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Alvin Lee - "The Anthology"
Repertoire Records 2002

Here is the final retrospective of a man who sold his soul to the blues. He is all in one: a great singer, awesome guitar player and highly talented composer like Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Leslie West, Peter Green or Rory Gallagher.

Keep on Rockin', a straight rock'n roller, opens this set of 24 chosen highlights in Alvin's career. I wasn't even born when this guy was voted as the fastest finger flicker in the West after his shocking live performance on Woodstock with Ten Years After in 1969. This compilation includes also a live eighties version of TYA cult classics I'm Going Home and Love like a Man. Both versions on this set are powerful stage performances of this blues giant, capturing once again incredible high mood on stage. And when this mood would took him, he would always bring some jazz influences inside his unique playing style of blistering solos. A fantastic fusion!

Actually this double set offers mixture of everything. Some pure rock'n'roll in pieces like Jenny Jenny, Play It like It Used to Be or another stage explosion Hear Me Calling. Than he'd take us on a journey through some of his finest blues masterpieces The Bluest Blues (this song really sends shivers down the spine), Real Life Blues (with George Harrison playing slide guitar on both pieces), another live emotional outburst Help Me Baby, Wake Up Mama and Ain't Nobody's Business. You'll find satisfaction in hard rock with Shot In The Dark that contains incredible splashing drum beat. And this set also includes acoustical adventure My Road to Freedom (that really set the beginning of his solo career) ornamented with unmistakable Alvin's red Gibson ES - 335's unique lead break touches, while Back In My Arms can be marked as a typical R&B number. Of course a hit single Love the Way You Rock Me didn't miss its place on this compilation. Alvin adopts his singing style to the structure of song compositions soulfully all the way.

I highly recommend this double historical document of one of the finest bluesman, especially to those who are facing with Alvin's legacy for the first time.

Author:   Aleš

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