Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Al Jarreau - In London (1985)


Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.  A deluxe edition with 4 bonus tracks was released in 2010, but my copy is the original CD release.

Recorded at Wembley Arena, London in November 1984, this doesn't contribute much, if anything, to the Jarreau Ĺ“uvre. While the performances are high energy, they aren't much different from the previously released versions.  Much like watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, the applause and crowd noise seems fake and forced.  Still, I was a Jarreau completist in '85 so I picked it up on vinyl upon release.  Then, 30 years late, I wanted to hear it again and got the CD on the cheap ($2.80).  It's good, just needless.  Money grab from WB?  Easy contract filler from Al?  Both?  Meh - doesn't matter much.  This will continue to get occasional spins for those times when I go full Jarreau in my listening (which is more often than you might think).

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #125
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #10
Peak on Billboard's RB albums chart: #55
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #108

Tracks:  8 songs, 40 minutes.  Simply put, if you like the studio versions, you'll like these rote live versions, too.
  1. Raging Waters, originally from High Crime
  2. Black and Blues, originally from Jarreau
  3. I Will Be Here For You, originally from Jarreau
  4. Let's Pretend, originally from High Crime
  5. High Crime, originally from High Crime
  6. Roof Garden, originally from Breakin' Away
  7. Teach Me Tonight, originally from Breakin' Away
  8. We're in This Love Together, originally from Breakin' Away and Jarreau's biggest chart hit (#15 pop, #6 R&B, #6 AC) 
Curiously, all the original albums were produced by Jay Graydon but this live album was produced by Tommy LiPuma.  A live video was also produced and is advertised in the CD liner notes:




Personal Memory Associated with this CD: (mostly self-plagiarized from my memory for High Crime): With dear friends Richard L. and Eleanor J., I saw Jarreau supporting this album in August 1985 at the Southern Star Amphitheater at Astroworld. I think some apartments stand at that location now, but it was Houston's only outdoor concert venue before they opened that mosquitofest in The Woodlands. The concert was fantastic but that's not what I remember most: I had great seats (8th row) and in the seat directly in front of me sat pro basketball hall of famer Moses Malone. Malone was in the prime of his career and a complete jerk. When fans would approach him for an autograph, one of his people would step in and tell them that Moses was on vacation and wasn't signing autographs. Really?!? I hate it when celebrities want the fame and fortune that comes with being a star and think they can still go out in public like a normal person. About 10 people asked for autographs, so that would have taken maybe 2 minutes of his time. What a jackhole. In related news: on the way home from the concert, I got my first speeding ticket (65 in a 55).


The wonders of the Internet (and the excellent site RockinHouston.com) give us this photo from that night:

This live album was released in August '85, so there's that tenuous connection as well. David Sanborn opened.  Instead of my customary sleeveless concert tee, I opted for a white sweatshirt like this one that's currently selling on iOffer.com:


Current ridiculous asking price for the sweatshirt: $255.99.  I think I paid $25 (consider I was making $4.10/hr at the local plumbing supply that summer).  I wore my sweatshirt often, usually with dark green khaki pants from the army-navy surplus store.  And a mullet.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Givin' It Up (2006) 
L is for Lover (1986)
High Crime (1984) 
Jarreau (1983)
Breakin' Away (1981) 
This Time (1980)

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