music: Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus

Waiting for Columbus album coverI had this live double album and sold it because I wasn’t that big a fan. But I heard a friend’s copy and had to buy it again. “All That You Dream” has one of the greatest intros ever (video of another live version, not as crisp). Bill Payne’s synthesizer lines (ARP Oberheim, I assume) on “Time Loves a Hero”-“Day or Night”, though they sound dated, sear and soar. Another great pair of songs is “Tripe Face Boogie” and “Oh Atlanta” There’s tension between the down-home Southern boogie, New Orleans sophisticated funky vibe, jazz-rock jams (Lowell George left soon after over the usual “musical differences”) but out of that tension between the musicians came some phenomenal music.

Reading about the album and band on Wikipedia makes me appreciate it even more

  • it is considered by many rock music critics to be one of the best live albums of all time, even though significant portions of George’s vocals and slide work were over-dubbed later in the studio.
  • Little Feat were the backing band for Robert Palmer‘s album Pressure Drop, which featured his cover version of Lowell’s song “Trouble.”

Ahh, when live albums captured bands at their peak, with the mobile truck rolled up and months spent remixing and re-recording to perfect the presentation. Besides this, I have some other greats: Frampton Comes Alive, Welcome Back My Friends… (ELP), and Yessongs. Now most concert DVDs are a cheaply-made capture off the PA board, at best a slightly embarrassing memento.

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