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Author: Subject: If the ABB were to play an entire album as the bands in this article do, which one should it be?

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 03:55 PM
Deja Vu: Acts perform classic albums in concert

By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer Wed Aug 6, 1:54 PM ET

NEW YORK - Play it again, Sam. The whole album, please and in order.

An unmistakable trend in concert-going is the growing number of acts performing their classic albums in full. Part marketing gimmick, part an act of nostalgia, the performances are above all communal celebrations of the album as an art form.

The album is being feted just as thanks to iPods and MP3s its demise is being portended.

To quote the Marvin Gaye album, "What's going on?"

At July's Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, Public Enemy performed 1988's hip-hop classic "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," Sebadoh played their 1993 lo-fi indie favorite "Bubble and Scrape" and Mission of Burma trotted out their 1982 post-punk full-length "Vs."

Earlier this year at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California, Roger Waters played the Pink Floyd classic "Dark Side of the Moon" as his second set.

All of these concerts follow other album performances by Jay-Z, Lucinda Williams, Sonic Youth, Wilco, Slint, Iron Maiden and GZA over the last two years.

As she did earlier this year, Liz Phair will play her landmark 1993 debut, "Exile in Guyville," in three shows later this month to coincide with a rerelease of the disc, commemorating its 15-year anniversary.

The concerts can be meaningful experiences for both artist and listener. The audience gets to hear the music exactly as they digested it and perhaps grew to love it.

"We're all coming there with a kind of expectation," said Phair. "It's the kind of show you have to bring something to. You can't just come and sit back and let it happen. You have to bring your memories. You have to bring your 1993 self."

The trend is even visible in movie theaters. Currently playing in select theaters is Julian Schnabel's concert film of Lou Reed performing his 1973 album, "Berlin." Reed also did a tour of "Berlin" last year.

Though Reed did the shows on his own, it was Barry Hogan who first suggested the idea to him. Hogan is a London-based concert promoter for All Tomorrow's Parties, a festival whose "Don't Look Back" series has been the trendsetter in getting bands to play their classic albums.

In its inaugural year in 2006, albums were performed by the Stooges ("Funhouse"), Gang of Four ("Entertainment!"), Belle & Sebastian ("If You're Feeling Sinister"), Cat Power ("The Covers Record") and Dinosaur Jr. ("You're Living All Over Me").

"When you first mention it to artists, a lot of them, their initial reaction is, `What's wrong with our new stuff?'" said Hogan.

But they've been quicker to come around to the idea, said Hogan. At the ATP festival Aug. 19-21 in the Catskills in upstate New York, Built to Spill, the Meat Puppets, Tortoise and Thurston Moore will all perform albums in full.

"Some people mistake what we're doing with 'Don't Look Back' that we're just trying to be quite retro," said Hogan. "It's more a case of we're celebrating the album."

Though acts reach back into their catalog during a typical performance, many musicians never perform more than a handful of songs from an album. "Guyville," after all, is 18 songs long. But it was composed as a cohesive artistic statement a kind of song-by-song feminist response to another great album, the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street."

"After every single record I've finished, I've said in my own head or to other people, `Wouldn't it be great if we could just go out and perform it top to bottom?'" said Phair. "As I perform the songs, I had the time and focus to really think about what I was thinking about when I wrote that song."

Too much reflection, though, can stunt anyone's creativity. Built to Spill is currently recording a new album in Los Angeles, so lead singer and guitarist Doug Martsch was hesitant to perform their 1997 album, "Perfect From Now On," which will be the focus of their tour this fall.

"I put off listening to the album for a long time," said Martsch. "The first time I tried to listen to it, I couldn't even make it all the way through it. It was kind of boring to me. But after a few listens, it grew on me."

Built to Spill always works in a lot of songs from its catalog in its live show, but the band leaves room for improvisation, frequently jamming layered guitar solos. So many of the songs from "Perfect From Now On" have changed since they recorded them.

"We're trying to get it back to sounding like the record," said Martsch. "Even the songs that we've been playing, it's relearning those."

He added: "I'm looking forward to a whole tour of not having to make any set lists."

Wanting to expand her set lists was a major factor in Lucinda Williams' decision to perform five of her albums 2003's "World Without Tears," 2001's "Essence," 1998's "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," 1990's "Sweet Old World" and 1988's self-titled disc in five nights in both New York and Los Angeles last fall.

