Sal Baglio has never had the opportunity to show his innovative guitar prowess in the context of his Stompers, a vision he brings to the music of Andy Pratt as well as his own Rock E. Rollins Bowie-inspired work. The excitement of The Stompers as a live band overshadowed the fact that Baglio is a superb instrumentalist on the level of Pratt's other guitar genius Mark Doyle, or Ian Hunter axeman Mick Ronson. In 1994, Boston-area label Botown, founded by the late booking agent Mickey O'Halloran, released The Stompers: Greatest Hits Live, an important document of New England's Stompers in the environment where they shined -- on-stage. Live Scrapbook 1979-1983 goes a step further with 15 songs collected from various times and places, "This Is Rock 'N' Roll" from The Paradise nightclub dated February 13, 1979, to a rendition of "You're the One" from New York's Palladium, April 23, 1982. It is in that song that the listener can hear Sal Baglio's ability to get the audience into his performance, the band playing with objectivity while the singer brings the crowd into the mix. The source tapes go from one extreme to the other, "Rock, Jump and Holler" from a July 1, 1983, radio broadcast on Worcester, MA, radio station WAAF at the "Rally in the Alley" is a much different sound than the "Love Is a Stranger" take from Boston's Metro recorded in November 1981. Seven tracks from the WAAF broadcast conclude the album, an important but still not definitive snapshot of this essential 1970s/1980s group that had a powerful grasp of how to entertain a mass audience. Live Scrapbook 1979-1983 is further proof that if The Stompers only had real management they could have conquered the world.
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione