Monday, 8 July 2019

Probably, the second best live album in my collection

We all know that the greatest live album of all time is of course "Live 1975-85" by Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band. But three years before I bought that, I saw another live album at my local record store which captured my imagination and decided to buy it there and then: Rod Stewart's "Absolutely Live". One of the reasons why I decided to buy it was that it contained "Young Turks" from Rod's latest, at that time, studio album "Tonight I'm Yours". I had seen the video on Greek television, on a show called "Musicorama", with the lyrics translated. I was so moved by the story of Billy and Patti running away from home together (remember, I was a teenager at that time). Moreover, the album featured other Rod Stewart songs that I already knew: "Passion", "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" and, of course, "Sailing".
"Passion" I had heard on Greek radio, on the "Pop Club" show hosted by Yannis Petridis. This show, together with Greek music magazine "Pop + Rock" (also managed by Petridis) were my two main sources of information on pop and rock music. It was on "Pop + Rock" magazine that I learned about "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" even before I heard it. The reason? The readers of the magazine, almost all of them rock fans, were complaining about this song and also about "Miss You" by The Rolling Stones, accusing both artists of "selling out" by "going disco". All these years later both of these songs are considered classics and Greek rock fans are complaining about different things these days. As for "Sailing", well, I knew it, because it was already considered a classic back then.
However, by listening to the full album after I had bought it I got to discover other songs that I immediately fell in love with: "Tonight I'm Yours", "Tonight's The Night", "You're In My Heart", "Maggie May" and "I Don't Want To Talk About It" (later covered by Everything But The Girl who also covered Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than The Rest"). Also featured were "Stay With Me" with Kim Carnes and Tina Turner and a cover of "The Great Pretender", four years before Freddie Mercury covered it.
Moreover, I got to experience the feel of a big live concert something that I thought that I would never experience first-hand with so few rock concerts taking place in Greece. (I had only attended two concerts at that time, the most important being one by The Boomtown Rats - Bob Geldof's band). This is exactly the same way I felt four years later when I bought Bruce Springsteen's "Live 1975-85". I thought "I will never get to see him live". Fortunately, 22 years after buying "Live 1975-85" I finally saw Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band live in Paris. It took me 22 years for Bruce but, if all goes well, 36 years after I bought "Absolutely Live" I will finally see Rod Stewart this summer!

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