Live Recordings Album reviews.
Release Date: 11.13.01
Record label: capitol
They're Gonna Crack Your Little Skull
by: bill aicher
When a group as high-profile as Radiohead announces they are releasing their first official set of live recordings, the world takes notice. After all the years of touring and recording, countless bootlegs have floated around their fan communities. However, as with most bootlegs, fans have had to suffer both the pains of finding such recordings and the horrid sound quality many of them demonstrate.
I Might Be Wrong - Live Recordings marks the first official live "album" from Radiohead. Featuring a selection of songs from their past two albums, Kid A and Amnesiac, the band demonstrates that even their recent turn to the avant-garde in the studio can be translated to live rock performance. Many of the songs have been stripped of some layers, giving fans the live versions they have craved.
From the fuzzed-out bass of "The National Anthem" to the Kaos Pad tripped-out sampling in "Everything in Its Right Place," Radiohead have proven their ability to translate these songs for live perfomance. Even "Like Spinning Plates," which was based on a song played in reverse with new (forward) layers of vocals and instruments over the top on Amnesiac has been reworked and revamped for live performance, replacing the backward samples with simple piano.
But even though the recordings are top-notch soundboard quality and the new interpretations are interesting listens, the album should have been more. Composed of only 8 tracks taken from different shows on their recent tour, one can't help but feel a bit ripped off. Why not release a full show on a double-disc album? There is a feeling of lack of continuity here, like it's just a few live tracks tossed together.
There is one true gem here however. A gem that makes the album worth it's purchase price. That gem is the inclusion of "True Love Waits," a song that has been around since the time of OK Computer, yet has never seen the "official" light of day. This live version is the only official version to exist and fans have clamored for it for years. And rightfully so - it's a splendidly beautiful track of just Thom Yorke on vocals and acoustic guitar.
The I Might Be Wrong - Live Recordings EP started out as a great idea. Unfortunately somewhere things went wrong. What could have been an excellent live album became a fairly forgettable disc of a few live tracks. For a band who has surprised us so much in the past, it is disheartening to see such a half-hearted release. 15-Nov-2001 2:00 PM