Myles Goodwyn - vocals, guitar; Steve Lang - bass; Jerry Mercer - drums; Brian Greenway - guitar; Gary Moffett - guitar
Next to The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, April Wine racked up more hits than any other Canadian band. They were the first group to have a platinum album in Canada, and the first to launch a tour that grossed over $1 million. This recording, one of a number of shows captured by the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was made while the band was promoting Power Play, their last album to have any substantial chart activity. Although they would write and record one more album with this lineup (1984's Animal Grace), Power Play would be the document that first signified the band's gradual artistic decline.
Although they had cut a couple of memorable songs on Power Play (including the opener from this concert, "Anything You Want, You Got It"), many critics felt the band had already peaked creatively by the time this LP came out. This show, therefore, effectively exhibits April Wine at the apex of their capabilities as popular artists. It is essentially a greatest hits compilation, featuring such tracks as "Anything You Want," "Just Between You And Me," "Sign Of The Gypsy Queen," "Waiting On A Miracle," "I Like To Rock," "Roller" and "All Over Town." The versions here are played more or less faithfully to their studio counterparts, but with considerably more conviction from lead singer Myles Goodwyn.
The band, moreover, sounds just as strong on the lesser known album tracks, where they were able to stretch out musically to a greater degree. "Future Tense," "Crash & Burn" and "Before The Dawn" are nearly as strong as the hit singles. Second guitarist, Brian Greenway, is featured on "Before The Dawn," and proved he was more than a mere back-up musician.
"If You See Kay" - go ahead, say it fast - offers a humorous diversion from the mostly earnest proceedings. The band also does a bombastic version of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man," which they had previously recorded for the Harder…Faster LP. Greenway offers up some pretty convincing vocals on this British prog rock classic, though he's no match for the original singer, Greg Lake.
Formed in 1969, the band gradually built itself into one of the biggest acts in America. They first came to national attention in Canada in 1974, when they played a gig at Toronto's El Mocambo club, which was really a warm-up show for The Rolling Stones' Black and Blue tour, for which they landed the opening slot - thanks in a large part to this gig . By the late '70s, the group began releasing a series of hits, which peaked in 1981 with the aforementioned Harder…Faster LP. They enjoyed several years of chart success in both the U.S. and Canada before their popularity started to wane in 1988. In 1989, Goodwyn left to pursue a solo career and this version of the band fell apart. The band's original lineup reformed in 1993 and they continue to tour on a semi-regular basis today.