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Friday, August 30, 2013

Dave Mason - Certified Live / Let It Flow (1976-77 uk, splendid classic steady rock, 2011 double disc edition)

Back in the mid-seventies Dave Mason had a really nice run.  In 1976 he had a nice hit record with this release, Certified Live, and then he followed that up a year later with one of, if not the most popular album of his solo career, Let it Flow.

Certified Live was another double live album. They were the rage in the mid-70s.  You can thank Frampton Come Alive for that.  If you were a decent selling artist in that period that did OK but needed a little kick to break out, you released a double live album.  It not only worked for Frampton, but it also was the formula that triggered hits for Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, REO Speedwagon, Rush, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Pat Travers, Ted Nugent and even Genesis.  It really worked.  I should know, I bought all of those and a few more as well.

When I went back and listened to Certified Live the first thing that jumped out at me was how damn good his drummer was!  The opening track is “Feelin’ Alright,; You know the song, think Joe Cocker.  His name is Rick Jaeger. I’m not familiar with him but he’s really good. He’s got the Bernard Purdie high hat riff down!!

Dave runs through quite a bit of his best stuff here. Besides ‘Feelin’ Alright” you also get great versions of “Show Me Some Affection”, “World in Changes”, “Look at You and Look at Me” and of course, “Only You Know and I Know.”

Dave also takes on some interesting cover tunes here as well.  He tackles The Eagles “Take it to the Limit”, Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and  the Spencer Davis Band’s “Gimme Some Lovin.”  You may not know this but Dave’s entry into the big time music scene was as the road manager in his early 20s for the Spencer Davis Band. There he met “Stevie” Winwood and would eventually join with him and form Traffic.

This album did OK on the charts. I was not another Frampton Comes Alive by any means.  It peaked at #78 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.  It did however, give him time to work on that Let it Flow album that did quite well.
by Larry Carta

Let It Flow was the biggest selling album that Dave Mason had while on Columbia, as it contained his biggest hit, "We Just Disagree," as well as "Let It Go, Let It Flow." Everything here is similar in character to the latter song, though not all of it is as catchy or hook-driven. And there is a great deal else to recommend this record, including the horn-and-string ornamented "Mystic Traveler"; the soaring, soulful "Spend Your Life with Me"; the funky "Takin' the Time to Find"; and the soulful "What DO We Got Here?" 

Only the two hits off this album ended up on Sony/Legacy's compilation of Mason's work, Long Lost Friend: The Best of Dave Mason, so it is still a relevant purchase for those curious about Mason's work in the '70s. 
by Bruce Eder

Certified Live
1. Feelin’ Alright (D. Mason) - 6:21
2. Pearly Queen (S. Winwood, J. Capaldi) - 3:41
3. Show Me Some Affection (D. Mason) - 4:36
4. All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan) - 4:46
5. Take It to the Limit (R. Meisner, D. Henley, G. Frey) - 3:34
6. Give Me a Reason Why (D. Mason) - 4:12
7. Sad and Deep as You (D. Mason) - 3:12
8. Every Woman (D. Mason) - 2:36
9. World in Changes (D. Mason) - 5:25
10.Goin’ Down Slow (St. Louis Jimmy Oden) - 6:43
11.Look at You, Look at Me (D. Mason, J. Capaldi) - 12:50
12.Only You Know and I Know (D. Mason) - 4:45
12.Bring It on Home to Me (Sam Cooke)- 5:05
14.Gimme Some Lovin’ (S. Davis, S. Winwood, M. Winwood) - 8:14

*Mike Finnigan - Keyboards, Vocals
*Dr. Rick Jaeger - Drums
*Gerald Johnson - Bass
*Jim Kruegar - Guitar
*Dave Mason - Guitar, Vocals

Let It Flow
1. So High (Rock Me Baby And Roll Me Away) (Mentor Williams, Jack Conrad) - 4:07
2. We Just Disagree  (Jim Krueger) - 3:00
3. Mystic Traveler  (Dave Mason) - 5:00
4. Spend Your Life With Me  (Angeleen Gagliano) - 3:22
5. Takin' The Time To Find   (Dave Mason) - 4:31
6. Let It Go, Let It Flow  (Dave Mason) - 3:15
7. Then It's Alright   (Dave Mason) - 4:14
8. Seasons  (Angeleen Gagliano) - 4:50
9. You Just Have To Wait Now  (Dave Mason) - 3:09
10.What Do We Got Here? (Jim Krueger) - 4:21

*Mike Finnigan - Keyboards, Vocals
*Dr. Rick Jaeger - Drums
*Gerald Johnson - Bass
*Jim Kruegar - Guitar
*Dave Mason - Guitar, Vocals
*Stephen Stills - Vocals
*Yvonne Elliman - Vocals
*Ernie Watts - Saxophone

1970  Dave Mason - Alone Together (Japan remaster)
1972  Dave Mason - Headkeeper (Japan SHM remaster)

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  1. Pat Travers never had a double live LP in the 70's but arguably the 2nd biggest live album in all of the 70's "Kiss - Alive" was missed by the author.

  2. Thanks! I used to own Certified Live on vinyl and always loved it!

  3. yes, Than Kyou!! :))