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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Humble Pie

Up Our Sleeve: Official Bootleg Vol 3

Review by Gary Hill

This new collection, as you can guess from the title, boxes up several bootleg live recordings from Humble Pie. As is clearly stated on the box, the recording quality isn't up to standards one would expect from a professional live album. That said, some songs aren't that far off. This has five CDs and a poster/booklet. Each CD is in a cardboard sleeve, and the whole thing is boxed up in a cardboard clamshell. This is probably more valuable from a historical point of view, capturing this band in some classic live performances. Still, some of this is quite listenable.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
                     
Gaelic Park, Riverdale, NY, USA 22nd August 1972
 
(I'm a) Road Runner (Soundcheck)

As you might guess with a soundcheck, this is tastefully rough around the edges. That said, it still manages to rock and has some serious soul built into the mix.

Hot 'N' Nasty (Soundcheck)

A high energy rocking number, this has some starts and stops as they make their way through the soundcheck sans vocals for four-minutes or so. Despite the blemishes, this has some definite charms.

Up Our Sleeve
Now we're into the actual concert with this number. This includes the introduction to the concert. The band tear into it after that. The recording quality here is actually not as good as on the two soundcheck pieces, but the performance is a lot more flawless and just plain on fire.
C'mon Everybody

Gritty, crunchy bluesy rock is on the agenda here. The recording quality isn't great, but it almost adds a punky texture to the performance somehow.

Honky Tonk Women
The sound quality on this Rolling Stones cover really hampers it early. As they kick into high gear further down the road it improves a bit. Still, this is pretty muddy. That's a shame because it sounds like the performance is on fire.
Blues Interlude

As you might guess from the title, this is a blues jam on electric guitar. You might also call it a guitar solo. It's positively incendiary.

I Wonder

A killer blues rocking tune, the recording on this seems a bit better. The jam late in the track is particularly tasty with its more traditional blues texture.

Disc 2

              

Gaelic Park Continued
 
Hallelujah (I Love Her So)

Gritty blues rock is delivered with style here. The sound quality is at issue, but not so bad as to prevent this cut from working.

I Don't Need No Doctor

Here we get a noisy and raw performance of this classic tune. It works pretty well despite the sound quality. The powerhouse jam late in the track is particularly potent.

Hot 'N' Nasty

A hard rocking number, this works pretty well. That said, I wish the sound was clearer on the recording. They put in an inspired performance, though.

Four Day Creep
Hard rocking, energized grinding is on the menu here. This has plenty of blues built into it. This thing even leans toward heavy metal at times. It is actually one of my favorite performances from this first concert.
Rollin' Stone

The closer of this concert is an 18-minute-plus jam that starts on guitar. As the vocals enter, it's more of a blues jam with a story-telling, half-talking-half-singing delivery. That whole thing goes on a bit long and gets a little tedious to me, but they kick into a killer rocking jam further down the road.

Disc 3
                  
Assembly Center, Tulsa, OK, USA 25th August 1972

                

Up Our Sleeve

After an introduction these guys fire in with intensity and power. This is definitely a better recording than the first show, but still obviously a bootleg. That said, I've heard some official live releases from around the same period that didn't sound much better than this.

C'mon Everybody

This starts with stage banter that gets a parental advisory and is sung rather than spoken. The band eventually kick out into a rocking piece from there. The sound quality on this tune isn't as good as it was on the opener.

Honky Tonk Woman

The banter between tracks is again sung. We get another version of the Stones classic. It starts on drums and works out from there in fine fashion. The sound quality is between the two previous cuts.

I Wonder / Hallelujah (I Love Her So)

The first part of this is a cool guitar solo movement. It eventually works into a cool blues jam from there. This is a strong medley that really showcases the blues rocking sound of the band. It has solid sound quality. This is close to 15 minutes long. The audience provides clapping percussion later in the tune.

I Don't Need No Doctor

This rocker works really well here. The recording quality is not bad, either. This is catchy, energetic and a lot of fun.

