I first heard Live at my High School’s Battle of the Bands. I don’t remember what song was played (my guess is Operation Spirit ) but it put the band on my radar. I think my brother Rob owned it. I purchased it in 1993 and it has endured as a favorite since.
Mother Earth is a Vicious Crowd. Yes she is. That I can relate to the message here, sadly. It has become a world of communication that has no local definition. Do you talk to the stranger next to you or do you text your friend a joke saw on some website? I am guilty of this myself at times. I am sure of it. I As a natural introvert I am more like to withdraw, though lately I am actively fighting it. Ed K.’s voice is full of energy and the plea for connection is raw and painful.
The Beauty of Grey has a protest song feel with a message about self, your views and how they may not gibe with what ideals you claim. It is a song about finding a middle ground, becoming one and moving forward.
Note: The guy who put this video up has the Secret Samadhi cover art, not the art from Mental Jewelry.
Pain Lies by the Riverside and Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition) both received a lot of air play and are solid songs. They are not the most familiar songs to fans of Live (Throwing Copper was more of their breakthrough success, at least mainstream) but they have the angst and questioning that was the strength of this album as a whole.
Brothers Unaware plays off alienation that is present in society. The things we get caught up in, what we let drift by. While the themes of this album could never be described as happy or upbeat on a whole, this is a dark song.
The final song on the album is 10,000 Years (Peace is Now). How fitting, the album ends with an apocalypse of sorts. Snide comment aside ” Poets and Preachers and Politicians/they’ve all had their say/ And we’ve got 10,000 years/ devoted to nothing/ but tomorrow and yesterday.” that right there, poetry in song form. Truthfully the written word does not do justice to Ed’s wailing on this one.
“If all of the ignorance in the world had a second to go/ what would you say?/ and who would you obey/I am here to say Peace is Now.”
Album number 7 is a must have if you are only going to purchase one Live album. This album is why I have purchased every Live album released. The others are fine, in fact if I were ranking songs a few would be quite high, but this is about a whole piece and all of the above plus the other six songs make for a spirited first album by any band.