World). Other notable players in the line-up included Quiet Sun bassist Bill McCormack, ex-Curved Air keyboardist Francis Monkman, and drummer Simon Phillips. Together this group combined to make one of the best sounding live albums on the group's third show (of only a four-gig tour) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. They marched through a varied musical catalog full of intense guitar-dominated but complex ensemble arrangements. This new re-mastered version of the album comes with two bonus tracks from Eno's catalog ("Golden Hours" and "The Fat Lady of Limbourg") which extend the disc's length by an additional ten minutes. The only low point on the album is the clavinet backed version of "Baby's on Fire" which never translated well to live performance. The fusionesque version of John Lennon's experimental Rubber Soul classic, "TNK" together with a twisted version of The Kink's classic, "You Really Got Me" shows the group embraced traditional rock format with slight modifications. The instrumental "East of Asteroid" benefits from clever sound effects and spirited bass / drum interplay. Across the performance, Eno's lead vocal has never sounded better and Phillips' reputation for being a driving timekeeper came into prominence from this live document. Highly recommended.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 1976 releases

Related artist(s): Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera, Simon Phillips, Francis Monkman


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