Time to review the two newest CD's in my (fairly vast) collection. I bought Rollins Band The Only Way To Know For Sure and Iron Maiden's newest live CD Rock In Rio. First a word about live CD's:
I LOVE live recordings. Everyone I know who listens to Rock 'N Roll agrees with me on this one point, live is the absolute best way to see, hear and experience rock. Barring being able to go to the shows and see the bands I like every single night of the week, I buy the live CD's. Some of my favorites & basis for most comparisons are George Thorogood's Live and Let's Work Together, Iron Maiden's Live After Death, Iced Earth's Alive In Athens, Whitesnake Live... In the Heart Of The City (That was before they were a "glam" band, when they played REAL blues rock... check it out!), The Who Who's Last, AC/DC If You Want Blood, You've Got It Metallica Binge And Purge, Black Sabbath Reunion and many others. If you name a band I like, chances are I have at least one live CD, either an official release or a bootleg.
Rollins Band The Only Way To Know For Sure I was looking forward to this one for a few reasons. First, the last live CD he released, an internet-only disc called A Clockwork Stage Orange didn't have my favorite Rollins Band Song, "Illumination" on it. Second, this was a double CD set, so naturally there would be more songs. Third, I knew from prior experience, that Rollins would try not to duplicate too much between the two discs, since they were so close together. That being said, I was a bit apprehensive about this release. It hadn't been very long since the last live CD (the aforementioned A Clockwork Stage Orange was from the 2000 world tour) and Rollins has made it a habit to release almost as much live material as studio material. There are a few reasons for it, if you are familiar with the band. For starters, they do more than 100 shows EVERY year, and are a top-shelf live band (if you haven't seen them live and are reading this, get to the next show!). Henry also likes to include live tracks on as bonus tracks when he re-releases something (a single, a remix or remaster), or to release an internet-only fan "extra." Rollins Band is my absolute favorite band right now, so I have every CD, both internet-only and the "official" releases, so I have quite a bit of Rollins Band live stuff. All of that being said, The Only Way To Know For Sure is a mamouth slab of straight-forward, pedal to the metal rock 'n roll. It will, I'm sure be spending quite a bit of time in my CD player. The concept is a straight-forward live CD, no overdubs, no frills. It was recorded and mixed on analog tape.