The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
BABYLON AD LIVE AT 25 ALBUM REVIEW 2015

BABYLON A.D. - LIVE @ 25

APOCALYPSE RECORDS | Release Date: March 11 2015

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">When you think ‘Live’ albums you immediately think of Rock, and when you think about the great Live Rock albums of the past few decades some immediately jump out – Thin Lizzy’s ‘Live and Dangerous’; UFO’s ‘Strangers in the Night’; Deep Purple’s ‘Made in Japan’; Humble Pie’s ‘Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore’ and add to that your personal favourites…


All classics and all very much a part of Rock’s great history. But when you think of the state of music today, all the bootlegs and downloads floating about what really stands out as a classic rock album of, I don’t know, say the last ten or maybe even twenty years?


Have there been any? Sure classic artists from Bad Company to Bowie, Cream to Led Zeppelin have all released live albums during that time, but could you consider any of them real classics?


Earlier this year a band you may not have even heard of put out a live album to mark their 25th anniversary. There was no fanfare, just a handful of dates and no big label budget. But you know what I for one feel comfortable mentioning it in the same breath as some of those lofty releases. For e you see the ‘Live album’ is all about capturing that experience – taking the music laid down in the studio and taking it to new places injecting it with more bite, letting those guitars wail! I want to close my eyes and feel I’m there, and if I have been there I want that ‘Live album’ to capture what that felt like. I want to feel the excitement, relive that night, reach out and touch the music…


‘Live @ 25’ is an album that does that – it may not have the production and mystique of some of those giants, but it is the absolute best representation of what this band do on stage.


If you don’t know who I am talking about Babylon A.D. is a Hard Rock band from San Francisco formed back in the glory days of West Coast hard rock. They released a couple of critically-acclaimed albums on the Arista label, the first in 1990 before that familiar story – their label (who let’s face it weren’t known for their Rock roster) dropped them in the wake of grunge.  The band continued on though, touring and releasing over the years before a mini resurgence started in 2014 at the Firefest Festival in the UK and continued through this release to the 2015 Monsters of Rock Cruise. Remarkably Babylon A.D. still boasts an all-original line up and watching them up on stage this year you felt that this was a band that has lost nothing at all over the years.


So why would you bother with ‘Live @ 25’? Because it takes you there, it puts you right in the middle of that crowd and it captures that moment we all love – seeing a band fire on all cylinders right in front of your eyes. It also contains some of the best Hard Rock of the era, music that still holds up today when so many of their contemporaries catalogues have fared less well.


Want more reasons? Well it’s also an album that has everything from real balls to the wall hard rockers , through mid-tempo works of genius, to slower numbers that fuel the fire; not to mention  a real killer ballad and (in my opinion) one of the best songs of the genre in the slow-burning ‘Shot Of Love’. Take that combination and add to it two absolutely classic covers in UFO’s ‘Lights Out in London’ and Montrose’s ‘Rock the Nation’ and you have it all.


Not many bands can say they have hit their peak 25 years in but this is the proof it can happen. A live album that will stand the test of time and one that deserves a lace in anyone’s collection.

 

 


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