The songs selected for this album came from a series of Midwest gigs the previous year on their 1978 ‘Head East’ tour, capturing the band at their creative best.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Head East
ALBUM: Head East Live
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: John Schlitt – lead vocals * Mike Somerville – guitars, backing vocals * Roger Boyd – keyboards, backing vocals * Dan Birney – bass, backing vocals * Steve Huston – drums, percussion, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: A1 Take A Hand * A2 Man I Wanna Be * A3 Gettin’ Lucky * A4 City Of Gold * A5 Fly By Night Lady * B1 Monkey Shine * B2 When I Get Ready * B3 Every Little Bit Of My Heart * B4 Get Up & Enjoy Yourself * C1 Since You Been Gone * C2 It’s For You * C3 Never Been Any Reason (Save My Life) * C4 Elijah * D1 Prelude To ‘Creek * D2 Jefftown Creek * D3 Love Me Tonight * D4 I’m Feelin’ Fine
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It was January 1979, and Head East landed this double live set early on in the new year upon unsuspecting punters. There was no Internet back then, so if you weren’t reading Billboard or other trade magazines, you’d be none the wiser about new albums turning up unannounced at your regular record store. As a keen fan of double live albums to this day, I add Head East to the list of contenders but know this, we have plenty more to add including The Outlaws, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Blue Oyster Cult, among many others in the queue.
I’ve heard most of these songs on their respective studio albums, but they never sounded as good when compared to playing live. Some the regular readers might have an opinion on that, but for me personally, I’ve always felt that Head East excelled more on stage than in the studio. So putting out this live set was an opportune moment, considering live albums were in vogue, it was a relatively cheap exercise for A&M to cobble together a 2LP set, while the band could sit back and see what the market did in terms of sales.
The material here should be familiar to long-time fans their mix of Midwest AOR, Southern Rock with bluesy tinges are given a lease of life, reinforcing what Head East truly sounded like in a live environment. Tracks such perennial fave ‘Never Been Any Reason’ and the booming opener ‘Take A Hand’ are good examples, so too the terrific backing vocals from everyone. ‘Gettin’ Lucky’ is given a live makeover and sounds all the better for it.
What about the energetic delivery of ‘Fly By Night Lady’? This is what it’s all about. ‘Get Up & Enjoy Yourself’ is an enjoyable romp, the backing vocals taking on a gospel like sound. The cover of ‘Since You Been Gone’ is given another airing, like white sheets on a clothes line. ‘Elijah’ is one of Head East’s live set regulars, and was never in doubt for inclusion on the album. The double pairing of ‘Prelude To Creek’ which segues into ‘Jefftown Creek’ proves to be an album highlight for me.
The songs selected for this album came from a series of Midwest gigs the previous year on their 1978 ‘Head East’ tour. Arguably, it probably captured the band at their creative best during this timeframe. The album did peak inside the Billboard top 100, so that was some achievement. As written about elsewhere on this site, 1979 would generate two albums the next being ‘A Different Kind Of Crazy’ released at the end of the year. Click the tag below to read more album reviews by Head East.
Head East Live 1979
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[Nick C] Probably my favourite live album ever.
[Rkbluez] Love this band and this album but was disappointed with the sound quality of the Rock Candy reissue…wish A&M would do a box set from the master tapes of all of their albums including “Live” since “Get Yourself Up” my favorite album was never even released on CD.
[Gdazegod] Steve, what do you believe the issue is with the Rock Candy Reissue? Mostly the complaints I read are about the overuse of compression (which one assumes to be the trimming of high and low frequency), loudness as well as remnants from the source if taken from an LP (scratches, nicks, rumbles, hiss etc).