Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Shadows - Livedotdotdot
artworkThis is a double disc LP of live Shadows performances.

Disc one was recorded in June 1975 at the Olympia in Paris. The band was Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, John Farrar, Alan Tarney, and Brian Bennett. This disc was previously released in the UK as The Shadows Live.

Disc two was recorded at Sankei Hall in Tokyo, Japan during October 1969. The band at this performance was Hank Marvin, John Rostill, Alan Hawkshaw, and Brian Bennett. This disc was previously released only in Japan as The Shadows Live In Japan.

This release confirms what I've long suspected, that the Shadows were much more direct and edgy live than in the studio under the control of the technicians. Some pretty nice instro work here, and a few vocals too.

It should also be noted that the masters suffer from many phase problems, which were further compounded by mastering the LP out of phase. The sound is awful. However, the digital magic of Peak® took care of that when I wrote it to CD-R.
Picks: The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt, Man Of Mystery, Nivram, Honorable Puff-Puff, Sleepwalk, Apache, Shadoogie, Guitar Tango, Somewhere, Little 'B', Shazam, Dance On, Nivram, Apache, Exodus, Foot Tapper, Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt, Somewhere, Little 'B', F.B.I.

Track by Track Review

The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

The Shadows lone surf-targeted instro is delivered with deliberate pace and precision. The crowd is very appreciative, and the band tight.

Man Of Mystery dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This stinging Shadows classic is very well played and sounds great. The melody line is immediately identifiable as from the Shadows, both in writing and the echoed lead guitar. Hank Marvin's trademark string bending is evident throughout.

Nivram dotdotdot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

Hank Marvin's namesake "Nivram" is played in a soft jazz style, with delicate and precision guitar and subdued backing. Playful and bouncy, it's on the MOR side of the house.

Honorable Puff-Puff dotdotdot
Shadows Country (Instrumental)

Big bass thump, tweaky guitar treatment, infectious rhythms, and the audience clapping in time, all make "Honorable Puff-Puff" a near country hoe-down prancer. Even the drums are phased in the mixdown (perhaps live as well?). Lots of fun.

Sleepwalk dotdot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

This is an extremely fluffy version of "Sleepwalk." The lap steel is simulated with variations to the volume peddle. Way too light weight for me.

Apache dotdotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This was one of the Shadows biggest hits. It was also the worldwide choice over Jorgen Ingman, who hit in the US and his homeland. This is a fine and fluid version, with excellent guitar rhythms and ringing tone.

Shadoogie dot
Shadows (Instrumental)

"Shadoogie" is a guitar boogie of the first order. Bouncy and fun with no real direction. Well delivered and spirited, but without a solid sense of melody, it's just about rhythm and jam-twang, and very derivative.

Guitar Tango dotdotdot
Shadows Tango (Instrumental)

The Challengers covered this in a more tango arrangement. While their version is more edgy, this is really quite nice. A little more tame than I'd like, but still quite enjoyable.

Somewhere dot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

This is just the slushiest thing I've heard in a long time. Played in the same way they delivered "Sleep Walk," it's so mushy as to be destined for an elevator near you. Sorry Shadows fans, but this is just too squishy for me.

Little 'B' dot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Brian Bennett's drum solo extravaganza "Little 'B'" begins with a jammy guitar fest before the long skin session. The drumming is quite good, of course, but not very imaginative or fluid. Lots of flash, but none of the melodic qualities of a Cozy Cole or Gene Krupa.

Shazam dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This classic Shadows bouncer is in the Duane Eddy vein, but sports entirely too much organ.

Dance On dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Long one of my favorite Shadows tunes, this performance is very good, except for the organ, which seems to take away from the guitar magic. I still prefer the Challengers' version.

Nivram dot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

This is a pretty reserved presentation of "Nivram." More MOR than your mother's favorites, and not very interesting.

Apache dotdotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a twangy and intense version of "Apache." The sound in not as intense as it could be, but the power of the performance is very clear. Excellent track.

Exodus dotdot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

Big piano drama in an almost Ferrante and Teicher arrangement. Pompous, yet delicate.

Foot Tapper dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Another of the Shadows more interesting tunes from a surf perspective, with its bouncy melody line and rhythm. Fun, but sounding a little subdued. I think the Challengers did this better.

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a very slow and silky arrangement of this venerable Broadway tune. Nothing like the Ventures' version, this is the foundation from which Illusion built their fine version. Like "Sleep Walk," a lap steel is simulated via volume control. Quite nice.

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt dotdotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a more spirited performance of "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt." More like the album version, it has pizzazz. Still on the tweaky side.

Somewhere dotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Almost identical to the Olympia take, "Somewhere" is played using the volume to create a lap steel effect. Pompous and squishy.

Little 'B' dotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Another take of Brian Bennett's drum exercise. A better performance than the Olympia take.

F.B.I. dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This classic bouncy Shadows tune closes the show with lots of energy and style. An excellent performance, but the organ interferes with the arrangement.