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Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968 Import

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, December 13, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Repressing of this two CD live release from the Bay Area rockers. This recording finds the Quicksilver Messenger Service playing at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco. The Carousel was another of Bill Graham's venues and he would rename it the Fillmore West and run it until 1971. When this recording was made it was just a few weeks after the release of the self titled debut from Quicksilver Messenger Service. The second disc is the real pull for Quicksilver fans as it contains just the one track of the band doing what they do best and what sealed their reputation as a live band. The disc is taken up with the Jam a an extended piece which never outstays it's welcome but which underpins the band's musical inventiveness and dexterity. Voiceprint.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Back Door Man
  2. Light Your Windows
  3. Who Do You Love
  4. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
  5. Walkin Blues
  6. The Fool

Disc: 2

  1. The Jam


Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 13, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B001F4T8Y4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,273 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge QMS fan since the '60's and have quite a few live recordings by the band of varying quality. I'd read a couple of singularly unenthusiastic reviews of this particular offering, but I'd also read the opinions of tape traders, among whom this set has been circulating for a long time, and they told a different story. It was the tape traders who had it right. This is a wonderful document of a typical late 'sixties San Franciscan night.

The sound is absolutely excellent throughout, especially for a concert in '68 not being specifically taped for a commercial release. On my equipment the balance of the mix seems about right. I note that another reviewer complains that Cipollina is overpowered by the rest of the band but I don't find that a problem. I can hear him fine. I particularly like the fact that you can also pick up Freiburg's bass very well throughout, which is often not the case in recordings from that period, and David's bass lines are well worth paying attention to. I also reckon the vocals from Duncan and Freiburg are fairly decent for the most part. Let's face it, they are about as good as you were ever going to get on just a regular night like this. Freiburg struggles a bit with the "heaven's above" highpoint on 'The Fool" but by and large makes a pretty good fist of those high vocal parts which most male singers of the rock genre would find challenging anyway.

Their aforementioned opus "The Fool" closes disc 1 and is certainly the highlight. I rate this a better live version than the one on "Lost Gold and Silver" or the Psycho release "Maiden of the Cancer Moon" (same take on both those albums). Gary Duncan's fretwork here, on the song he co-wrote with Freiburg, is superb and worth the price of this cd alone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was both excited and skeptical about the group of new Quicksilver live cds. My primary concern was that the recording quality would be very bad. I can't comment on the other releases in the series, but the sound quality is generally good here, considering, the real problem is in the performance and the mix.

All of the great bands have off nights. I wouldn't say this is a good or a terrible performance, and there are some very good moments. The guitars are out of tune, Gary Duncan's vocals and guitar are way too prominent in the mix, and overwhelm John Cippolina's guitar. Quicksilver was never known for great vocals, and left to Duncan and Frieberg, they can be quite distracting from the overall experience, and unfortunately, at times downright painful. When they are playing their classic "Who Do You Love" and sections of "The Fool" there are glimpses of their greatness, although who wants to hear Duncan's rhythm guitar overpower Cippolina's lead sections in the mix, no one I think. We have a guest flute player on "Light Your Windows" which gives it a different feel, the "Who Do You Love" is a more laid back take than usual, and in fact there is a jazzy quality to much of the guitar jamming, that is enjoyable. This is only the second live version of "The Fool" to see release. It is perhaps their "Dark Star", a truly unique and great song, if you can forgive the vocals in search of unreachable (for Duncan) notes.

The second disc is a 41 minute jam. Those of us old enough to have attended shows from this era remember the tradition. After all the bands have finished their sets, a number of musicians from all the groups get up on stage, and like this example, they riff at great length on a blues progression.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This double CD set is part of an apparently quasi-legitimate "bootleg series" of live recordings by Quicksilver Messenger Service. It's very doubtful that any of the band members sanctioned the release of this material. This particular release, assuming the company that produced it has the date and venue correct, captures a performance of the band at the Carousel Ballrom in San Francisco on April 4th 1968, about two or three months before promoter Bill Graham reopened it as the Fillmore West. The band lineup is the much-favored quartet of Gary Duncan, John Cipollina, David Freiberg, and Greg Elmore. The source would appear to be a soundboard tape of relatively clear and listenable quality. Unfortunately, considering that Quicksilver is most admired as a psychedelic guitar band, the vocals are mixed way out front and the guitars a bit too far back. As such, it works best during the band's legendary intrumental jam segements.
The performance is quite good, though a bit laid back, particularly during "Who Do You Love", compared to other recordings of this lineup. The band is also joined onstage by a flautist during "Light Your Windows". Though not identified from the stage, it could be jazz icon Charles Lloyd, who played the Fillmore, and was known to jam onstage with the Grateful Dead. Disc one features good run-throughs of "Who Do You Love", "The Fool", and Quicksilver's underappreciated arrangement of "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", soon to be made famous by Led Zepplin.
The entire second disc is given over to a 41 minute jam. Nothing more than an extended blues shuffle, it's not quite as imaginative or exciting as the band's other jam forays. However, it is of historical interest, and also features playing from the previously mentioned flautist and an unidentified violin player.
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