In between American Music Club albums, and also in between labels, Mark Eitzel was offered a deal to fly to London and play a solo show with the intention of releasing the results. To the dismay of many within the AMC camp, Eitzel accepted the deal, as he would have complete control over whatever came of it. Songs of Love Live is the result, a documentation of his show at London's Borderline. Though he played nearly half of what would become AMC's best work (Everclear), most of the CD is made up of gripping versions of earlier favorites, such as "Outside This Bar" and "Gary's Song" (from Engine), as well as "Firefly" and "Blue and Grey Shirt" (from California). The only missing element is the trademark banter between Eitzel and his audience. To paraphrase Saturday Night Live's Dieter from "Sprockets," Eitzel masks his self-depracation with the subtlety of a flying mallet, and when combined with his razor-sharp wit, it can lead to some hilarious and sometimes uncomfortable exchanges with the crowd. The closing songs "Take Courage" (a one-off Matador solo single) and "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" were actually recorded by Eitzel in a small room at Demon's offices. Fitting perfectly with the AMC mystique, Songs of Love Live was the best selling Eitzel record to date, despite it's U.K.-only release. A key possession for any AMC fan, it provides an unfiltered, uncompromised, raw vision of Mark Eitzel's songs.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman