Autre Chose : Live Bourges 1982 (Asia)


aec.imt859324.2 7/14/09 New

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    Autre Chose : Live Bourges 1982 (Asia) Last Call
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Review Text Arguably the most concise overview of the prolific and quite valuable career of Willie Loco Alexander, this live album was recorded two years after he signed to what was the RCA-distributed New Rose Records label. His wailing cover of Tennesse Waltz retains the stark madness of Solo Loco, his post-Boom Boom Band release and New Rose debut. With the two prior MCA albums distributed in Paris by Barclay, there was an audience, and this band delivers the goods. The double vinyl includes a wonderful gatefold which has photos of the bandmembers with dates and cities -- Bordeaux on March 7, 1982; Mont De Marsan on April 6, 1982; Paris March 23, 24, and 25 -- 13 dates listed in all. Beyond the great document of a true cult figure, this is also the reunion of post-Lou Reed Velvet Underground members Alexander and Walter Powers. Though they toured the U.K. twice with Doug Yule and Moe Tucker, the eventual Polydor release, Squeeze was Doug Yule with Deep Purple's drummer, Ian Paice. This is partially what Squeeze should have been, and, on that level, it is of great historical importance. "Gin," the single that got Alexander signed to New Rose/RCA is here in a beautiful and rare live version. Joan McNulty, who produced the Buzzcocks live album Lest We Forget on R.O.I.R., was adamant about the recording of "Gin," which led to the European contract. The subtle version recorded here is evidence that the Confessions were truly the band for Willie Alexander; beyond the Lost, the Bagatelle, and his extraordinary Boom Boom Band, these are musicians who treat Loco with the respect he deserves. When the Boom Boom Band imploded, there was a third album that never got recorded for MCA, so producer Craig Leon did two sets of demos, one with Reddy Teddy's Matthew McKenzie on vocals backed by the Boom Boom Band, and a set with Willie Alexander solo. MCA passed on both, but two years on, McKenzie joined the Confessions along with "Ricky "Rock It" Rothchild" from Gary Shane and his band. The unreleased "Killer in a Trenchcoat," which was drenched in keyboards on the unreleased Craig Leon demo, rocks out here in its first official release. Boom Boom Band classics from "Radio Heart" to "Dirty Eddie," "Home Is," and "Hit Her Wid De Axe" are all catalogued in the exciting chaos that Willie Alexander projects when things are clicking. They click on Autre Chose, the album named after the French restaurant outside of Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, where the artist had a day gig. 18 selections are here, uncensored, so you hear Loco do the things that made MCA cringe. Great stuff. The photos, the song selection, the performances, the dates of the gigs -- everything is here except where each song was recorded. This is two ex-members of the Velvet Underground touring Europe years later producing an album as vital as 1984's brilliant Lou Reed Live in Italy. An obscure single like "B.U.Baby" makes for a tremendous closer, with the band injecting the right jolts; the version here blows away the rare 45 rpm. Ricky Rothchild and Matthew McKenzie both passed away since this was recorded, but it stands as a terrific snapshot of a great band, and an artist that helped shape the rock & roll scene in Boston who, despite releases on Capitol, ABC, MCA, RCA, and myriad independents, has never been given the recognition he deserves. If they gave Grammys out for the best music recorded in a year as opposed to what is popular, Autre Chose would have been a frontrunner in 1982. ~ Joe Viglione

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Tennesse Waltz - 2:02
  2. 2. Kids Are Jagging - 3:22
  3. 3. Be-Bop-A-Lula - 4:34
  4. 4. Home Is - 4:56
  5. 5. Killer in a Trenchcoat - 2:29
  6. 6. Hit & Run - 3:56
  7. 7. Eyes Crossed - 3:50
  8. 8. Aaww - 3:18
  9. 9. Hit Her Wid de Axe - 2:25
  10. 10. Kerouac - 4:58
  11. 11. Working Hard - 2:43
  12. 12. Take Me Away - 4:31
  13. 13. Autre Chose - 4:21
  14. 14. Gin - 3:27
  15. 15. Radio Heart - 4:38
  16. 16. Dirty Eddie - 3:20
  17. 17. Close Enough - 3:41
  18. 18. B.U. Baby - 2:40

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