This is a kick ass record – mostly killer and one filler with April Wine delivering a full frontal guitar assault.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: April Wine
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Myles Goodwyn – lead vocals, guitar * Jim Clench – bass, vocals * Gary Moffet – guitar, vocals * Jerry Mercer – drums, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 (Mama) It’s True * 02 Druthers * 03 Cats Claws * 04 I’m On Fire For You Baby * 05 The Band Has Just Begun * 06 Good Fibes * 07 Just Like That * 08 You Could Have Been A Lady
WEBLINKS: Site Link
These guys had come a long way from their Nova Scotia bar band days when their third studio album ‘Electric Jewels’ was released in 1973. A big seller, the follow-up tour ‘Electric Adventure’ found the group touring across Canada and dazzling audiences from Victoria to St John’s with a light and pyrotechnic show that by all accounts was impressive.
Taking a breather after such an eventful year, April Wine released this live album recorded at various locations and while it features just three tracks from ‘Electric Jewels’, there is plenty of material not found on previous albums making ‘Live’ a good sampler of what the band were capable of in their pre-80’s rock days.
Produced by The Rascals and future Fotomaker alum Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli, this is a kick ass record – mostly killer and one filler with (Mama) It’s True’ and ‘Druthers’ delivering a full frontal guitar assault.
It has to be said Myles Goodwyn and Gary Moffet are a formidable combination as the record is full of searing riffs and soaring solos. This is especially so on ‘Cat’s Claw’ with lead vocals provided by Moffet and puts to bed the original studio version which sounds positively boring in comparison. ‘I’m On Fire For You Baby’ became one of the group’s biggest hits and it’s easy to hear why as it’s a fine example of early 70’s pop, something April Wine is often forgotten for.
Side two opens with ‘The Band Has Just Begun’ and it’s a fist in the air crowd pleaser which segues into ‘Good Fibes’ – a obligatory drum solo from journeyman Jerry Mercer which I could have done without, but it is what it is. Fortunately after that snooze fest, ‘Just Like That’ kicks out the jams with one of the best tracks from ‘Electric Jewels’ followed by their biggest single to date ‘You Could Have Been A Lady’, a great tune and a perfect close to one of the better live albums I’ve heard.
Back in the late 70’s I bought ‘First Glance’ on cassette after hearing ‘Roller’ on ‘American Top 40’. A good album and from there I worked my way backwards digging through the import bins and picking up all the April Wine albums up to that point, but as the 1980’s rolled around, I grew less interested in the band as I felt their albums had become formulaic.
Since then, I rarely listen to April Wine, but when I do pick out one of their early records including ‘Live’, it’s always a treat and a reminder of just how good this Canadian band once was.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)