Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Live in Manchester 1979 - Bootleg LP

Like many of the bootlegs that were produced during the '80s and early '90s, this one was also manufactured in the USA by Rock Solid Records. Rock Solid Records went by several different manufacturing pseudonyms. If you happen to come across another bootleg from this time that has a different name on it, chances are it was manufactured by these same people. Also, don't assume the quality is going to be any better - it won't be.

This is a double album bootleg of the Manchester concert from ’79, and it's nearly the entire thing. As far as I know, there are a couple of tracks missing from this recording, along with some in-between bits and pieces between songs missing as well. As for the quality, it's a fraction better than most of the sound recordings out there on these early bootlegs, but it's still nothing to get excited about.

It's a huge shame about these because this is another bootleg that came in a very nice looking, full colour laminated album jacket. The front borrows the artwork found on the Japanese 7” single for Them Heavy People (which originally came from one of her Japanese Seiko ads) and the back uses the artwork that's found on the Experiment IV single.

The biggest reason why a lot of this stuff has such horrible sound quality is due to the fact they were recorded by fans on domestic recorders at the time. From what I've heard through the years there is only one known tape source from each of these concerts, and these recordings were a straight transfer onto vinyl.

This was also the last live bootleg LP I ever personally bought. They were never worth the kind of money they used to sell for, and they certainly aren't worth the kind of money they still sell for today. I lost interest in them fast due to their horrible sound quality, and buying one of these is just flushing your money down the toilet.

As a side note, there have been some other live bootlegs that I almost had through the years, but I passed on them for one reason or another. I also had the misfortune to hear other ones.

Dreamtime: Live at the London Palladium – I actually held this one in my hands one time, and even debated buying it… until I saw the back of the record jacket. I thought it was beyond tacky that they used nude photographs on the back of Kate Simmons and her Penthouse spread from ’78, in a pathetic attempt to pass them off as Kate. People are still buying this bootleg today just for the photos because they’ve been led to believe they are of Kate – they aren’t. I never regretted passing on this bootleg, and even though this one contains the full London Palladium concert, the sound quality is just as bad as the rest of them.

Moving - This is another one I held in my hands at one point. This is just another repackaging of the double “Wow Live” bootleg. If you don’t know what's in that one, it’s just a bootleg of the Hammersmith concert and the Christmas Special. Such a shame about this one because the packaging is really nice. I almost bought it for the packaging alone, until I saw what it contained, so that one was a pass for me.

Temple of Truth – This one is a complete cringer. Not only does it have an odd looking sleeve, but the quality of the album is beyond excruciatingly bad. In fact, I would easily place this as the worst one out of the entire lot. A friend of mine had this album at some point and he played it for me. Not only do I not know which concert this is from, but it’s also a very incomplete recording. Avoid this one like the plague.

A Bird in the Hand – This is another one I had the misfortune of hearing years ago. This one has a very bad quality copy of the Hammersmith concert, not to mention that it's also incomplete. It's a huge rip-off.

Why To Avoid These Things:

I always tell people to avoid these things like the plague for a number of different reasons. In the end, I have no control over what anyone else decides to do with their own money, but people seriously need to keep these things in mind before throwing their money away:

1. The sound quality on these are pure crap. I cannot stress that enough to anyone who reads this. If you think for one second you're going to hear a great quality live Kate concert on one of these bootleg LPs, then think again! You're going to be so disappointed and frustrated with these records that you will feel like smashing them against a wall.

2. A lot of these live concert LPs (and CDs) are notorious for repeated material. The Hammersmith concert and the Christmas Special are most often used on these things, but you don't always know that because the tracks are usually listed in a random order on the jacket, and it's not until you get these things home and play them that you make this discovery – that can be a huge frustration as well.

3. Money. I remember how expensive these things were to buy back in the day, and it looks as though they still sell for stupid amounts of money these days when they do show up. It absolutely kills me to see people wasting good money on this rubbish… and that's all these things really are is rubbish. There have been very few bootlegs that I've bought through the years that I've been pleased with – most are a pointless waste of money.

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