The Association The Association Live
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- Released: September 29, 2017
- Originally Released: 1970
- Label: Varese Sarabande
- 1.Dream Girl (Dressing Room)
- 2.One Too Many Mornings
- 3.Along Comes Mary
- 4.I'll Be Your Man
- 5.Goodbye, Columbus
- 6.Let's Get Together
- 7.Wasn't It Bit Like Now
- 8.Never My Love
- 9.Goodbye Forever
- 10.Just About the Same
- 11.Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
- 12.Seven Man Band
- 13.The Time It Is Today
- 14.Dubuque Blues
- 16.What Were the Words
- 18.Are You Ready
- 20.Requiem for the Masses
- 22.Enter the Young
The Association: Jules Alexander, Ted Bluechel Jr., Brian Cole, Russ Giguere, Terry Kirkman, Larry Ramos, Jim Yester.
Recorded live at the University Of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 3, 1970.
Personnel: Jules Alexander, Larry Ramos (vocals, guitar); Brian Cole (vocals, woodwinds); Jim Yester (vocals, keyboards); Ted Bluechel Jr. (vocals, drums); Russ Giguere, Terry Kirkman (vocals, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Mike Ragogna.
Recording information: Salt Lake City, Utah (04/03/1970); University of Utah (04/03/1970).
Photographers: Herb Weil; James Metropole.
This 75-minute album, originally a double-LP (recorded live at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on April 3, 1970) is a valiant attempt at capturing the Association's concert sound on record. Unfortunately, it fails for several reasons, beginning with the fact that the instrumental mix is very bass-heavy -- even with adjustments to compensate, this overwhelms much of the rest of the band on several key numbers. Additionally, the group's singing, though more than adequate, lacks the presence needed to give their harmonies the necessary radiance to make the music fully attractive, coming off instead as anemic. The real problem is that cutting a live album was a thankless task for this group -- so much of their sound was dependent on a studio-driven perfection -- that live recording was an exercise in futility (let's put it this way -- the Beach Boys pulled this off more than once, but they had a resident genius around part of the time doing their arrangements; the Association: no genius in the ranks). "Goodbye Columbus" is a case in point, it's a breezy, cheerful number that gets a spirited performance, but it still sounds thin and emaciated because the single is the way that song is supposed to sound, period. By contrast, their rendition of "Get Together," complete with lyrical and soaring harmonies, is a masterpiece of a kind -- or it would be if it were a prelude to a studio recording where the balances could be refined and perfected. As it is, the band often sound clunky on their instruments, even as they sing their hearts out. "Seven Man Band" features some ferocious fuzz guitar that gets buried in mix. Some songs do work -- "Cherish" is a bit emaciated but ultimately makes for interesting listening, while "Requiem for the Masses" and "Enter the Young" come off well on any terms. It's hardly worth the inflated price of the Japanese imported CD, except for the most hardcore completists. ~ Bruce Eder
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