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band | aLive Just for Love | review | goth | rock | Lollipop

Peter Murphy

aLive Just for Love (Metropolis)
by DJ Arcanus

There comes a time in the life of an artist where there are enough recordings to make a greatest hits. Since his last full-length in 1995, Cascade, there was an EP in 1998, Recall, and last year, Peter Murphy succumbed to releasing a greatest hits album, Wild Birds. In a way, greatest hits albums are great. They put a lot of popular songs onto one collection available in your favorite store. In another sense, they can be annoying because there're always one or two unreleased songs a fan wants and will then have to pay the full price of an album to have. The Cure did this with their second great hits album, Galore. I didn't buy it. I did, however, buy Mr. