Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blast from the Past: Live! One Plus One

Title:  Live! One Plus One (Amazon, CD Universe, Yahoo Music, AllMusic)
Artist:  7 Seconds (Official, Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm, Wikipedia)

Live! One Plus One was the second 7 Seconds album that I ever purchased (the first was Walk Together, Rock Together) and the band’s first live album.  Released in 1987 this record captures a very specific time in 7 Seconds’ career, so if you go into this expecting The Crew you will probably be a bit shocked. 

Starting in 1986 7 Seconds started experimenting with their sound.  The first hints of this can be heard in the album New Wind.  It was followed by the Praise EP (which I have sadly never been able to track down) and then 1988’s Ourselves (which was a dramatic departure sonically from the band’s earlier work, taking a much more melodic, emo-y, U2-esque, direction).  Live! One Plus One was recorded and released in-between Praise and Ourselves and is an excellent example of a band that is growing and maturing.  The record includes cuts from New Wind, Praise, Ourselves (which hadn’t been released yet), The Crew, and Walk Together, Rock Together but many of the faster numbers were rearranged to have a slower drum beat.  Not that the songs were slow, just not the constant assault that 7 Seconds was known for. 

There were a lot of fans that didn’t like this new direction but it never bothered me.  Coming to 7 Seconds after being a diehard U2 fan, this record sounded like a natural progression (which it was for the band).  Because this isn’t a hardcore record I think many people lost sight of the fact that this is a collection of really great songs and captured the vibe of a 7 Seconds show from that time.   

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