Various Artists

MTV's 120 Minutes Live

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The live performances on MTV's alternative video showcase 120 Minutes have always been a little frustrating, since the quality of the music was widely uneven and the performances tended to interrupt the flow of the show. On that basis, it would seem that the appearence of MTV's 120 Minutes Live is something of a mixed blessing, but that's not the case -- it's a really fun collection of live cuts from the mid-'90s, when the alternative revolution had achieved its peak of popularity. There are a couple of dogs scattered throughout the album, but for the most part, the selection is excellent, balancing one-off performances like Evan Dando's acoustic version of the lovely "It's About Time" and Victoria Williams and Lou Reed's duet on "Crazy" with familiar hits and favorites from Oasis ("Supersonic"), Morphine ("Honey White"), PJ Harvey ("C'mon Billy"), Weezer ("Undone (The Sweater Song)"), Violent Femmes ("Kiss Off"), They Might Be Giants ("Particle Man"), the Sex Pistols ("Pretty Vacant"), Bad Religion ("American Jesus"), Porno for Pyros ("Kimberly Austin"), the Verve Pipe ("Villains"), Björk ("Aeroplane") and Radiohead ("Fake Plastic Trees"). It's a good time capsule of the era, and it offers some nice live performances for hardcore fans of the featured artists.

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