4 out of 5 Stars!
From the U.K. (not Chicago, as many people believe), Climax Blues Band—also known during its early years as either The Climax Chicago Blues Band or simply Climax Chicago, hence the confusion regarding the group’s actual origin—was a hard-drivin’, hard-rockin’ act that released well more than a dozen blues-inspired albums from 1969 and through the ’80s, but sadly, never gained the widespread recognition it deserved.
To me, when it came to much of its material, the band seemed almost a cross between Savoy Brown and Wishbone Ash—only with a sax player in its lineup and the occasional Jazz or Prog overtones.
And live, as displayed on this terrific album, the band absolutely killed! Indeed, when it first came out in 1974, this two-platter collection of dynamic and diverse tracks such as the wildly exceptional “Flight,” along with “All the Time in the World,” “So Many Roads,” “I Am Constant,” “Goin’ to New York,” and especially “Country Hat” with its wicked and crazy slide guitar solo intro was one of my favorite live albums, played by my friends and I as often as Wishbone Ash’s Live Dates, The Allman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East, or Ten Years After’s Recorded Live.
Even now, like those other albums from that same time period, FM/Live conjures up great memories of my youth and never fails to put a smile on my face. About the only gripe I have about this album is the fact that some of my favorites Climax Blues Band songs were left off the live album, hence my overall rating, but I guess you can’t have everything, right?