Wednesday, 16 April 2014

“Live – The Final Tour” by JIM CROCE/MAURY MUEHLEISEN – A Review Of The Edsel 2012 CD Reissue And Remaster

Here is a link to Amazon UK to get this CD at the best price:

“…Never Seen A Grape…” Live – The Final Tour by JIM CROCE

Made by a member in the audience of a Louisiana University 'sometime' in 1973 (it’s disputed whether or not its January or September 1973) – this CD was originally put out by Essential in 1999. It now receives a welcome reissue in 2012 on Edsel EDSS 1036 as a UK remaster (54:16 minutes - Barcode 740155103637).

On stage with guitar and vocals and accompanied by Maury Muehleisen on lead acoustic guitar and backing vocals – the sound quality varies from superb to weak (as you can imagine). It isn’t as bad as a bootleg - but it isn’t mixing desk quality either – with the acoustic guitar playing being weedy and thinny in places. But it is very clean and sonically acceptable – and in truth – the slight eavesdropping feel to the recording only to the obviously rambunctious atmosphere.

His dialogue to the audience before "Roller Derby Queen" is fabulous – literate – witty – confident – he goes on about getting drunk while dating a girl (dialogue above). The same happens with "Next Time, This Time" and pretty much every other tune in between. It builds a tangible repartee with the audience who laugh along and are clearly digging it. By the time he gets to his huge hit "You Don’t Mess Around With Jim" the crowd are clapping with gusto.

Two songs are new – his hilarious cover of The Coasters "Shopping For Clothes" and an English ballad called "Ball Of Kirriemuir" about 'four and twenty virgins…out on a Saturday night…' who are no longer very chaste come the boozy evening’s end.

JIM CROCE boarded a light aircraft on 20 September 1973 to get to a gig in Sherman in Texas  – the plane crashed on take off killing all six inside. He was only 30.

This lovely and timely reissue confirms what a truly tragic loss that was. 

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