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Album Review

Recorded in concert accompanied by drummer Keith Knudsen, Lee Michaels goes through mostly extended versions of various songs from five of his first six albums, interspersed with numbers unique to his concerts, such as "My Lady." Oddly enough, Michaels doesn't perform his biggest hit, "Do You Know What I Mean," preferring numbers such as "Oak Fire" and "Rock Me Baby" from the same album. This is an honest presentation of a Lee Michaels concert, with a raw, un-retouched sound, and he is in excellent form, instrumentally and vocally, on numbers like "Hold on to Freedom," "Stormy Monday," and most of the rest of this album. It might not be the best way to start listening to him, however; Recital and the self-titled third album are better in that connection. Lee Michaels Live is a heavy dose of Michaels' brand of bluesy, R&B-based rock, and while he does coax a nice range of sound out of his two-instrument combo, ultimately it lacks some of the variety found on his early studio albums, which also had more of a psychedelic feel than is to be found here. Ironically, the six-minute Keith Knudson drum solo, more than anything in Michaels' own performance, is the one artifact that dates this album.

Biography

Born: 24 November 1945 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most interesting second-division California psychedelic musicians, keyboardist Lee Michaels was one of the most soulful white vocalists of the late '60s and early '70s. Between 1968 and 1972, he released half a dozen accomplished albums on A&M that encompassed baroque psychedelic pop and gritty white (sometimes gospel-ish) R&B with equal facility. A capable songwriter, Michaels was blessed with an astonishing upper range, occasionally letting loose some...
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Live, Lee Michaels
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