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Awake: Best of Live Live, Best of

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 16 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of, Live
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00064AF6O
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #348 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Operation Spirit
2. Pain Lies On The Riverside
3. The Beauty Of Gray
4. Selling The Drama
5. I Alone
6. Lightning Crashes
7. All Over You
8. Pillar Of Davidson
10. Lakini's Juice
11. Turn My Head
12. The Dolphin's Cry
13. Run To The Water
14. Dance With You
15. Overcome
16. Nobody Knows
17. Heaven
18. Run Away (with Shelby Lynne)
19. I Walk The Line

Product Description

Features all the hits and some previously unreleased gems! 19 songs on the CD! Jewel case package features a 14 panel full color fold-out booklet of photos, album information and a written commentary by singer Ed.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Let's get this out of the way. Live is, in this reviewer's opinion, by far the greatest gang of musicians on this planet Earth...no, in the universe! Their music gets better every time you listen to it. Nearly every song is gold, and that goes for all six of their previous albums.
Awake: The Best Of Live is a collection of 19 songs encompassing all of their masterpiece albums, from the funky catchiness of Mental Jewelry, through the hard, saucy strangeness of Secret Samadhi and self-gratuitous poserhood of V, up to the more earnest, simpler Birds of Prey. Yup, you'll find the classics here: Lightning Crashes, I Alone, The Dolphin's Cry, etc.
However, there are problems with this so-called "Best Of" compilation. First of all, the CD runs in chronological order, a trend which I didn't care for with Van Halen's Best Of Volume 1 and don't care for here. I like a bit of creative mixing of the songs, sort of like a concert. Second, a few of the hits have been omitted to make room for lesser-known album tracks. And while I salute this, I have to disagree with the choices. Dance With You instead of They Stood Up For Love, or even Voodoo Lady? Nobody Knows instead of Simple Creed????? And here comes the worst part: Pillar of Davidson (a GREAT song, by the way) instead of White, Discussion. Whoops, but they decided to cut more than two minutes from Pillar, leaving us with a 4:23 shell of a song. I'm disgusted.
Then again, we do get two new songs. I Walk The Line is a terrific cover of the Johnny Cash classic, but We Deal In Dreams sounds like something that was left on the cutting room floor from the Throwing Copper recordings.
Personally, my instinct was to make a Live mix CD (I figure I could make a better compilation myself), and I wanted to include I Walk The Line.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album has 19 tunes and not all of them should be classified as "Best Of". The best tunes from "Throwing Copper" are here and a few others I've heard of. For the price it was an ok purchase, but I bought it for the tunes I know, not the rest.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
excellent product
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4822090) out of 5 stars 123 reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa45d327c) out of 5 stars Great track selection for this best of LIVE mix March 9 2007
By R. Gorham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
THE BAND: Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass), Chad Gracey (drums & percussion). Hometown: York, PA.

THE DISC: (2004) 19 tracks clocking in at approximately 77 minutes. Included with the disc is a 7-page foldout containing song titles/credits (no lyrics), band photos, what songs came from which albums, a quick paragraph on each album from Kowalczyk, and thank you's. This compilation follows the band from their 1991 debut through "Birds Of Pray" in 2003. There is an additional 2-disc release (the CD with music, and a DVD with interview and videos) also available. Label - Radioactive Records.

ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Mental Jewelry (3 songs), Throwing Copper (5), Secret Samadhi (2), The Distance To Here (3), V (2), Birds Of Pray (2), Unreleased (2).

COMMENTS: Outside of "Throwing Copper" (1994), this "Best Of" compilation might be all the Live you need. It absolutely hits on all the highlights of each album. Tracks 1-3 find the band in raw form from "Mental Jewelry"... singing and playing like they had something to prove. "Operation Spirit" and "Pain Lies On The Riverside" were the standout songs and worthy of inclusion here. Tracks 4-8 are from "Throwing Copper" - easily their biggest and most recognized tunes. "Copper" had so many great songs - and Kowalczyk never sang with such conviction. The melodies were most importantly... memorable. And then Kowalczyk shaved his head and went Zen on everyone. For me, "Secret Samadhi" (1997) was the start of the decline for Live. "Lakini's Juice" was my favorite track from this one because of the weird guitar chords. "Turn My Head" was the other good tune from "Samadhi", but the rest of the album was a mixed bag at best. Kowalczyk singing about spirit, his Holiness, angel wings, birds and dolphins crying in the near future was losing audiences. Not to mention the music just not being that strong - outside of a few tracks on each album - all of which are here on "Awake - Best Of Live". The Distance To Here" made some waves but quickly lost steam and fell from the charts. Their fifth album "V" (labeled as "experimental") was trashed by most major music mags. "Birds Of Pray" was a semi return to form, but once again garnered mixed reviews and almost no FM-airplay. The unreleased "We Deal With Dreams" was an extra song from the "Throwing Copper" sessions and is a nice inclusion here. Live's remake of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" is nothing out of the ordinary, but still respectable. Missing are a few personal favorites (but by no means essential) - "Iris", "Top", "White, Discussion", "Ghost", "Voodoo Lady", and "Graze". This is a fantastic disc because it has the band's best songs over their 1st dozen years ALL in one place. Despite Live's 2nd half fall from the charts, this is a stellar introduction to the band (5 stars).
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5261738) out of 5 stars A great buy for both old and new fans. Dec 26 2004
By The Wickerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With many greatest hits albums, you just have a collection of songs from albums you already own (provided you're a big fan), and there's not much reason to buy it unless you're new to the band. However, Live's new greatest hits package holds something for everyone.

