Live Bootleg 82

Album Reviews

Live Bootleg 82

Album Reviews

Notebored January-April 1991

By Fred Clark

I don't remember what I was doing on April 30, 1982, but I wish I had been at the New Covenant Fellowship in St. Louis. That night, as part of the Alarma Tour, Daniel Amos gave an exceptional show, playing songs from Alarma!, Horrendous Disc and their upcoming Doppelganger LP. Odds are you weren't there either, but fortunately for us, Bruce Brown was, and, in training for engineering class, he recorded the concert on a borrowed eight-track. Now, nearly nine years later, Brown's recording has been digitally remixed and remastered, pronounced "official" by the band, and released on CD and cassette by Stunt Records.

For many of us here on the East Coast, Live Bootleg - 82 is our first exposure to a DA concert. The '82 line up -- Terry Taylor, Jerry Chamberlain, Tim Chandler and Ed McTaggart -- is tight and energetic. From the opening riff of "I Love You #19," everything seems faster and more furious and aggressive than the studio versions. This intensity gives added bite to songs like "Faces to the Window," and "Mall (All Over the World)" (as does the context of playing the songs back-to-back).

The Alarma! album provides the majority of this material (7 of the 16 songs), with a few favorites from Horrendous Disc ("19," "Hound of Heaven" and "Tidal Wave"). Bootleg also includes two songs available nowhere else: "Everyone's Fallen Down" and "Love Has Open Arms."

The climactic finale of Bootleg is "The Surf Suite," an eight and a-half-minute medley which goes from a new wave "Sirfin' USA" into "Wipe Out" into "(Near Sighted Girl with Approaching) Tidal Wave" and finally a frantic version of "Endless Summer."

Despite several changes of name, lineup and record label, Daniel Amos/DA/Da/Swirling Eddies was consistently the most interesting and most important Christian-label band of the '80s. From 1976's country Daniel Amos debut to Outdoor Elvis, no band has been more challenging musically, lyrically or spiritually. Live Bootleg - 82 captures an exciting period in the history of Christian rock and is well worth checking out for old fans and newcomers alike.

Harvest Rock Syndicate 1990

4 points out of 5
By Brian Q. Newcomb

It's sure a sign of approaching middle age when one hears phrases coming from one's own mouth about the "good ol' days." I'm only 33, but it sounds pretty "old" to find myself remembering the grand old days of rock 'n' roll in the fall of '82, when I saw DA play three shows in a little under a week in the Chicago area. I remember being greatly impressed as the quartet, featuring new bassist Tim Chandler, drummer Ed McTaggart, guitarist Jerry Chamberlain and vocalist/guitarist/master of ceremony Terry Taylor, tore through an unequaled set of fine, new wave influenced rock 'n' roll, with such skill, zest and zeal that I left each show rather speechless -- a rare and somewhat amazing event, all things considered.

Now, thanks to the miracle of persistence and a desire to actually make a living, DA has taken an 8-track bootleg recording made of the St Louis gig of that tour by Bruce Brown, and made it available to fans through Spring Arbor distribution and its fan club mail order. The original recording is enhanced by Taylor to bring our the full live sound, but the raw, concert energy remains with little or no overdubs. This is a mint recording, for collectors, fans and all those curious about the best rock band in the golden age of... whatever, I can't remember it all that well.

Featuring tracks from Horrendous disc, Alarma and Doppelganger, as well as a couple of previously unreleased Taylor compositions and the band's infamous set of beach covers, DA Live Bootleg '82 chronicles an important band at the height of its game, when the doors were still open and anything was possible. The 83-84 tour, a veritable multi-media event, was equally great for completely different reasons, but here they were a rock band, gritty and even a little angry, but their good humor was still in tact, and the music lacked the self-parody that at times slid into self indulgence in later tours as commercial indifference, unfettered criticism and a general lack of appreciation for its contribution took its toll on DA.

The Miracle Faith Telethon, a pseudo-retrospective of Taylor's work drenched in schlocky humor and no small amount of self-deprecating wonder at it all, reminds us that this band was capable of genius. Live Bootleg recalls a time when we all "knew" that this great music had to make a difference in the world. And, finally, it did. Perhaps the rock world didn't notice, maybe Christian radio remained uninformed and indifferent, but some of us, on the fringes of the Church, were challenged, encouraged and entertained. This band rocked with an unequaled authority, at least in the ccm market, and didn't shift its intelleect into neutral to placate some conservative consensus of what was appropriate to Christian sensibilities. While some were trying to get even those of us who had come to faith years earlier to experience salvation at every concert like it was the first time, DA made growth and involvement possible in an unpreachy fashion.

Most of this stuff feels even better than the originals, just because the energy of the performance is so engaging. I'm still waiting for an Alarma Chronicles Boxed set, but this live indie effort is sure to keep my Walkman rocking as I sit out on the porch swing of the old folks home wrapped in an afghan. "What a drag it is getting... Well, you get the point. Now, get the album; it's great nostalgia for those of us who remember, it's a fine introduction to those who have only recently caught on to the band's notorious Cornerstone gala extravaganzas, it's festive, big fun to delight young and old. Trust your grandfather. Would I lie to you?