- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Eddie Jobson / keyboards, e-violin & electronics
- John Wetton / bass & vocals
- Bill Bruford / kit drums & percussion
Ok, this may be hard to do. I really like this recording of the first incarnation of UK. This release took 20 years to make it out for the public to hear. It took so long due in part to the fact that Eddie Jobson thought the band was losing money on bootleg recordings that were out and he stopped this one for a long time. This CD is a recording of a live radio broadcast of their concert for a Boston, Mass. area radio station in 1978. The bootleg of this show was called Paradise Lost.
This is a great radio concert. The whole band can be heard well. This sounds like the band was playing well for this show. Everyone plays and sounds great although it does sound in places as if John was not totally into the show completely.
I think UK is best when the guitar is riffing and comping along with the keys and violins of Eddie. This show has an abundance of exquisite keyboard, synth and violin playing by Eddie Jobson. Allan does his bits really well and the tunes live sound better to me than they did in the studio. Bill's drums are there in the mix and he is wonderful with his spot on fills, rolls and his changing speeds and dynamics. John's bass playing is full and monstrous. He does take the volume up here and there but they never have sounded like this in the studio. These guys sound wonderful and they even seem like they are enjoying playing these tunes here. Every once in a while John's vocals are off in that he sings early or late on some verses coming back from an instrumental excursion. The star of this show is Eddie and his specially designed keyboards, synths set up. Everything he plays sounds so good be it organ, synths, electric piano or e. violin.
I think this is great stuff. One thing i have always wondered about this band was the fact that most of the tunes have multiple parts where they change speeds and add a bit here or there all the transitions have to me sounded very rough or "amateurish". I don't hear that here in so much as I hear a much smoother group of jazz/rock fusiony tunes with symphonic keyboards and violins just jamming away. Maybe that's what happens when you play live is that the tunes get better than when you put them together in the studio and that is what I think happened here.
My favorite songs here are "The Only Thing She Needs" and "Carrying No Cross". I won't go into the tunes much as I am sure most people are familiar with them. The 7 tunes listed here are different than what is on the CD packaging in that they left off the song "The Only Thing She Needs". The encore here is "Caesar's Palace Blues" and is a nice kind of mutant blues riff done in violin and guitar.
This is the best incarnation of UK caught live. Too bad it took so long for it to see the light of day. They do have a reunion CD in the can but have not released it yet. It is supposedly called Legacy.