Hot 'N' Nasty

Another gritty hard rocker, this tune has a lot of energy. That said, the recording quality on this one isn't as good. In fact, of the songs from this show, it's probably the worst sound. At times, it is bad enough to detract. There is an audience clap-along section in the later parts of this tune.

Four Day Creep

This rocker has some hints of early heavy metal in it. The recording quality is the enemy here, though. That said, the performance is really on fire.

Disc 4
        
Music Hall, Boston, MA, USA 10th April 1973
               
Up Our Sleeve

This hard rocker is delivered with style and passion. It's obvious from the recording, though, that the microphone was clear across the venue because it sounds distant.

Four Day Creep

Another smoking hot blues rocker, I dig the group vocal on this. It doesn't sound like it rocks out quite as hard as the version on the previous disc did, but it's effective.

C'mon Everybody

This rocker gets a bit lost in the recording. That said, the band really sound like they are on fire here.

Honky Tonk Women

Here they turn their attention to the Stones again. The recording quality gets in the way a bit. The audience is clapping along like crazy to this number.

I Believe to My Soul

I love the sound of this thing. It's a powerhouse blues rock number with a great tone and texture. This is so powerful, and that's despite the sound quality. This is one of the best cuts in the whole box set, really.

I Want to Take You Higher / 30 Days in the Hole

The first track of this two-fer is very short. That's good, though, because the second one is the powerhouse tune of the duo. I've always loved that song, and this live performance is on fire. Does it suffer from the song quality? Yes, but this is strong enough to work despite that.

(I'm a) Road Runner

They put in a fiery and extended live rendition of this old-school tune. The guitar work on the instrumental section is so powerful.

Blues Interlude

This blues jam works pretty well. It's a guitar showcase.

I Wonder

This blues romp has some cool harmonica work built into it. It's a great grind. It runs for a long distance and then segues into the next piece.

Hallelujah (I Love Her So)

This blues rocking groove is classy. It suffers a bit from the recording quality. There is a dropped back clap-along, sing-along movement built into this. It's again an extended piece.

I Don't Need No Doctor

This classic rocker gets a cool live rendition. This sound quality is no friend to it, but it doesn't work too badly. There is a dropped back clapping along, audience singing, participation section on this number, too.

Hot 'N' Nasty

I dig the organ jamming on this performance. The cut drives with a lot of fire and passion.

Twist and Shout

They bring the Humble Pie style to this old-school rock and roller. It's a powerhouse tune in this delivery.

Disc 5
      
The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, USA 25th May 1973

                      

Up Our Sleeve

This hard rocker is delivered in fine fashion. The recording quality is an issue again, though. Still, this performance is worth having despite that.

Four Day Creep

This rocker works well in this performance. I'd consider it more of an also ran in comparison to some of the other takes, though.

C'mon Everybody

There is a real Who-like vibe to this stomper here. It's a classy cut and strong performance.

Boogie Chillun

A blues rocking jam, this is solid, if short. The audience gets to participate a bit with their clapping.

Honky Tonk Women

Here we get another take on the classic Stones tune. This is one of the stronger performances and better recordings on hand here.

The Blues

A big chunk of this track includes introductions of the band, but instead of spoken, they are sung. After that the guitar weaves some killer blues jamming for a time.

I Believe to My Soul

With some killer blues style and charm, this is a smoking hot guitar rocker. It's one of the highlights in this performance, too.

I Want to Take You Higher

This rocker has a lot of energy and style. It's another that makes me think of The Who just a bit.

30 Days in the Hole

I dig this live take of the classic Humble Pie rocker. It has mellower and more rocking sections. It works well, and the recording isn't all that bad, really.

(I'm a) Road Runner

The recording of this comes across a bit noisy at times. This is an extended jam that works pretty well. There is a lot of muddling and distortion caused by tape issues as it continues. The extended jam later in the track takes it into old-school blues zones, completely with harmonica.

Hallelujah (I Love Her So)

This bluesy rocker is a lot of fun, and it's both a cool performance and a decent recording.

I Don't Need No Doctor

Here we get a blues rocking rendition of this classic tune. It gets an audience sing-along section built into it.

 
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