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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Rock Circus

Live Im Chikago

Review by Gary Hill

This CD is a new edition of an album that was released on vinyl in the 1970s. The type of music here is old school rock and roll and blues. There are a number of different singers throughout. The most notable for general rock audiences (this act is German, and I have a hunch some of these people might be better known in Germany than elsewhere) are Gary Glitter (on two songs) and Eric Burdon (three songs). There are some great performances here, and some that don't stand quite as tall as the rest. This is a fun double disc set, though. It should be noted that "Chikago" in the title refers to the "Chikago" club in Germany and not the city of Chicago.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1
Chicago Rock

This powers in with a fast paced hard rocking sound that works quite well. There is a real classic sound to this thing. This instrumental is a good way to start things in style.

We Will Rock You

With a lot of old school rock and roll in the mix, this song is pretty cool, but it has some pretty embarrassingly generic lyrics. This is obviously intended as a nod to the old school rock and roll which it heavily references, but it seems a bit silly.

I`m Ready
The old time rock and rolling on this cut works really well. This feels like it could have been recorded in the 1950s. It's high energy and catchy. It has some classy piano work. The wailing saxophone on this is magical.
With honking saxophone, this is another classic old school rock and roller. It's a lot of fun. I really dig both the piano and guitar solos on this one.
La La La
This bouncy old school rock and roller seems to up the ante a bit. It's high energy and a lot of fun. It also has a cool guitar solo.
Shimmy Shimmy
More fast paced rock and roll is on the menu here. This is another fun cut, but it's not as successful as the previous piece was. The saxophone solo is cool, though.
It`ll Be Me
This song might leave you wondering if Elvis is in the building. This is another old school rock and roller with a lot of energy. I dig the saxophone soloing on this number a lot.
Hello Highway
A bit like something George Thorogood might do, this has a solid guitar solo and some good energy. The hooks are catchy, too.
Love of My Life
The vocals on this feel like Jim Morrison. The seems a bit like The Doors, but with some of the musical theater textures of things like "Godspell."
Rock Overtüre
This high energy piece feels like it should have been the theme song to a cartoon. It's fast paced and fun. It's also just a bit quirky.
Boney Moroney
This old time rock and roller features Gary Glitter on lead vocals. It's energetic and fun.
The Wanderer
A classic old time rock and roller, Glitter is again handling the vocals here.
CD 2
True Fine Mama

A Little Richard tune, the piano work on this is on fire. The whole tune is a smoking hot rock and roller. I like this better than a lot of the other stuff here.

Send Me Some Lovin'
We get another killer old school rock and roller here. This song has a female/male vocal duet approach. There is a real bluesy, soulful edge to this one.
Do It
Another cut to feature female vocals, this one is purely on fire. It's one of the highlights of the set.
Make Me A Pallet on the Floor
Featuring the same singer as the last number (Jutta Weinhold), this is another that's quite successful. It has a great bluesy vibe to it and really wails. I love the slide guitar, and it really adds the blues to the piece.
Sweet Nothin`
More 1950s rock and roll, this is fun, but not a real standout piece.
Shakin' All Over

I've always loved the famous riff on this cut. The whole tune is fun, though. This is a solid live rendition and another standout of the disc. The later sections on this actually make me think of The Doors a bit.

Hell Cat Lady
Old school rock and roll is the basis of this number. It's catchy, but doesn't really do much for me.
See See Rider
This is the first of three songs (the final three of the set) to feature Eric Burdon on lead vocals. A cool rock and roller, this is tasty. I dig the piano solo on this quite a bit. The guitar solo is classy, too.
Hoochie Coochie Man
Another particularly old school tune, this has some cool flute at the start of it. That extended instrumental intro is all cool. Burdon's early vocals here are almost spoken. As you would expect, he just owns this thing. It turns into a smoking hot blues rocker that's just so cool. I love the guitar solo on this tune, too. This is definitely a highlight of the set.
Jam Rock
A killer rock and roll tune, this is another that's a lot of fun. It's high energy and a great way to end things in style.
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