Live Fast, Love Hard

Live Fast, Love Hard

1.0 1
by Chris Spedding
     
 
For Live Fast, Love Hard, rockabilly singer Robert Gordon went into his own vaults to license two concerts recorded during the late 1970s -- the period for which he is best-known -- with both of his star attraction guitarists, Link Wray and Chris Spedding. Before getting started, this set issued by Fuel 2000 is not a

Overview

For Live Fast, Love Hard, rockabilly singer Robert Gordon went into his own vaults to license two concerts recorded during the late 1970s -- the period for which he is best-known -- with both of his star attraction guitarists, Link Wray and Chris Spedding. Before getting started, this set issued by Fuel 2000 is not a rehash of any of the live Gordon documents that have been circulating since the '90s. These are newly circulated board tapes. Disc one features Gordon playing live with Wray (the rhythm section is uncredited) in a set that can only be called blistering. It burns with white-hot, hedonistic rockabilly intensity, ignited by the guitarist's overdriven, "Rumble"-style guitar throughout -- it's useful to remember that Wray was issuing some killer recordings of his own during the period. (Remember Bullshot?) The set is familiar in terms of songs, but the highlights are "If This Is Wrong," the midtempo ballad that opens the set, "Lonesome Train," with some in-the-red guitar by Wray, and set closer "I Got a Woman." There is a "bonus track" included on this disc: an early live reading of "Black Slacks" that is actually the beginning of the Spedding gig, and was inexplicably placed here. Speaking of disc two, it has an entirely different feel and clocks in at a meager 31 minutes, but that's just fine because what's here is simply smoking. From "Lonely Weekend" and readings of "Little Sister," "Motor Biking," "Shakin' All Over," and closers "Rockabilly Boogie" and "Red Hot." Spedding, being an entirely different-sounding guitarist, comes off more like Jeff Beck did in the Yardbirds than he does someone like, say, James Burton, Scotty Moore, or Dorsey Burnette. The Wray disc is more kinetic to these ears, but that takes nothing away from disc two because Gordon and Spedding work extremely well together; in addition, the singer is in truly excellent form throughout. Sound is better than one would think for a board tape, and the mix is decent, with very little if any editing. Fans of Gordon's will flip over this.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/22/2009
Label:
Fuel 2000
UPC:
0030206178722
catalogNumber:
061787
Rank:
112183

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Live Fast, Love Hard 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DEELEN68 More than 1 year ago
This new release on the Fuel 2000 label claims to contain an unreleased concert from '78 featuring Link Wray. However, a large chunk of the '78 show was already released in early 2007 on "Lotta Lovin'" (Climate Change 003), and it's still not the complete show, with a.o. 'Heartbreak Hotel' missing. Also, the show on CD2 is not vintage as has been suggested elsewhere, it's a recent show that was probably recorded last year at BB King's in NYC. The show and the format are very similar to other recent Gordon & Spedding live-releases like "Rockin' The Paradiso" and "The Reunion Tour" ... just more of the same, in my view. These recent live recordings are hard going, as these days Gordon is huffing and puffing more than that he really rocks. His range sounds very limited compared to the early live-recordings on disc 1, and after just a few tracks I already felt listening fatigue due to his monotonous, somewhat droning voice. It also seems that these tracks were subjected to significant overdubbing, especially on the vocals, and therefore they lack the spontaneity of a genuine live performance. It all sounds a bit too stiff and too lifeless for me. It's ironic that as much as Robert Gordon symbolized the greatness of the young Elvis in his early years, it seems that these days he represents everything that was so sad about Presley in the singer's final Vegas years: the ballooning weight, the uneven live performances, rumours about substance abuse, the stories about temper tantrums on the road.... It's a sad end to an interesting career.