Originally issued in 1979, Live Hits Harder!, while not exactly a classic live album, shows the sweaty, dirty, post-hippy appeal of the Edgar Broughton Band in a generally favorable light. Recorded shortly after the Bandages studio album, Live Hits Harder! is a raw, messy account of a band on the brink of breaking up. Indeed, an emcee makes a breakup announcement just before the band launch into "Side by Side". Opening with nearly two minutes of chanting from the Broughton brothers and bassist Arthur Grant, the song transforms into a lament with Edgar Broughton's vocals dominating the track.
Then things get really weird. I hate to bring up Spinal Tap in another review for an Edgar Broughton Band album, but "Love in the Rain" is this record's "Lick My Love Pump". Mind you, this is not at all a bad thing, but the sexual euphemisms get really silly during the audience participation bit. The track is quite humorous, but I don't know if it's intended to be.
From there, proceedings become a bit frustrating due to the sloppy editing. "One to Seven" inexplicably fades into "Hotel Room" as "Freedom" irritably morphs into "Poppy" with no rhyme or reason. Happily, a rollicking "Signal Injector" picks up the pace before again fading into "Smokestack Lighting".
While not at all a great place to begin an Edgar Broughton Band collection, Live Hits Harder! gives some idea of how their songs translated in a live context. My feeling is that this would be a stronger album if the on stage jams were left intact, even if it meant expanding to a two record set. As it is, Live Hits Harder! sounds very cobbled together. Fortunately, Eclectic Discs makes the most of the situation with a good remaster of an album that probably didn't sound too great to begin with. There is also an essay by Mark Powell, who does a nice job of putting this particular era of The Edgar Broughton Band into proper perspective.
- Side by Side
- Love in the Rain
- One to Seven
- Hotel Room
- Evening Over Rooftops
- Signal Injector
- Smokestack Lightning