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Live Live

22 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 25.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 25 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B00004ST2L
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Plan
2. Randy Described Eternity
3. Stop The Show
4. Virginia Reel Around The Fountain
5. Cortez The Killer
6. Car
7. Singing Sores Make Perfect Swords
8. I Would Hurt A Fly
9. Broken Chairs

Product Description

Product Description

After creating three of the most critically acclaimed albums of the '90s, alternative rock's Built To Spill kicks off the millennium by surprising its fans with a long-awaited live album. The band's fifth album, Live brings together Built to Spill's best performances recorded during touring in 1999 for Keep It Like A Secret. From New York City to Denver to Seattle, Built To Spill leader Doug Martsch proves why he is one of the most influential, independent-minded musicians in rock.

While additional guitarists Brett Nelson of Caustic Resin and Jim Roth of the Delusions pop up in a couple of tracks on Built to Spill's Live, the person most responsible for the extra-crispy sound is Phil Eck. He produced the Idaho-based trio's last two albums, the critically acclaimed Keep It Like a Secret and Perfect from Now On, and here he mans the soundboard to make sure the band's dynamic combination of the intimate and the explosive comes through just right. Live is one of the shinier sounding in-concert documents in recent memory, sounding (at times) more like a polished studio project rather than a collection of live cuts. This works in the group's favor, especially during psychedelic moments such as "I Would Hurt a Fly." Live won't stem the fanatical bootlegging and tape trading among devout fans, but it's a fine sonic souvenir of alt-rock's quirkiest power-pop-'n'-jam band. --Jason Josephes

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on Dec 4 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'd give it 4.5 if I could. This was the album that got me started on BTS about 2 years ago, so I agree with the people saying this is a good way to get introduced to the band. This album, more than any other I've heard from BTS (or probably anyone, for that matter) has absolutely amazing guitar work.
The two 19 minute tracks are excellent. The meandering guitar on Cortez the Killer is pretty good (and that's the best Neil Young impression I've heard), but the real jewel is Broken Chairs, with its awesome buildups and creshendos.
The Plan, Randy..., Stop the Show, and Car are all significantly better live, as the guitar is allowed to stand out more. And Virginia Reel is amazing. The guitar on that one soars. Seriously, with that song I put on the headphones, close my eyes, and imagine soaring through the clouds.
So overall, this album is really special. If not for Singing Sores, which lacked the interesting guitar work found everywhere else, and Hurt a Fly, which was the exception by being better in the studio version, this would definitely be a perfect album.
If you love great guitar, you really should own this.
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Format: Audio CD
Although the studio albums have their moments, Built To Spill are one of those groups that really light up as a live act, something which "Live" documents flawlessly well. I am not a particularly big fan of the "song" parts of the group's songs (they're just a little too nondescript to these ears) but that's not really what the band's about on this release: what's on display here are some of the greatest guitar heroics to be heard in several decades. The soundscapes which are created in tracks like "Cortez The Killer" and "Broken Chairs" (19 minutes each!) must be heard to be believed (and check out the picture-perfect Neil Young vocal impersonation in "Cortez"!). Even a relatively short track like "The Plan" contains a mind-blowing solo which travels through several different and uniquely original styles. Put simply, the guitarists can play ANYTHING, and use whatever effects are at their disposable to maximum advantange. The overall effect is extremely loud, overpowering, majestic and (gasp!) psychedelic. The studio work sounds like a dry run in comparison; for those who want a first taste of Built To Spill, "Live" would certainly be my first recommendation.
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Format: Audio CD
In my humble opinion, Built to Spill has been the most talented band out there for the past several years. Doug Marsh is an incredibly gifted guitarist and his complex songs only sound better with repeated listenings. On this live recording, every song is strong, and as one reviewer noted, it really is worth buying for the Neil Young cover alone (I think it's actually longer than 18 minutes). The great thing about this album is that it confirms the fact that these guys know how to jam and are as good live as they are in their highly produced albums. However, the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that in a live album, it's always interesting when the artists experiment a bit with their songs so that it doesn't sound exactly the same as the album versions (such as live Dylan or DMB). On this live album, many of the songs don't sound much different and it's hard to get a feel that it is even live as crowd noise and banter is pretty much non-existent. It would have been cool if BTS experimented a bit more, but this is still an amazing album and highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
I've seen Built To Spill a few times, in large and small venues that had one thing in common - the acoustics and the sound mix were pretty bad. With all the distortion and effects, it made it pretty hard to hear the actual notes being played in the louder passages.
This cd, in contrast, is very nicely mixed; you get to hear all the playing. Martsch's singing is a little strained here and there on tracks (I winced at the very opening of The Plan), but is pretty good overall. There are nice arrangements of songs from recent studio albums, with space in them for his guitar improv work. The more complex and subtle songs from Perfect From Now On get boiled down to essentials - melodic lines and riffs - with guitar noise textures to fill things out in place of the many guest musicians who played on that fine cd. Cortez the Killer, and Broken Chairs, both really let the guys stretch out with loose playing and effects for a great wall of sound. These two songs, especially, are the kinds of things that just sound like mud in a live venue - it's great to be able to hear things more clearly.
Lots of folks rant and rave over Martsch's guitar god status, but I think they're off base a bit. He's not a technical wizard capable of intricately difficult parts like a Steve Morse or Vai. Rather, this is a guy with a good ear for sounds and textures, a good composer and arranger, who happens to use the guitar to make his music. His playing tends to strong melodies contrasted with broad washes of noise and texture; plus, he's got a good command of dynamics. I say this just to warn anyone who buys this cd hoping for more "clean" traditional technical playing - you might be disappointed.
My only regret with this cd is that there wasn't room for some of the stranger covers that Built To Spill have been known to do, like a Macy Gray song (!) or Ozzy's classic Mr. Crowley.
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