• Robert Scovill

Little Feat "Waiting For Columbus"

A serious contender for the greatest live recording all time.

"From the perspective of performance, this album sets the bar to a ridiculously high level."

November 30th, Welcome to “Fantastic-Fridays” here on the Live Vinyl Lovefest! As you all know, Fridays are reserved for the “best of the best” live albums ever recorded and I have a real GEM for you today. Today is a serious throw down with Little Feat’s “Waiting For Columbus”

Frankly folks, their are many great live records out there as you may be discovering here on LVL. But then, there is THIS double album by Little Feat. From the perspective of performance, this album sets the bar to a ridiculously high level. Little Feat were such an incredible ensemble. Drummer Richie Hayward introduced me to a feel and style of drumming I was completely unfamiliar with and Lowell George? That voice, that guitar tone, those guitar parts? Just not fair. And Billy Payne? Forget about it. Then for good measure, let’s just throw in some Tower of Power horns? Are you kidding me right now? This music is simply unlike anything we heard before or since. If you can’t put this record on and manage a smile on your face or get some part of your body moving in time with the music then that ringing you hear in your ears is the sound of the flat line tone on your EKG. I mean #comeonman

As with many live album releases from this era, there was typically way more material recorded than the label was willing to release at the time. Since the arrival of digital and the CD format many of those additional takes and selections are now available on CD or other digital formats and such is the case for Little Feat with deluxe edition CDs in 1990 and 2002. So next time you wanna bag on digital, remember that digital actually has SOME redeeming qualities … (yes, that was sarcasm)

Waiting For Columbus offers a lot of production and engineering star power on this release. Which is expected as the sound quality of this record is simply outstanding. The London takes were recorded by George Massenburg and Andy Bloch in the “large” Manor Mobile unit on a Helios (yummy) console and 24 track 2”. No real info is given on the east coast recordings other than to say Warren Dewey and Andy Bloch handled the duties with all performances being mixed at Sunset Sound.

I’m usually not all that strong on saying things like this, but I feel very safe in saying; if you don’t have this album in your live album collection, your collection is simply incomplete.

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