Andrew Gold

The Late Show: Live 1978

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Usually, soft rockers are seen as studio rats, the kind of singer/songwriter who can't cut it on-stage. That's why Omnivore's archival 2015 release, The Late Show: Live 1978, is so satisfying: it proves that Andrew Gold had serious chops. Recorded at the Roxy in Los Angeles on April 22 1978, just as he and his band were wrapping up a tour supporting his third album, All This & Heaven Too, the concert represents a homecoming for the SoCal native. Gold is energized and so is his band, sounding leaner and brawnier than they did on record while still retaining a gleaming pop sensibility. Timing explains why "Thank You for Being a Friend" arrives mid-show instead of the end -- it reached 25 on Billboard but turned into a standard many years later -- but the encore surprises with a hard-swinging version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" and a candied interpretation of the Beatles' "Doctor Robert." These two covers illustrate Gold's sensibility: in the studio, he may have been a pop perfectionist, but he still loved the rhythm of rock & roll and the chime of guitars, two loves that flourish on this dynamic live album.

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