Quicksilver Messenger Service

Fillmore Auditorium San Francisco September 1966

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There's an abundance of official and unreleased live Quicksilver Messenger Service from the late '60s, and since they didn't change their sets all that much during 1966-1968, the proliferation of such bootlegs is a little overwhelming. This is one of the more obscure ones, and though it isn't the best, it's quite all right. The sound is pretty good, especially for a live 1966 rock recording, though somewhat dull in presence and imperfectly balanced (unfortunately making some of the guitar hard to hear, though the vocals come through well). Quicksilver had a little bit more of a garage-blues rock & roll energy at this point than they would in their slightly later, more psychedelic phase, and while the more psychedelic stuff is better and more original, the rawer approach is worth hearing, too. There's a somewhat higher quotient of blues and rock & roll covers than their later sets -- "Got My Mojo Working," "Smokestack Lightning," "Susie Q," and Bo Diddley's "Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut" are all included. But there are also early versions of more adventurous material like "Dino's Song" and "Gold and Silver," as well as a fine "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and folkier and jazzier covers like "Your Time Will Come" and "Codeine." The rarest item -- certainly in terms of how often the song has surfaced on live Quicksilver tapes -- is "Hair Like Sunshine," though it's a pretty ho-hum blues-rocker. The CD closes with three outtakes -- in rather dull sound, again, but of fair studio quality -- dated October 30, 1970, of "Holy Moly," "Local Color," and "Too Far," three songs that appeared on late-'60s/early-'70s Quicksilver albums.