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Be Bop Deluxe: Live! In the Air Age (Deluxe 3CD Edition)

How do you make one of the most incredible, yet underrated, live albums of all time even better? Well, in the hands of Esoteric Recordings, you remaster it with pristine sound, and repackage it with a second live recording from the same tour. Live! In the Air Age has long been regarded as one of the finest live albums from the '70s that most people haven't heard, but then again, Be Bop Deluxe are an art rock/prog act that always seems to come up with the term 'underrated' is discussed. Only around from 1972-1978 and releasing five studio albums, Live! In the Air Age is pretty much a 'greatest hits live' drawing from their first four studio efforts, taking these songs to even new levels of greatness. At the helm here is the incredible guitar skills and vocals of Bill Nelson, along with Simon Fox (drums, percussion), Charlie Tumahai (bass, backing vocals), and Andrew Clark (keyboards), and this reissue contains the original album, recorded during various dates on their summer 1977 tour of the UK, newly remastered, and a full show from earlier that year at the Hammersmith Odeon.

Highlights are many; from the original album, killer versions of "Fair Exchange", "Sister Seagull", "Life in the Air Age", "Maid in Heaven", the funky jazz of "Shine", and the exquisite guitar explorations of "Mill Street Junction" and "Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape" all eclipse their studio counterparts and show the monstrous talents of Nelson, one of the great guitar players of the last 50 years. Sandwiched in between the original album and the Hammersmith recording are some BBC Radio session tracks, which are also excellent, but the real draw here is the never before released full Odeon performance, which is simply stunning. Tracks like "Forbidden Lovers", "Terminal Street", "Swansong" and "Modern Music Suite" are outstanding, and work so well within the rest of the set. Progressive Rock? Art rock? Glam? Who cares, it's quite simply amazing music regardless of the classification.

Throw in a lovely digipack and a thick booklet filled with photos and info, and you have the ultimate CD edition of Live! In the Air Age. If you've never explored the music of Be Bop Deluxe before, I'd safely suggest this is the first place you should start. Kudos once again to Esoteric for a fabulous package paying tribute to the greatness that was Be Bop Deluxe.


Track Listing
DISC ONE:
“Live! In the Air Age” Re-mastered
1. Life in the Air Age
2. Ships in the Night
3. Piece of Mine
4. Fair Exchange
5. Shine
6. Sister Seagull
7. Maid in Heaven
8. Mill Street Junction
9. Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape
10. Blazing Apostles
Bonus tracks:
11. Still Shining (BBC John Peel session �" January 1977)
12. Mill Street Junction (BBC John Peel session �" January 1977)
13. Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape (BBC John Peel session - January 1977)


DISC TWO:
Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26th March 1977 Previously unreleased
1. Introduction �" Blimps (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
2. Life in the Air Age (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
3. Fair Exchange (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
4. Piece of Mine (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
5. Sister Seagull (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
6. Mill Street Junction (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
7. Ships in the Night (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
8. Swansong (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
9. Maid in Heaven (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
10. Shine (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
11. Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)


DISC THREE:
Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26th March 1977 Previously unreleased
1. Bill Nelson’s introduction (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
2. Twilight Capers (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
3. Modern Music Suite (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
4. Forbidden Lovers (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
5. Terminal Street (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)
6. Blazing Apostles (Live at Hammersmith Odeon 26.3.77)

Added: December 4th 2021
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: More Information
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Language: english

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