Live from Mars

Live from Mars

4.8 6
by Ben Harper
     
 

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People go to Ben Harper shows for a variety of reasons. Some want to work up a sweat dancing to extended funk jams; some look to be transported by the intricate instrumental interplay of his band, the Innocent Criminals; and some need a dip into the refreshingly bucolic folk-soul he can wring from an acoustic guitar. Live from Mars, culled from more than 20See more details below

Overview

People go to Ben Harper shows for a variety of reasons. Some want to work up a sweat dancing to extended funk jams; some look to be transported by the intricate instrumental interplay of his band, the Innocent Criminals; and some need a dip into the refreshingly bucolic folk-soul he can wring from an acoustic guitar. Live from Mars, culled from more than 20 separate concerts, offers a little something for each of portion of Harper's constituency -- one disc of power-packed electric performances and a second disc of burnished acoustic work. On the former, Harper shows off his moves as an erotic shaman -- beckoning and purring through a funked-up version of the Marvin Gaye classic "Sexual Healing" -- as well as his flair for the harder stuff, captured in a raucous ten-minute medley of "Faded" and Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." The Innocent Criminals also acquit themselves mighty well here, nestling into a deep groove on the sultry "The Woman in You" and flashing switchblade-sharp riffs on the raging "Burn One Down." The mood couldn't be more different on the set's second disc, which showcases the quiet power Harper and company are capable of generating without amps turned to 11. Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Harper doesn't turn down the intensity when he turns down the volume, a point driven home by a rending version of "Please Bleed" and a thoroughly uplifting take on "The Power of the Gospel." As so often happens during his live performances, Harper takes the listener on some unexpected side trips -- such as an appropriately trippy version of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work" -- but he can always be counted on to keep the scenery interesting.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - MacKenzie Wilson
Ben Harper is a road dog. He and his band, the Innocent Criminals, travel around the world playing nearly 200 shows a year; therefore, it was only a matter of time before this guitar virtuoso made a live album. Live From Mars, an enigmatic two-disc set of 25 songs, celebrates the rise of Harper, his incredible live presence between 1998 and 2000, and the appreciation between him and his audience. His fragile acoustics have been thrown into a massive guitar storm on disc one, a thunderous combination of his signature folky blues-funk rock & roll. He's soulful and approachable on "Excuse Me Mr." and "Burn One Down," but he reaches for something tangible on Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." The vibe is calm and cool while Harper's vocals scale between a sweet falsetto and a rugged twang. "Faded" exudes Harper's electric twitching, and its perfection swaggers into a riveting cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" for a near ten-minute car crash of pure rollicking. He switches from his electric to an acoustic for disc two, making his informality even more enticing. "Waiting on an Angel" is delicate, similar to the likes of Jeff Buckley, but it's the beauty of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work" that truly captures the standard of excellence that Harper depicts as a performer. Acoustically, he's honored and such praise is deserved. He's practically flawless. He's a modest artist, and such humility is found among his songs. He's achieved respectability with his fans that only so many artists are able to attain. Live From Mars is a proper release and certainly an inviting look into Harper and the showmanship he projects while spending time on the road.
Entertainment Weekly - David Browne
"B+"...Live from Mars is ideal for the hardcore fans as well as the uninitiated who may want to investigate what all the fuss is about....Harper is the retro-rocker Lenny Kravitz has always tried, but failed, to be.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2001
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0724381007914
catalogNumber:
10079
Rank:
55479

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Glory & Consequence  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  2. Excuse Me Mr.  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  3. Alone  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  4. Sexual Healing  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  5. Woman in You  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  6. Ground on Down  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  7. Steal My Kisses  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  8. Burn One Down  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  9. Mama's Got a Girlfriend Now  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  10. Welcome to the Cruel World  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  11. Forgiven  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  12. Faded/Whole Lot of Love  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals

Disc 2

  1. Waiting on an Angel  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  2. Roses from My Friends  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  3. Power of the Gospel  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  4. Pleasure and Pain  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  5. Please Bleed  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  6. The Drugs Don't Work  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  7. In the Lord's Arms  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  8. Not Fire, Not Ice  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  9. Beloved One  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  10. Number Three  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  11. Walk Away  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  12. Another Lonely Day  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  13. Like a King/I'll Rise  -  Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Harper   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
David Leach   Percussion
Rahzel   Human Beatbox
Juan Nelson   Bass,Vocals
Dean Butterworth   Drums,Vocals
Nick Rich   Human Beatbox

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer
Odell Brown   Composer
Maya Angelou   Composer
Ben Harper   Composer,Producer
J.P. Plunier   Composer,Producer,Art Direction
David Ritz   Composer
Mike King   Art Direction
Dave Rat   Sound System
Tom Tyler   Guitar Techician,Bass Technician
Nick Rich   Stage Technician
Michael Pollock   Engineer

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