Ten Years After

Recorded Live

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The cover of Ten Years After's 1973 album Recorded Live depicts a giant reel-to-reel recorder, which certainly captures the era when this double-LP set was recorded. Approaching the end of their run -- only one more album would come, 1974's Positive Vibrations -- Ten Years After were deep into the thick of '70s arena rock, so everything they played on-stage wound up stretching well beyond the five-minute mark, sometimes reaching upward of 11 minutes. Everything on this double-LP places improvisation over groove -- a sentiment that is accentuated on the 2013 expansion, which winds up running 21 tracks over two discs, adding bonus outtakes to the original double-LP set. The best parts here are the improvisations, particularly Alvin Lee's long, languid guitar solos, but this album -- either in its original incarnation or in its expansion -- is a distinctly '70s creation: it's unhurried and indulgent, reveling in its slow, steady march to a virtuosic, never-ending guitar solo.

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