Hot Tuna

Extended Versions

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The budget Extended Versions series has been a mixed bag from the jump. The title implies one thing, but what it actually means is another. It simply means "live versions." Live records are always iffy propositions. Sometimes they are, but more often they've been doctored significantly in the studio and a live version can be significantly different from the familiar studio track. And while it's true they can be longer than those on a studio album, it's not always the case. Hot Tuna's edition is a case in point. Recorded all through the '70s and taken form official live sources, from acoustic to electric dates, this is one of the few titles in this series that's actually worth it. There are terrific acoustic readings of "I Know You Rider," "Death Don't Have No Mercy," "Uncle Sam Blues," and "Embryonic Journey." The electric cuts smoke too: the wooly, loose "Funky 17," "Genesis," (this version is significantly different and seems to mean something else as well), and "I Wish You Would." This is a killer little compilation of Hot Tuna at their best.

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