Lexicon of Live

by: ABC

ABC was never famous for its live shows. In fact, the tour during which this CD was recorded (1997) was just the second-ever tour by ABC, and by then lead vocalist Martin Fry was the only original member left in the band. So, this is somewhat of a surprise release. Following some serious health problems, Fry resurrected the ABC name in 1997 (with the assistance of Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory, who does not appear on this CD) and produced the surprisingly good Skyscraping. Since the tour was to promote that record, a number of songs from the album were performed live, and appear on this release; and they hold up to the classic hits. Yes, the hits are here: "When Smokey Sings," "Be Near Me," "Poison Arrow," and, of course, "Look of Love." None of these songs benefit from the live performance, but neither are they embarrassing. The recording of the CD is somewhat flat; perhaps better production would have made this a more enjoyable listening experience. Fry's voice is in fine form, and he assembled a very tight, talented band for backup. Overall, this CD is not bad, but would probably be of interest only to ABC fans. ~ Aaron Badgley

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