Live and Let Live

by: 10cc

The time for a 10cc live album would have been as they toured The Original Soundtrack with one of the most adventurous -- not to mention musically extravagant -- shows of the age. Instead, they waited two more years, until the newly reduced Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman-led lineup headed out to promote the first LP since the split, Deceptive Bends, buoyed by the fact that the hits just kept on coming. It is a fun listen on its own terms, a double-vinyl package that wraps a hard-hitting rock show around a good selection of hits. But it is also an unsatisfying venture, as it duplicates all but one track from Deceptive Bends, then avoids any reference to the Godley/Creme era by confining the hits to Stewart and Gouldman compositions alone. That this includes one song previously valued no higher than a B-side ("Waterfall") is an advantage of this approach; unfortunately, you also realize just how straightforward and rocky the duo's writing could be, and Live and Let Live emerges less a document of a great live performance than a desperate résumé, the surviving bandmembers so intent upon proving their own worth that they forgot what made the band so special in the first place. ~ Dave Thompson

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