To Live for to Die

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The trend for bands to re-bootleg their own bootlegs, exemplified by Emerson, Lake & Palmer's multi-box efforts, has seen some extraordinary music unearthed from the dungeons -- and some extraordinary depths plumbed in the process. To Live for to Die, sadly, falls firmly in the latter category. Recorded in 1970 in Hamburg, when it became the Man band's first ever bootleg, it was monstrous even then, a fuzzy, tinny, distant blur that you really had to work at to decipher. That was then; this is now. Unfortunately, that is all that's changed. To Live for to Die is still fuzzy, still tinny, still a blur -- and with added pops and crackles, as the vinyl source shows its age. All of which is tragic because, if you close your eyes and suspend the pain, there's a magnificent band playing a tremendous gig in here, with what could be a career-best "Spunk Box," an opener that must have blown the audience's heads apart. But the sound is so insufferable that it'll be a brave soul indeed who can even listen through the entire track, let alone the full performance. Leave this one for the fans who must have everything.

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