Be Bop Deluxe

Tremulous Antenna

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Sixteen songs from three BBC Radio 1 "In Concert" programs comprise this collection, the performances dating from January 15, 1976 (the first four cuts); October 20, 1976 (the next six tracks); and January 19, 1978 (the final six selections). The 1976 songs are a balanced selection of numbers from the group's first four albums; all six of the 1978 songs are from their then-current release Drastic Plastic. In fact, this is the same set of material that showed up on the mid-'90s releases by ROIR (Radioland) and Windsong (BBC Radio 1 in Concert), though the liner notes don't mention this. Regardless, this set will be valued by committed Be Bop Deluxe fans, since the sound is good and the performances are quite accomplished given how complex the arrangements were. The music's not going to make listeners feel differently one way or the other if they're already familiar with the group's studio releases. It's oddball mid-'70s British rock, not conveniently categorized into glam rock, art rock, or AOR rock, though it's got plenty of trappings of all of those subgenres. Probably this is most valuable to the faithful for the inclusion of so much Drastic Plastic material, since different live versions of seven of the ten songs from the 1976 shows (among them the British hit "Ships in the Night") were on the band's 1977 Live! In the Air Age album.

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