Alvin Lee - guitar, vocals; Chick Churchill - organ, electric piano; Leo Lyons - bass; Ric Lee - drums
Their appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival catapulted Ten Years After into the realm of superstardom. The subsequent release of "I'm Going Home" in the Woodstock movie and on the soundtrack album inspired countless guitar players and became a staple of FM radio throughout the next decade. Although front man Alvin Lee has publicly lamented that he missed the intimacy of smaller venues, there is no denying the impact that their Woodstock appearance made in bringing his music to a worldwide audience. The band continued releasing acclaimed albums in the early 1970s, including the 1971 release A Space In Time, and Rock And Roll Music To The World the following year, but by this point, Lee was looking to expand his musical horizons and began working outside the band, releasing the more introspective On The Road To Freedom in collaboration with Mylon Le Fevre.
When Ten Years After hit the road again in 1973, the band retained the high-energy sound they were well known for. In January, they recorded a double-live album in Frankfurt, Germany that captured the group in full flight. When the tour hit the United States, arrangements were made to record the band again for a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast. Here for the first time is an expanded edition of that performance featuring all the songs featured in that original August 1973 KBFH broadcast, in addition to two songs that, due to time limitations, were not included.
The recording kicks off with the classic title track to the Rock And Roll Music To The World album. A straightforward rock 'n' roll number, this retains the infectiousness of the studio recording, while raising the excitement level up a notch. "Slow Blues In C," the first of the two songs not included in the original broadcast, follows this. Here, Alvin Lee gets a chance to display his blues roots while the band gets an opportunity to improvise a bit. "Spoonful," a song more associated with Cream than Ten Years After, gets a relatively concise treatment here, with the band demonstrating their expertise at building tension, beginning slowly and modestly before Alvin Lee's furious soloing brings it to a frenetic close.
A rare live performance of "Turned Off T.V. Blues" follows, featuring passionate vocals from Lee and extraordinary interplay between Lee and keyboard player Chick Churchill. Throughout this set, Churchill often veers away from his trademark organ to play electric piano. This adds a distinct change to the band's sound, but is never less than impressive. The rhythm section of Leo Lyons and Ric Lee are also featured prominently in the mix and it is a delight to hear the bottom end so crystal clear and punchy. The performances aside, this recording has an outstanding mix that captures the interaction of the four band members and better represents where the group was at musically in 1973 than the live album recorded earlier that same year.
The other song that was never broadcast is up next. "I Woke Up This Morning" features imaginative soloing from Alvin Lee, with Churchill's organ and the rhythm section vamping along in the bebop style that defined the band's sound in the early years. Leo Lyon's jazzy bass style and Alvin Lee's lightning-fast fretwork are in abundance here.
The set ends with a frenetic romp through Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" before closing with the blazing crowd-pleaser "I'm Going Home." As can be expected, Alvin Lee's remarkably fluid and technically proficient solos leave one gasping for breath, bringing this set to a blistering close.