Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush / Frank Marino

Mahogany Rush Live

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Mahogany Rush wasn't as huge a name in 1970s hard rock/heavy metal as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, or Deep Purple, but the power trio commanded a loyal, good-sized following and provided its share of five-star albums. One of them is this live album, which was recorded during a U.S. tour in late 1977 and came out on vinyl the following year. Mahogany knew how to burn on stage, and this excellent LP really captures the vitality of its 1970s concerts. No one who is seriously into hard rock and metal should be deprived of hearing singer/guitarist Frank Marino let loose on live versions of "Dragonfly," "Electric Reflections of War," and "The Answer." The band is equally captivating on sweaty performances of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," and Muddy Waters' "I'm a King Bee." Some fans were disappointed because Live is a single LP instead of a two-LP set -- many of the gems that Mahogany performed on-stage in 1977 were omitted. The band cites space limitations as the reason, although one suspects that licensing restrictions had something to do with what was and wasn't included. But while Live may not be the perfect document of Mahogany Rush on-stage in the '70s, it is consistently rewarding and is enthusiastically recommended to hard rockers and metalheads.

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