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707: Greatest Hits Live

707 were a fairly popular hard rock band from the early 1980's, who released a few albums then kind of faded into obscurity. This archival live release Greatest Hits Live from GB Music culls together nine live tracks from a 1981 show in Los Angeles, and represents what was probably the band's live set most of that year, between opening act slots and the occasional headline show. The band had the opportunity to open up for many name acts over their short time together, including a stadium tour with REO Speedwagon, so their brand of gritty yet catchy hard rock was witnessed by many in the time they were together. With Kevin Russell on guitar/vocals, Jim McClarty on drums, Phil Bryant on bass/vocals, and Tod Howarth on vocals/keyboards/guitar (Tod would later go on to play with Ace Frehley, Ted Nugent, and Cheap Trick), 707 created accessible songs punctuated by beefy guitar riffs, a driving rhythm section, and great vocal harmonies. It was music to crank up on the car stereo while crusing around the boulevard, complete with soaring melodies, heavy guitar riffs, and majestic keyboards. While the band's only hit single was the hook-laden "I Could Be Good For You", other tunes like "Live With the Girl", "Rockin' Is Easy", "City Life", and "Tonite's Your Nite" are all memorable anthems, and live they bristle with even more power and emotion. The quality of this recording is pretty good, with all the instruments crystal clear, and the audience reactions left in, giving you the feel of a real live album. The stars of the band were easily Russell and his hot guitar licks and solos, and Howarth, whose silky smooth vocals, crunchy guitar work, and tasty keyboard textures, really added a classy element to the band. It's no surprise that he was in hot demand after the break-up of 707.

So, take a trip back in time on the 707, when heavy rock music was fun...they way it should be.

Track Listing
1 Live With The Girl
2 Feel This Way
3 Rockin' Is Easy
4 City Life
5 Millionaire
6 I Could Be Good For You
7 Pressure Rise
8 Tonite's Your Nite
9 You Who Needs To Know

Added: February 25th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Info
Hits: 3257
Language: english

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707: Greatest Hits Live
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-02-27 06:48:29
My Score:

Take a trip back in time with me and the guys in 707 as we revisit a solid selection of live concert performances that perfectly captures this talented group and also provides a look at how Rock history was progressing at the time. In the early 80's they were a growing sensation but one that might have easily passed you by if you had limited exposure to when they were at their best. That is the good thing about albums like this one as they live on forever because of it and it provides a great document to what they were all about. The group on this recording featured Kevin Russell (guitar, vocals), Todd Howarth (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Phil Bryant (bass, vocals), and Jim McClarty (drums). Founding member Duke McFadden had chosen to move on by this time so he is not featured on the recording. Many will remember Todd the best as he went on to join Ace Frehley's band and also do keyboards for Cheap Trick for many years. There's only nine tunes to enjoy on the album but in one sense that's all you need to have to understand just how "fan friendly" this stuff was. There are big choruses on every tune since of the lineup provided vocals and the guitars and bass crunch when necessary while the drums provide that solid backbone with just an added touch of flair tossed in to keep it interesting. From the period of this recording the bands biggest hit to date was "I Could Be Good For You", but beyond that I felt that "Tonite's Your Nite" and "You Who Needs To Know" were also strong contenders for that honor. "Tonite's Your Nite" actually has a really strong Cheap Trick vibe to it and could have easily been one of their tunes while "Pressure Rise" finds Howarth singing lead and delivering one of the heaviest tunes on the set list. The production on this is really clean but it doesn't sound as dry as some sound board recordings do and has a real live feel to it. The jams work well and don't appear to be contrived and I felt that the entire album doesn't lose its level of energy for one second. It was clear that they were a group who knew how to bring it on during a concert. This is a worthy trip down a musical memory lane since it's not only a solid listen from beginning to end but it's also a great reminder of just how good Melodic Hard Rock was in the past. It also shows just how easy it was to have fun at a live show if the band was on point and rocking hard. The captured crowd reaction is testimony about these shows being nothing less than a good time.

While the band disbanded in 1983, members Russell and Howarth are still very active in the music industry. The band also found tremendous response to their song "Mega Force", but that number is not featured on the CD reviewed. It's good stuff and recommended for any Rock Music Historian type of listener as well as those who enjoy music from bands such as Cheap Trick, New England and The Sweet.

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