Another prized vinyl possession that has, on more than one occasion, brought folks over to the house solely to listen to it. This promo-only live album was issued by Geffen to promote (what would be) Hiatt’s last album for the label, Warming Up To The Ice Age. For those unfamiliar with his story, this was an unbelievable time for Hiatt, who was battling alcohol addiction, dealing with the suicide of his wife and, within months, was about to lose his job (read: get dropped by Geffen). Back in 1985, however, this live blast perfectly captured Hiatt’s out-of-control spontaneity… the tail end of his ‘on-the-brink’ years. Originally a King Biscuit Flower Hour recording, this performance is rough & ready, loose & untamed. Hiatt is invigorated and his band, thanks to the punchy bass work, has a funky authenticity here, weaving it within the rock, R&B, roots and soul brew Hiatt had already formulated. Interestingly, the new wave keyboard riffs abandoned on the new album are present, but almost completely buried in this live mix. I’d be curious to know if that was Hiatt’s, King Biscuit’s or just some lazy soundman’s decision. During “She Said The Same Things To Me,” the band breaks down completely, though the veteran Hiatt recovers with aplomb. Ripped from the original vinyl, the cover art doesn’t give any details (the back is blank), like if that’s actually Elvis Costello reprising his “Living A Little, Laughing A Little” duet with JH. Check out Hiatt’s powerful look at his own addiction, “The Usual.” As of today, I couldn’t find it at Amazon or Ebay. Hiatt’s On The Brink Years: Get all 5 HERE.
Say It With Flowers (3:37)
I Don’t Even Try (3:49)
Pink Bedroom (3:09)
She Said The Same Things To Me (4:35)
Warming Up To The Ice Age (6:15)
Living A Little, Laughing A Little (4:22)
I’m A Real Man (4:08)
The Usual (3:50)
Riding With The King (9:21)
Zero House (4:38)
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