Live in Concert, Vol. 1

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10cc's 1993 Japanese tour was a disaster, in musical terms if not (one assumes) financial. Certainly, the ensuing live album has since been released in so many different permutations, and beneath so many different titles, that there can be very few fans who have not bought it at least once. Probably by accident, but the accountants don't care. Live in Concert, Vol. 1 (and, correspondingly, Vol. 2 were the first of these permutations to strike American soil, single discs arrived at by the simple expedient of slicing of the original two-CD package in half, and damn the consequences. In terms of quantity, Vol. 1 is the best. Ten tracks include five of 10cc's biggest hits, plus a couple of Beatles covers, and even a glimpse inside the band's latest album. Quality, on the other hand, is another matter entirely, as surviving founders Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, at the head of a largely anonymous sextet, simply bluster their way through the repertoire, with plenty of volume but not a jot of the enthusiasm or finesse that the songs themselves deserve. And while the audience does sound suitably excited, crowd noise alone cannot recommend a live album. Avoid.

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