Climax Blues Band
Released: December 1973
Chart Peak: #107
Weeks Charted: 30
If you were looking for a band with substantial blues roots, technically excellent playing both individually and collectively, and a live excitement that grabs and never lets go, you couldn't do much better than the Climax Blues Band. This English quartet has been around in roughly the same form ever since Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry were obscure blues singers; and FM Live is a fine sampler of their live act, using uptempo blues-rockers to establish a primal intensity sustained throughout a spirited set. Colin Cooper's booming baritone vocals and inventive sax blowing (he plays lines like pre-Thirties Chicago blues guitarists) are spectacularly well-blended with Pete Haycock's tastefully flashy guitar, all of which is intertwined around the urgent poundings of a highly sympathetic rhythm section. The result is a lengthy but not excessive show that's highly enjoyable -- the product of a tight, talented professional unit.
- Gordon Fletcher, Rolling Stone, 4/11/74.
- Billboard, 1974.
A truly superior double LP set from one of England's more interesting exponents of blues. Combining straight blues-rock with some belligerent jazz bastardizations, this exciting foursome gets a lot of mileage out of their musical idiom. With anchoring bass and cannon volley drum rhythms laying a firm foundation, Climax lets loose some frenzied reed work and the hottest, nastiest guitar work this side of early Clapton and Page. Although not a perfect album, FM/Live comes close enough to please the beejeebers outta ya.
- Ed Naha, Circus, 1/74.
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