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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Climax Blues Band - World Tour (1976 uk, superb funky blues rock, 2012 release)

Everyone seems to be getting in on the Climax Blues Band reissues these days, and now Major League Productions (MLP) are jumping on board with their re-release of the sizzling 1976 live album titled World Tour 1976. At the time the band had just released their strong selling Gold Plated album that contained the massive hit "Couldn't Get it Right" that really broke the band as rock superstars, showing the could do much more than play the blues. Colin Cooper (vocals, sax, rhythm guitar, harmonica), Peter Haycock (vocals, lead & slide guitar), Derek Holt (bass, vocals), John Cuffley (drums), and Richard Jones (keyboards) toured all over the world that year alongside bands such as ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Bad Company, Johnny Winter, BTO, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but with the success of Gold Plated headline tours of their own were in their immediate future. This album captures all the excitement of a CBB show in the mid/late '70s as their blues side was giving way to pop, funk, jazz, and high energy rock.

Most fans generally look to their FM Live album from 1972 as the bands definitive live statement, but World Tour 1976 is a very close second, and features some excellent performances. Recorded October 16, 1976 at Nottingham University, the band tear through some strong album tracks, a few lengthy medley's & jams, plus hits "Couldn't Get it Right", "All the Time in the World", "Seventh Son", and other surprises. Near 10 minute opener "Together and Free/Amerita/Sense of DIrection" allows the band to get into some fiery musical interplay, sounding not unlike The Allman Brothers Band or The Grateful Dead, complete with plenty of scorching Haycock guitar licks. Haycock's guitar & Cooper's sax are locked in on the funky blues of "Running Out of TIme/Good Time Blues", and at nearly 13-minutes long the band really stretches out and cooks. Heavy blues rock is all the rage with "Mighty Fire", another vehicle for Haycock's fiery lead guitar work, which leads into his slide solo spotlight "Country Hat". Other examples of their groove laden, funky blues rock include "Chasing Change" and "Using the Power", while "Goin' To New York" is a throwback to their early Chicago blues style. Also, look for a wild rendition of the Beatles "Get Back" which is played at the end of their hit "All the Time in the World".

There's no indication on whether MLP remastered World Tour 1976, but the CD sounds quite good and is presented in a small LP styled sleeve, with a booklet stacked with live photos and an essay each from Haycock & Holt. It's a great live set of a band just hitting their creative peak and delivering stirring concert performances. 
by Pete Pardo

1. Together And Free / Amerita / Sense Of Direction - 9:52
2. Running Out Of Time / Good Times Blues - 12:51
3. Mighty Fire - 4:57
4. Country Hat / Come In The Kitchen (Robert Johnson)/ Country Hat (Reprise) (George Newsome, Anton Farmer, Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Derek Holt) - 10:05
5. Seventh Son (Willie Dixon) - 6:13
6. Couldn't Get It Right - 3:20
7. Chasing Change - 4:51
8. Using The Power - 4:15
9. Goin' To New York (Jimmy Reed) - 7:18
10.All The Time In The World (Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Derek Holt, John Cuffley) / Get Back (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 5:09
11.Encore Medley: Drum Intro / Hey Mama (Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Derek Holt, George Newsome, Arthur Wood) / Let The Good Times Roll (Leonard Lee) / Who Killed Mcswiggin / Get Into That Rock 'n' Roll - 6:13
All songs by Colin Cooper, Pete Haycock, Derek Holt, John Cuffley, Richard Jones except where stated

The Climax Blues Band
*Colin Cooper - Vocals, Alto, Tenor Saxes, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica
*Pete Haycock - Vocals, Lead Guitar. Slide Guitars
*Richard Jones - Keyboards
*Derek Holt - Vocals, Bass
*John Cuffley - Drums

The Climax Long Hard Road
1969  The Climax Chicago Blues Band (2013 remaster and expanded)
1969  The Climax Blues Band - Plays On (2013 remaster and expanded) 
1970  A Lot Of Bottle (2013 remaster and expanded)
1971  Tightly Knit (2013 remastered with bonus tracks)
1972  Climax Chicago - Rich Man (2013 bonus track remaster) 
1973  Climax Blues Band - FM Live (2013 remaster)
1973-79  Climax Blues Band - Live Rare And Raw (2014 Release)
1974  Climax Blues Band - Sense Of Direction (2013 remaster and expanded)
1975  Climax Blues Band - Stamp Album (2013 remaster with extra tracks) 
1976  Gold Plated (2013 bonus tracks remaster) 
1978  Climax Blues Band - Shine On (2012 remaster) 

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