Life Death Live And Freedom

John Mellencamp

Playing new material before live audience before it’s been released is a dicey proposition. In most cases, it’s either because the song isn’t ready to be played before an audience or an audience isn’t ready for something new and unknown (oftentimes, many hit the snack bar or bathroom when something unfamiliar emanates from the stage). Still, it never stopped the Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd, and apparently, it was a way of “road-testing” new material for John Mellencamp’s 2008 studio album, Life Death Love And Freedom. To illustrate the origins of some of the songs while extending the studio album’s shelf-life, Mellencamp has released an eight-song set called Life Death Live And Freedom.

Hearing the songs develop in a live setting offers some unique insights. First and foremost, of course, is the interplay of the players on stage. Mellencamp has always had top-notch musicians in his band, and that standard is upheld here. The rocking conviction behind “If I Die Sudden” must have moved the ground and got the joint on its feet. The song is toned down considerably on Life Death Love And Freedom, but you can sense its potential as a live vehicle, a rave-up and a showcase for Mellencamp and his six-piece band. A key change is the only difference between “Troubled Land” played live and its studio counterpart.

In the studio, “Don’t Need This Body” received some broad strokes from producer T Bone Burnett. Mellencamp does an admirable job at capturing a similar mood live. You can tell the three other acoustic numbers — the haunting “Longest Days,” “Young Without Lovers” and “A Ride Back Home” — are still in their early stages of development. Each would get a makeover for Life Death Love And Freedom. “Jena” and “My Sweet Love” come out swinging and surely raised a few eyebrows from fans that may not be so taken with outsiders that stray into the canon of Mellencamp hits. As the singer crisscrosses the country for a 2008 summer tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, fans can pick up a special “Tour Pack” of Life Death Love And Freedom and Life Death Live And Freedom bundled together.

~ Shawn Perry

Bookmark and Share

 

Rock News

Google Ads

ELP - Fanfare 1970 - 1997

ELP

Jethro Tull - 50 Years


 

Follow Vintage Rock @

Search

VintageRock.com Book!

NEW BOOK COLLECTS
25 INTERVIEWS WITH
VINTAGE ROCK LEGENDS!

book

CELEBRATE 20 YEARS
OF VINTAGEROCK.COM!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER
YOUR COPY TODAY!

Newsletter

Newsletter


Receive HTML?

David Gilmour - Pompeii

Amazon's Essentials