Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Greatest Hits Live

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Who would have thought in 1976 after Commander Cody's move to Warner Brothers Records from MCA and one of the worst live records ever released, We've Got a Live One Here? This is a double crime since the other Warner records, Tales From the Ozone and the self-titled disc, remained unissued on CD at the time of Greatest Hits Live's release in May 2003 while the live piece of sh*t was readily available. In any case, this live King Biscuit Flour Hour performance from as late as 1976 proves without a doubt that the original band still had all of its fire in a live setting. Here are Bruce Barlow, the Commander, Billy C. Farlow -- before his failed tryout to play the lead in The Buddy Holly Story -- Billy Kirchen, and the rest tearing it up for close to an hour on some of their most well-known tunes with excellent sound. Among the classics are "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke," "Ubangi Stomp," "Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues," "The House of Blue Lights," "Truck Drivin' Man," "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar," and of course, "Hot Lincoln." And despite that these tunes had been played literally hundreds of times, the inspiration, raw, reckless swing, and hard country boogie remain intact, full of growling, grimacing hedonism with expert musicianship that was unequaled anywhere. For anyone who owns the originals, has picked up the Akarma reissue of demos and alternate takes, and the one or two Relix live issues, Greatest Hits Live cannot -- just cannot -- be beat for its ass-kickin', joyful noise.

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