At over 70 minutes in length, the album contains tracks from all 6 of Live's studio releases, including nearly half of "Throwing Copper". The song selection is excellent, and I don't think that anything important was left out (I would have put "Simple Creed" on there instead of "Nobody Knows", but that's it). But wait, there's more. In addition to this fine collection of old favorites, we get new stuff as well, including a new version of the rare track "Dealing Dreams" (now entitled "We Deal in Dreams"), an alternate version of "Run Away", featuring guest vocals from Shelby Lynne, and a cover of Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line". And, if all of that weren't enough, you also get a bonus DVD, with all of the band's music videos.

This is a damn fine buy, whether you're already into Live or not. Highly recommended.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4901444) out of 5 stars From a great band comes a good greatest hits album Aug. 2 2005
By John A. Plauche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have loved live since Throwing Copper came out in the mid-90's.

I then fell in love with their earlier album, Mental Jewlery.

Both are great, and probably owning the pair give you Live's truely greatest hits.

This album is basically all of the singles, more or less, that made it on radio.

The only thing that I would have added was Iris from Throwing Copper. It is, in my opinion, Live's greatest song.

But if you don't own any Live, own Throwing Copper first, then if you want to expand maybe get this album and then Mental Jewlery. The rest of their albums, I feel, is fairly represented in this Greatest Hits CD. Enjoy.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa472421c) out of 5 stars My Life-Theme Record May 28 2005
By Gypsymama - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ok, I admit that I pratically "grew up" with Live. I've watched Ed grow chest hairs for goodness sakes. We're about the same age, and I remember being in my very early twenties and hearing Mental Jewelry for the first time, sitting lotus style in a studio apartment in Northern California, my mouth full of coffee as I was reading poetry.

I was mesmorized. And I still am, over ten years later.

I didn't think a band could move me this much. I waited in anticipation for every new album to arrive so I could devour it, each song serving as a delicacy for my ears.

While I have loved them and cite them as a "favorite" band for over a decade now, I must admit with the one review on here that I wasn't as in to their albums after Secret Samadhi. But I still was a devoted follower, always choosing at least one or two songs that I could claim as my own. V was really my least favorite, to be honest.

So when I read on their website that "Awake" was coming out--to include a DVD of their videos--I was beyond ecstasy. I probably ran--I can't remember, it is all a blur now--to the record store and snatched up the last one. I think it's glued to the CD player in my computer as we speak.

Intricate song-writing, even if obscure at times, will draw you in, coupled with a musical style that is all their own. I don't care what others say, Live is a class-act who can not really be compared to anyone else. Maybe I'm biased because their music was just always "there" during my twenty-something years, as I became a witness to their harnessing maturity as well as myself. I just hope they keep rocking for years to come. Buy this record: you won't regret it.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4e6f2dc) out of 5 stars Best thing to come from Pennsylvania since Hershey Chocolate Dec 20 2004
By Tim Brough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The four members of LIVE met in their York, PA high school before forming a band to compete in a school talent show. They mixed in the angst of being trapped in a nowhere city, the crisis of spiritual identity and a love of rebellious noise and came out with "Mental Jewelry." The three songs from that CD here lay out the blueprint for the next couple decades of LIVE material. Earnest vocals with lyrics that reflect a quest for spiritual ascendance.

Under the hand of Talking Head Jerry Harrison, who kept the band's recorded sound dense and textured, LIVE got better fast. They cut a masterpiece on the second try. "Throwing Copper" opened with the shouts of "Lightning Crashes" and "Selling The Drama," contained the fighting "I Alone," and the moral diatribe of "White, Discussion." This was a powerful, passionate album and it made them stars. The follow up, "Secret Samadhi," was darker in tone but more direct. "Turn My Head" was the closest thing to an actual love song, and "Lakini's Juice" mirrored Led Zepplin more than U2.

It was right about now that LIVE began to lose their footing. "The Distance To Here" began a shift towards a maturity that took away from the band's edge. While Ed Kowlaczyk may claim that this is his favorite of the LIVE albums, it is the point where LIVE began to experiment with their basic sound. On "Distance's" best song, "The Dolphin's Cry," it works, but for most of the album, it just seemed uncharacteristic. "V" suffered from the same hodgepodge (Tricky rapping with Ed, too much electronic noodling, etc), but it also contained the transcendent "Overcome," which seemed to appear from nowhere after the horror of 9/11, giving voice to the feelings of a national anguish. "Birds Of Pray" tries to return to form, but comes off as over baked. While the duet with Shelby Lynne, "Run Away," is terrific, the cheesy religious ballad "Heaven" is entirely forgettable. Fortunately, "Awake!" closes with a fine cover of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line."

PS: The bonus DVD with the deluxe version is definitely worth picking up. In addition to a few of the songs left of the CD, ("Freaks," "They Stood Up For Love" and a couple live tracks), you get "Simple Creed," probably one of the two decent tracks from "V." The other "V" video for "Overcome" may be a tougher watch, as it is made from 9/11 footage. It's also worth getting to see the youthful exuberance of LIVE's first video, "Operation Spirit."