Living Proof documents an IQ concert from May 1985 recorded for the British television series Live From London. The LP edition was released without the band's consent (or knowledge) and bore poor sound quality, and was deleted in 1987. Giant Electric Pea (a label managed by IQ members) reissued it with improved sound quality in 1992. This is a good performance. Most of the material comes from the then-recently released The Wake; six of the album's seven tracks are included. These songs differ very little from the studio recordings, but "Outer Limits" gets extra value in terms of punch, and overall this album provides an opportunity to hear how the material translated into a live setting. Paradoxically, the band sounds tighter and more confident here than on The Wake. Of more interest are the powerfully delivered "Awake and Nervous" (from Tales From the Lush Attic), the riveting "It All Stops Here" (from the band's self-released first album), and "Just Changing Hands" (the B-side of the 7" single "Barbell Is In"). These are the real treats.
Another live oldies live band release that I wasn't even aware of - until I looked for a live Turtles release. I give 'Captured Live' a five-star rating for it's fun factor alone. Show was recorded on New Year's Eve 1991 at the Bottom Line in New York. Original Turtles front men (wouldn't have it any other way, would we?) Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan lead up - as usual lead the festivities to give us true patrons and followers nearly an hour's worth of pure solid gold goodness to thoroughly take in. I was maybe ten when these guys first appeared on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Another TD soundtrack that saw the daylight years after its recording was Deadly Care, music for a TV movie that was composed and recorded back in 1987 by Edgar Froese and Chris Franke but not released until 1992. The CD contains all of the music as supplied by TD to Universal Television. "Deadly Care" is a haunting, detached and at times a melancholic soundtrack. It's dark soundscapes are apropos and the quality of the musical performances are very refined. Edgar Froese and friends entice listeners with an ominously profound, gloomy but high quality CD, namely, Deadly Care.
Composer Angelo Badalamenti, who wrote the music for the television series for which this movie served as a "prequel," presents another low-key score mixing after-midnight jazz with ambient sounds, never taken at more than a medium tempo. The mood is dark and languid, appropriate to the unusual tone of the TV show and movie. Jimmy Scott and Julee Cruise contribute eerie vocals to songs with lyrics by director David Lynch.
Sand was a side project by Edward Ball, a songwriter, singer, guitarist and keyboard player from London, who has recorded both solo and as a member of the Television Personalities, 'O' Level, Sand, Teenage Filmstars, The Times, and Conspiracy of Noise. He also served as an executive at Creation Records.
Taj's Blues is an entertainingly diverse record, featuring a variety of blues and roots-music styles, all fused together into a distinctive sound of its own. Half of the album is played on acoustic, the other with an electric band (which includes guitarists Ry Cooder and Jesse Davis on a handful of tracks), which gives a pretty good impression of the range of Mahal's talents. It's a good collection, featuring many of his best performances for Columbia, including "Statesboro Blues" and "Leaving Trunk," as well as the unreleased "East Bay Woman".