X were undeniably not just one of the greatest punk bands, but one of the greatest live rock acts of all time. Although they never issued a true live set featuring the stellar, original lineup with guitarist Billy Zoom, X's one and only live album, 1988's Live at the Whiskey a Go-Go, is still a great sample of the band in concert. Recorded during the tour in support of their album See How We Are (with new addition Tony Gilkyson on the six-string), the quartet sounds ferocious playing at one of their favorite early venues. Many of the versions found here come pretty close to topping the originals, especially in terms of energy, most notably the classics "Los Angeles," "The New World," "Burning House of Love," "Hungry Wolf," "Riding With Mary," "White Girl," "Unheard Music," and "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline." Also included are plenty of the solid, oft-overlooked album cuts such as "Surprise, Surprise," "Because I Do," "Blue Spark," "Devil Doll," and "The World's a Mess," as well as several more country-flavored tunes performed as X's alter ego, the Knitters (including the great "The Call of the Wreckin' Ball"). Live at the Whiskey a Go-Go is essential X. [Due to time limitations, the tracks "In the Time It Takes," "Just Another Perfect Day," and "True Love" were not included on the CD version].
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato