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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Feat's polished album
I'm surprised at some of the bad rap this record has been given here, as personally I think "Time Loves a Hero" is second only to "Sailin' Shoes".

Ted Templeman, producer of many a Doobie Brothers album, was called in to sit behind the mixing desk, and brought in his fellow Doobies Michael McDonald (backing vox on "Red Streamliner"), Patrick Simmons (acoustic...
Published on October 15, 2004 by Jan Wiberg

versus
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT WHAT I HOPED FOR IN THIS LONG-AWAITED REMASTER
This review is only for those interested in sound quality and/or collecting Japan mini-sleeves. For reviews regarding content, please see other posts in this forum, or go to All Music Guide (dot com). Also, due to Amazon's persistant and unfortunate programming policy of cross-pollinating reviews across different versions of the same CD title, this review may appear...
Published on May 31, 2007 by BOB


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Feat's polished album, October 15, 2004
By 
Jan Wiberg (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
I'm surprised at some of the bad rap this record has been given here, as personally I think "Time Loves a Hero" is second only to "Sailin' Shoes".

Ted Templeman, producer of many a Doobie Brothers album, was called in to sit behind the mixing desk, and brought in his fellow Doobies Michael McDonald (backing vox on "Red Streamliner"), Patrick Simmons (acoustic guitar on "New Delhi Freight Train") and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (dobro guitar on "Missin' You"). But whereas the Doobies sounded pretty stale already in 1977, Little Feat was still able to kick out one more strong album, with or without Lowell George.

"Hi Roller" kicks off the album and shows that there was still steam left in the band's wheels. The title track is pleasant, "Rocket in My Pocket" OK as well, but the centerpiece is definitely the six-and-a-half-minute long instrumental "Day At the Dog Races", which is simply stunning. Much of it is certainly improvised jamming, but I think it's the most creative effort Little Feat ever put together. "Red Streamliner" soothes my ears right from the superb intro to McDonald's vocals in the background. Somehow I've never been too excited about McDonald's voice, perhaps it's a little too recognizable for my taste, but here he really makes the song. He fits in perfectly, particularly in the chorus. "New Delhi Freight Train" is more relaxed than "Streamliner", but a killer track as well, with a story about a gunman on the run from the law. "Missin' You" is a ballad with tearful lyrics, and could also be applied as an ode to Lowell George, who passed away two years after "Time Loves a Hero" was released.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feat's best, in my opinion, December 27, 2000
By 
Greg Todd (Carlisle, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
I'm surprised to read others give this a less-enthusiastic review than other Little Feat albums. To me, it's the band's best. Maybe it's just a little too polished or too smooth or too jazz-tasting for pure Feat fans. It's not Sailin' Shoes or Dixie Chicken fer sure, but to me, it's the best album Little Feat ever put together. I think it absolutely rocks from beginning to end. Different strokes for different folks. I love this one.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT WHAT I HOPED FOR IN THIS LONG-AWAITED REMASTER, May 31, 2007
By 
BOB (LOS ANGELES, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
This review is only for those interested in sound quality and/or collecting Japan mini-sleeves. For reviews regarding content, please see other posts in this forum, or go to All Music Guide (dot com). Also, due to Amazon's persistant and unfortunate programming policy of cross-pollinating reviews across different versions of the same CD title, this review may appear elsewhere: It was posted only on the 2007 Japan mini-sleeve edition of this album.

I had high hopes for this recent remastered re-release of the entire Lowell George-era Little Feat catalog.

As Warner Brothers domestically has never bothered itself, other than the 2000 Rhino box set, to bring the LF catalog properly into the digital world, the announcement a few months ago of the Japan release was a pleasant and exciting surprise.

Unfortunately, upon arrival, I found the Japan mastering to be a major disappointment.

Rhino did a pretty good job on their set, but the highs, especially the clarity in the percussion, were lackluster. As LF's powerhouse rhythm section is one of the band's greatest trademarks, this was always a lamentable aspect of the box.

On the 2007 Japan mini-sleeve version of "Time Loves A Hero", the missing highs & clarity are there, but the midrange is severely compromised.

All of Japanese editions of the earlier studio albums exhibit the same discrepancy, in varying degrees, when compared against the box discs. It's barely noticeable when A/B'ing tracks from the first album, but the midrange deficiency grows progressively more pronounced as you move chronologically thru the catalog. Obviously, as recording progressed, more care and time to the production and engineering was given to each successive recording, so the better the source material, the more the pronounced the midrange anomaly becomes.

On "Time", it's just glaring. The warm richness of tone on the Rhino is completely missing in the 'sleeve edition. It's like the music is emanating from an FM-band radio with the treble boosted.

The 'sleeve version of "Waiting For Columbus" is the same exact fabulous-sounding expanded-track remaster set that Rhino released in 2002. As that is the jewel of the LG-era catalog, that's a welcome relief.

So, listening to the great LF studio catalog is actually more frustrating than ever, given the choice between diminished clarity and detail or a compromised midrange. Argggh.

Yes, they all sound better than the crappy old WB domestic individual CD's, but it's a tepid endorsement I proffer. This is something you usually don't see on the Japanese remasters, so it's an expensive disappointment. However, I'll be keeping the 'sleeve set, as the great Neon Park artwork brings back fond memories.

In 1978, I attended a pre-show WB party for the band at the top of the Washington Plaza hotel before their Paramount Northwest appearance, for which I had front-row seats, a fantastic show. All of the band members were in attendance at the party, except for Lowell George. It was explained later he was still recovering from a hepatitis bout three weeks before, and needed to rest.

The party was a quiet, relaxed, low-key affair with a fabulous panoramic view of the Seattle Harbor and Olympic Mountains. Each of the band members graciously signed the inside gatefold of my "Waiting For Colombus" album cover. Years later, I remembered thinking that except for Emmylou Harris, those cats were the nicest people I ever met in my three years in "the business".

I had replaced the two factory LP's with great-sounding white label vinyl test pressings supplied by a friend in the Tukwila WEA office. I still have that set today; it's one of my most prized possessions from that era, and I'll never let it go.

WHAT IS A JAPAN "MINI-LP-SLEEVE" CD?

Have you ever lamented the loss of one of the 20th Century's great art forms, the 12" vinyl LP jacket? Then "mini-LP-sleeve" CD's may be for you.

Mini-sleeve CDs are manufactured in Japan under license. The disc is packaged inside a 135MM X 135MM cardboard precision-miniature replica of the original classic vinyl-LP album. Also, anything contained in the original LP, such as gatefolds, booklets, lyric sheets, posters, printed LP sleeves, stickers, embosses, special LP cover paper/inks/textures and/or die cuts, are precisely replicated and included. An English-language lyric sheet is always included, even if the original LP did not have printed lyrics.

Then, there's the sonic quality: Often (but not always), mini-sleeves have dedicated remastering (20-Bit, 24-Bit, DSD, K2/K2HD, and/or HDCD), and can often (but not always) be superior to the audio on the same title anywhere else in the world. There also may be bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.

Each Japan mini-sleeve has an "obi" ("oh-bee"), a removable Japan-language promotional strip. The obi lists the Japan street date of that particular release, the catalog number, the mastering info, and often the original album's release date. Bonus tracks are only listed on the obi, maintaining the integrity of the original LP artwork. The obi's are collectable, and should not be discarded.

All mini-sleeve releases are limited edition, but re-pressings/re-issues are becoming more common (again, not always). The enthusiasm of mini-sleeve collecting must be tempered, however, with avoiding fake mini-sleeves manufactured in Russia and distributed throughout the world, primarily on eBay. They are inferior in quality, worthless in collectable value, a total waste of money, and should be avoided at all costs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Little Feat's best, August 9, 2009
By 
Andy Blair (Pearl River, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
I'm just amazed that there aren't more positive reviews here for this classic 1977 release.
I've loved the title track for 32 years now, as well as the jazzy "Red Streamliner" track
and most of all the percussive "Day at The Dog Races". I remember hearing
that tune for the first time on WDRC-FM in Hartford, CT in August 1977 and being absolutely
floored by its complexity and darkly mysterious feel. Just awesome stuff. In fact, I'm here
becauseI listened to my original LP this morning and wondered if a CD of this album is
still available. It is!! One of my mid-1970s faves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't care what THEY say, August 7, 2009
This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
Almost everything I read about this album refers to it as 'disjointed', 'directionless', unremarkable...and like that. THIS is one of my favorite Feat albums and I have ALL the Lowell George era ones...and then some. Many and many a year ago, this was the first Feat album that I could listen to all the way through without having 'over-syncopation seizures'. I'm feeling much better now and appreciate all of their releases. I just happen to see this jazzy/rocky/bluesy/playful release as one of their best.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great sample of LF, with one gem, September 9, 2001
By 
Erica "Erica" (Washington State) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
Maybe I'm crazy, but for me what what stood out on this recording (way back when I was all of 15) was not the fun, light tunes but the magnificent and underrated "Day at the Dog Races". It's what kept this recording in my collection long after I would have consigned it to the yard-sale pile. It's an experiment, true, in the jazz fusion that was insinuating itself into a lot of bands at the time ("look, see? We're serious musicians!") but it stands head and shoulders above other efforts (including those on the rest of this CD) because of it's incredible energy and wicked force. It winds around in so hummable a way, with a frenetic latin beat, and has at least two musical swells of incredible power. Twenty years later, it's still the highlight of this album, and still just as good today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Can People Rip This?, April 6, 2005
By 
This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
I do not understand.This record is so damn good.How can any LF fan not like it?This is early LF and it is great.Just listen to OLD FOLKS BOOGIE.This excellent song makes the whole cd worthwhile.Please listen to Mr.Bill Payne's piano.That guy is unreal.If you love LF,then you will love this cd too.You better!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite A Classic But Damn Good, February 11, 1999
By 
G. J Wiener (Westchester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
The bands performance actually slips a little mostly due to the fact that Lowell George's contributions lessened. The last song, where its pleasant really does only involves Paul Barrere. Somehow I would also have preferred a few more guitar driven songs. But none the less there is plenty of creativity here particularly on the instrumental A Day At The Dog Races where the band borders on free form jazz. You really can not go wrong with this band.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Feat get back on track, May 7, 2006
By 
John Alapick (Harveys Lake, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
Time Loves a Hero would be a return to form after their previous uneven release, The Last Record Album. Paul Barrere and Bill Payne would officially become the chief songwriters of the band as Lowell George's contributions would be limited to just two songs, one of which was co-written with Barrere. Their most eclectic album, Time Loves a Hero boasted a stronger track list as well as a confidence that was sorely lacking on The Last Record Album.

"Hi Roller", is next to the title track from Dixie Chicken, their best opening track. Lowell George's vocals show more conviction than anything on The Last Record Album while Kenny Gradney, Sam Clayton, and Richard Hayward lay down a sick groove. The Tower of Power horn section would make their first appearance on this track and would later play a pivotal role on their excellent live album, Waiting for Columbus. The title track, a staple of their live shows to this day, is one of their catchiest tracks, and features a great sing along chorus and a cool island feel ala Jimmy Buffett during the solo. George's "Rocket in My Pocket" is also very good, featuring some more of his distinctive slide work. "Day at the Dog Races" is not only one of Little Feat's best tracks but also one of the best documents of the fusion genre. Bill Payne and Richard Hayward are incredible on this track while Paul Barrere's slow burning solo is one of his best. At over 6 minutes, the track stays exciting throughout and never becomes indulgent. "Old Folks Boogie" is another great Barrere tune and its wordplay reminds you of something that George would have written during the Dixie Chicken era. After these tracks, the album slips a bit. The decent "Red Streamliner", with both its arrangement and guest vocals from Michael McDonald and Patrick Simmons, sounds way too much like the Doobie Brothers. "Keepin' up With the Joneses", with its cool sax solo, and the pretty acoustic ballad "Missin' You" are solid but not spectacular. "New Delhi Freight Train" is the only track that's not up to par. A step up from The Last Record Album, Time Loves a Hero would be the band's last good studio album before George's untimely death in 1979. Definitely worth checking out for the first five tracks, especially "Day at the Dog Races."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad- but Little Feat were better than this, July 25, 2008
By 
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This review is from: Time Loves a Hero (Audio CD)
This album suffers from minimal input from the "big toe" Lowell George, who pulled a Jim Morrison during the recording sessions and only showed up on occassions. Therefore the rest of the Feat had to fill the void, even using synthesizers to simulate the sound of George's signature slide guitar on some tracks, like the solo on "Rocket in My Pocket". That's my biggest complaint with this one, LG's brilliant guitar playing is practically non-existent. It may have actually saved the jazz-fusion tracks "Dog Day at the Races" & "Red Steamliner" from mediocrity. As they are, they're cringe-inducing and unlistenable to me. The synthesizers have run amok on those two particular tracks. Fortunately the rest of the disc doesnt suffer. The title track "Time Loves A Hero", "Keepin' Up with the Joneses", and the simple acoustic guitar closer "Missin' You" being the real standouts, and exemplary of the clasic Little Feat sound, before complacency began to set in and the gradual decline of one of the greatest American bands.
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Time Loves a Hero
Time Loves a Hero by Little Feat (Audio CD - 2008)
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