For the most part, the pop-metal and hair metal bands of the late '80s were all about looks. In fact, for some, knowing just the right amount of hairspray and make-up to apply was as important as writing memorable songs. But there were a few exceptions to the rule, such as Giant, who were one of the few bands from this era to go the Toto route. In other words, they were comprised mostly of studio musicians who were taking a stab at making it inside a rock band set-up. And to a certain degree, it worked for the Giant gentlemen, as they scored a few moderate-sized hits ("I'm a Believer," "I'll See You in My Dreams," etc.), before falling out of sight (with guitarist Dann Huff subsequently making a name for himself as a producer of other bands -- tops being Megadeth). The band reunited briefly in the early 21st century for a new album, and a few years later, offered their first live album, 2003's Live and Acoustic. As its title suggests, you get both plugged-in and acoustic renditions of Giant favorites (recorded throughout their career), including "Innocent Days" and "Chained," which sound exactly like the groups that were hogging the majority of MTV's airtime in the '80s (Winger, Def Leppard, etc.), as well as stripped-down acoustic versions of "Lay It on the Line." All in all, Live and Acoustic is obviously one of those "aimed at the hardcore fan" type releases.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato