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Articles Home » 1973 Articles » Climax Blues Band - 1973 FM/Live
Climax Blues Band - 1973 FM/Live

ARTIST: Climax Blues Band
LABEL: Sire Records
SERIAL: SES 2-7411
YEAR: 1973


LINEUP: Pete Haycock - guitar, vocals * Colin Cooper - sax, guitar, vocals * Derek Holt - bass, drums * John Cuffely - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All The Time In The World * 02 I Am Constant * 03 Seventh Son * 04 Standing By The River * 05 So Many Roads * 06 Mesopopmania * 07 Country Hat * 08 You Make Me Sick * 09 Shake Your Love * 10 Goin' To New York * 11 Let's Work Together


Formed in the late 1960's, Climax Chicago Blues Band as they originally called themselves were part of the UK 'blues boom' spearheaded by John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Humble Pie and others. Climax Blues Band's early albums were pretty much straight blues workouts and of little interest to these ears since I have never been a big blues rock fan to begin with. It wasn't until the mid-70's that Climax Blues Band scored big with the top ten single 'Couldn't Get It Right' which in my opinion was something of a fluke and it wasn't until 1980 with the Badfinger-ish hit single 'I Love You' that the band really resurfaced proving my hunch was right. A few years later the band would disappear never to be heard from again. Several years ago when I met my wife, her record collection ran the gamut of 70's music and of course included a couple Climax Blues Band LP's. Yeah, passed over those quick, but lately I have been giving these albums a spin, in particular the double set from 1973 'FM/ Live'.

The Songs
Originally a live radio broadcast thanks to the groundbreaking New York radio station WNEW, recorded at the Academy of Music, later known as the Palladium, Climax Blues Band offer up one helluva performance. As I said, this type of thing normally really doesn't do much for me, but the energy of the performance is incredible and the choice of material and execution is inspiring. These guys could play and play well with prog rock virtuosity running the gamut from pop ('I Am Constant') to rough n' tumble boogie ('Standin' By The River'), Climax Blues Band were at the peak of their powers with this recording and I almost wish I had been in the audience.

In Summary
Critics in the know have called 'FM/Live' one of the best live recordings in rock history. While it's not up to par with 'Frampton Comes Alive', 'Strangers In The Night', or 'Live And Dangerous', it certainly is a great performance and if you were to buy just one Climax Blues Band album, 'FM/Live' should be all you need.

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