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God's Own Medicine (Live)

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Album Review

By the time of their second album (if one considers the compilation stop-gap The First Chapter to be their first), the Mission had truly hit the ground running. Bigger than the Sisters of Mercy had ever been, and more commercial, too, the band simply churned out the hits and, as the years passed and the tour dates mounted up, it was easy to believe that Wayne Hussey must have been getting just a little sick of playing the same songs every night. It doesn't show. Recorded on the second of the Mission's four nights in London in February and March 2008, God's Own Medicine: Live recounts the band's breakthrough masterpiece track by track, note for note, inflection for inflection, and it sounds terrific. Better than that, in fact, as the sold-out audience merges its vocals with the band and, from the moment the opening "Wasteland" kicks in, you know this is not a simple live album you're listening to. It's an event, a moment in history that transcends whatever you might ordinarily think of the Mission, and restates their claim to have ranked among the essential acts of the '80s. Four nights, four albums replayed in their entirety, with period B-sides and oddities thrown in at the end. It could have become as cynical an exercise as the critics declared some of the band's later recordings were. But this is the Mission at their best, and Wayne Hussey at his most captivating and, if you don't believe it, listen to the roar that welcomes "Severina" into view. Unbelievable.

God's Own Medicine (Live), The Mission
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