Many people might believe that Ten Years After with the great frenetic-styled guitar superman Alvin Lee pretty much peaked a few years after Woodstock with the very popular A SPACE IN TIME. However, 1973's ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD seemed like an even better album yet to many loyal fans. But then after 1974 with POSITIVE VIBRATIONS, the band began to fall apart and eventually broke up for a few years while Alvin Lee recorded quite a few solo albums, sometimes with mixed results. But then out of the blue the group recorded a new album in 1989, that was sort of a mixed bag. But then there was a fantastic LIVE 1990 album floating out there that has to be absolutely one of the best live Ten Years After albums ever recorded, although few people know about it.
Available on the UK's Demon label, which usually distributes T.Rex and a few other UK acts, LIVE 1990 starts off with an excellent live version of the new song, "Let's Shake It Up", which utilizes a very clever little back down guitar riff by Alvin Lee. Alvin Lee has the ability to even take basic blues or rock tunes and make them very complex sounding with some awesome guitar tricks. And you'll hear plenty of great guitar riffs on this excellent Cd which never sold very well for some odd reason. This album is a virtually unknown treasure.
The album also is sort of like a live greatest hits document as well, featuring great new live versions of TYA album classics like "Good Morning Little School Girl", "Hobbit", "I'm Going Home" and "Love Like A Man" and more.
TYA were always great live, and this album captures TYA sounding perfect live. The album couldn't be any better than it is. Only two newer songs first recorded on the 1989 reunion album, "Bad Blood" and "Victim Of Circumstance", might be sort ho-hum as far as writing goes, but the rest of this live album ranks among the very best of the live albums that TYA has ever recorded.
If you like great live albums, and seemed to forget that Ten Years After even existed after 1974, then it's high time to tune in this great band once again. Alvin Lee has always ranked up there with other great iconic guitar supermen such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and others. This LIVE 1990 album was also the last album recorded with Alvin Lee playing with the band as well. Alvin Lee produced a number of solo albums after LIVE 1990.
Ten Years After as a group has recorded three albums since Alvin Lee departed the band after the 1990 tour, which includes a new lead singer and guitarist, Joe Gooch. However, none of these albums captures the magic of the albums with Alvin Lee featured on them. Alvin Lee is such a rare guitar talent, a master song writer and a great voice for Ten Years After, that the band simply isn't the same band without him. LIVE 1990 is an album you should own. It's Ten Years After at their very best, with the great Alvin Lee and all his great talents on center-stage where it belongs.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!