Saturday, July 25, 2015


A new Little Feat album has been spotten : "On The Eastern Front".
Live in Japan, July 1978.

The promo talk :
The release of Little Feat s The Last Record Album in 1975 signaled another change in the group's sound. Following their adoption of a funk style, most notable on their work with The Meters and Robert Palmer the year before, but also on their previous LP, Feats Don t Fail Me Now, Paul Barrere and Bill Payne had developed an interest in jazz rock. George continued to produce the albums, but his songwriting contribution diminished as the group moved into jazz fusion, a style in which he had little interest. In August 1977, Little Feat recorded a live album from gigs at the Rainbow Theatre in London and Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. Waiting for Columbus is considered by many critics to be among the best live albums of all time, despite significant portions of George's vocals and slide work being over-dubbed later in the studio. It was released in 1978, by which time it had become apparent that Lowell George's interest in the band was waning, as was his health. Indeed Little Feat s first ever tour of Japan - a territory by then hungry for live performances by the band - was initially planned for March 1978, but due to Lowell s physical status, it was delayed until July. But their performance in Tokyo on 8th July finds Lowell George and the entire band on top form, as the performance there given, as included on this CD from a live transmission attests, was exceptional - a strong contender perhaps for the second best live Little Feat live album ever. Featuring a set-list to kill for - a superb selection of songs old and new - one listen to this archive recording suggests a band at their finest, not one on the skids as has sometimes been suggested - not least by Lowell George himself. Soon after the tour, George did some work on what would eventually become Down on the Farm but then declared that Little Feat had disbanded. In an interview with Bill Flanagan (for the book Written In My Soul), George made it clear that he felt the demise of Little Feat was due to his having allowed the band to be run democratically, with the result that Payne and, to a lesser extent, Barrere, had a presence as songwriters and in production which was disproportionate to their abilities. George was particularly scathing about Payne's attempts at jazz fusion. In the same interview, George stated that he planned to reunite Little Feat without Payne and Barrère. Whether or not the planned reunion would have ever gone ahead is, of course, open to conjecture alone, because sadly, while touring in support of his only solo-album Thanks, I'll Eat It Here, Lowell George collapsed in his hotel room in Arlington, Virginia at the age of 34. An autopsy determined the cause of death was a heart attack, although it is considered likely that his excess weight, drug use, and the strain of touring contributed to his condition. This concert, performed almost exactly one year before Lowell s untimely passing, is a fine tribute to a master musician and exceptional songwriter, as well as to a legendary band who - despite some unfortunate opinions which may well have been retracted had the opportunity arisen - remained, until the true ending of the classic-line-up, an exceptional and legendary group who continue, almost 40 years later, to delight and fascinate fans old and new.

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