Alvin Lee - guitar, vocals; Chick Churchill - organ; Leo Lyons - bass; Ric Lee - drums
Following their memorable performance in the Woodstock movie, this recording captures Ten Years After as a major headlining act at the peak of international stardom. Recorded by renowned engineer Eddie Kramer on a Scully 8-track machine, and sourced from digital mix-downs done for Columbia over 30 years later, this Fillmore West show is of phenomenal quality.
After Bill Graham introduces the band members individually, the set opens with a solid version of "Love Like A Man." The rest of this set continues to showcase material from their most adventurous albums, 1969's Ssssh and 1970's Cricklewood Green. Other than "The Hobbit," which is primarily a drum solo by Ric Lee, the band is in fine form, but they stay relatively true to the album arrangements. There is little of the improvisational jamming they were so well known for by this time.
The shift is soon corrected, however, with a monumental set closing version of "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes," which clocks in just shy of 20 minutes. With nods to many popular rock acts of the day, the jamming on this includes distinct references to Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Cream's arrangement of "Cat's Squirrel" and many others. These riffs are often played so fast and furious that as soon as one is recognizable, another has already begun.