"I have such a huge catalog now, that I don't get to play a lot of the songs," said the singer-songwriter. "And I miss a lot of them. We only have so much room in the set. I loved the idea because it kind of satisfied my need to get all those songs out again."

Williams recalls the evenings having an "emotional impact" as well as scrambling backstage in between sets to remember lyrics and harmonies to old, seldom played songs.

The appeal of performing an album in concert is obvious to many acts because they feel similarly about their favorite LPs.

Williams would love to see Bob Dylan play "Highway 61 Revisited" or "Blonde on Blonde" albums that were formative for her. Martsch liked the idea when he heard that Sonic Youth was performing "Daydream Nation."

Asked what album she'd most like to hear performed live, Phair, fittingly, answered "Exile on Main Street."

She maintains the staying power of the album as an art form: "Artists will always want to put together a masterwork," said Phair. "You just have more to say."

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 04:05 PM
In fact they already did it. March 13th 2006, Beacon Theatre NY NY. 35th Anniversary of the recording of the Live at Fillmore East album

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 04:09 PM
Personally, I'd like to hear Stand Back-The anthology!! LOL

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 04:12 PM
EAP..

One artist that they missed was BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE

At a NJ show earlier this year, he did Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town in thier entirety

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 04:21 PM
The first Or EAP i prefere the first,as this was the first thing i always think of when someone mentions the ABB...Dreams and Whippin Post what more do you want?

P.S. Heart did this with Dreamboat Annie and the CD and DVD is awesome!

[Edited on 8/7/2008 by Rydethwind]

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 04:24 PM
Dreams - the box set.
 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 05:32 PM
The first. Gregg always wanted to re-record that with Mr. Dowd

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 05:37 PM
Hittin' The Note

It's the album this band would sound the best on

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 05:46 PM
For me it would be Idlewild South.

The first one I ever heard.

The first one I ever owned.

The first one I fell in love with...

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 06:10 PM
Just for yuks, WIN, LOSE OR DRAW. (mainly just for "Can't Lose What You Never Had" & "High Falls")

Really, I only mention it, since it has currently been in my car's CD player for the last week & a half.

 
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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 06:14 PM
Brothers and Sisters would be pretty hot. No mater how many threads, it's still a shame.
 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 06:14 PM
Hows about one of the two Arista LPs REACH FOR THE SKY or BROTHERS OF THE ROAD? I know that they were pretty lackluster and the 80s new wave production values did not help, but I bet the new ABB can give those songs "fresh coat of paint" or a "makeover." Give em some more "umph" and they will become acceptable songs.

The 1989-present lineups completely ignored the Arista material, and I am sure Derek and Warren can do wonders with it.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 07:19 PM
dittos for Dreams Box Set

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 08:34 PM
No love for Second Helping?? http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules/XForum/images/smilies/wink.gif

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 09:58 PM
They might not be in order, but I bet some nights the band has covered an entire album or two in their setlist.

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 10:06 PM
'Beginnings' from start to finish would be my choice.





[Edited on 8/8/2008 by sixty8]

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 10:42 PM
Pink Floyd and The Who probably have done this more often than any other bands
I went to see Floyd in 75' and they opened with Wish you were here album then took a 1/2 hr.
break, then played Dark side in its entirety then encored with Echoes off the Meddle lp awesome
As far as ABB would love to see them do EAP start to finish

 

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  posted on 8/7/2008 at 11:34 PM
How's this different than the Eat A Peach Revisited on XM? The audience, I guess.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 03:07 AM


Good Call. Where was this picture taken?

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 07:28 AM
Fillmore followed by EAP. Btw, I'm surprised that the article or no one mentioned that Springsteen performed the Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born to Run lps back to back, and it was a theater show. Would have loved to seen that one.

[Edited on 8/8/2008 by sibwlkr]

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 07:32 AM
Brothers and Sisters

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 09:24 AM
Fillmore East? Really? They damn near do that every night!

I'd like Brothers and Sisters myself.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 09:56 AM
quote:
Hittin' The Note

It's the album this band would sound the best on


That get's my vote, too.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 12:19 PM
quote:
'Beginnings' from start to finish would be my choice.





[Edited on 8/8/2008 by sixty8]




Ah you beat me to it.....that way we really get The ABB and Idlewild South.

 

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  posted on 8/8/2008 at 12:22 PM
Fillmore, then maybe Idlewild South.

 

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