The band known as Jethro Tull blew things wide open in 1972 with a single 43 minute song/concept album that hit #1 everywhere from Denmark to Australia to the Americas, even Vietnam. Which suddenly meant that Ian Anderson and the band could do pretty much anything they wanted career wise, including the release of a double album of (mostly) unreleased stuff from the previous four years and four albums of their career (so far). Living in the Past it was called and full of odd gems it was including a live version of Dharma For One which initially showed up as an instrumental on their first album but come the concert trails of 1970 had picked up some lyrics and otherwise expanded and evolved into a longer, wilder, more progressive beast indeed. The word gobsmacking comes to mind, though the drum solo does go on a bit.
The closest thing to a good ole fashioned pop song from Van Morrison‘s 1968 masterpiece Astral Weeks that changed everything forever. Which isn’t to say that Young Lovers doesn’t transcend like everything else on Astral Weeks – it just does so with brevity and deceptively easy purpose, like young lovers set loose in a field of green with soft breezes blowing through.
“I had a copy of the Doors’ Absolutely Live kicking around for years before I finally listened to it, grabbed cheap for future reference, I guess, because at the time I was going through a prolonged phase of just not being into Jim Morrison and his bullshit, poetic and otherwise. Early 1990s finally, I put it on and what blew me away was the band. Hot shit indeed for a trio (guitar, drums, organ – the bass notes coming from the Ray Manzarek’s left hand). And yeah, I had to admit the singer had a certain something too, not remotely afraid to howl his angst and poetry and prophecy at the universe. We’re all doomed apparently.” (Philip Random)
Quoting Lester Bangs: “The Guess Who have absolutely no taste at all, they don’t even mind embarrassing everybody in the audience, they’re real punks without ever working too hard at it […] In case you wondered about the drug commercial, it’s in a song called Truckin Off Across The Sky, the main character of which is the Grim Reaper. There he is … grinning, outstretched arms holding bags of you-know-what. Positively the best drug song of 1972. And this may well be the best live album. F*** all them old dudes wearing their hip tastes on their sleeves: get this and play it loud and be first on your block to become a public nuisance.”