Live Fast, Love Hard!
Robert Gordon, Link Wray & Chris Spedding
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For Live Fast, Love Hard, rockabilly singer Robert Gordon went into his own vaults to license two concerts recorded during the late 1970s — the period for which he is best-known — with both of his star attraction guitarists, Link Wray and Chris Spedding. Before getting started, this set issued by Fuel 2000 is not a rehash of any of the live Gordon documents that have been circulating since the '90s. These are newly circulated board tapes. Disc one features Gordon playing live with Wray (the rhythm section is uncredited) in a set that can only be called blistering. It burns with white-hot, hedonistic rockabilly intensity, ignited by the guitarist's overdriven, "Rumble"-style guitar throughout — it's useful to remember that Wray was issuing some killer recordings of his own during the period. (Remember Bullshot?) The set is familiar in terms of songs, but the highlights are "If This Is Wrong," the midtempo ballad that opens the set, "Lonesome Train," with some in-the-red guitar by Wray, and set closer "I Got a Woman." There is a "bonus track" included on this disc: an early live reading of "Black Slacks" that is actually the beginning of the Spedding gig, and was inexplicably placed here. Speaking of disc two, it has an entirely different feel and clocks in at a meager 31 minutes, but that's just fine because what's here is simply smoking. From "Lonely Weekend" and readings of "Little Sister," "Motor Biking," "Shakin' All Over," and closers "Rockabilly Boogie" and "Red Hot." Spedding, being an entirely different-sounding guitarist, comes off more like Jeff Beck did in the Yardbirds than he does someone like, say, James Burton, Scotty Moore, or Dorsey Burnette. The Wray disc is more kinetic to these ears, but that takes nothing away from disc two because Gordon and Spedding work extremely well together; in addition, the singer is in truly excellent form throughout. Sound is better than one would think for a board tape, and the mix is decent, with very little if any editing. Fans of Gordon's will flip over this.
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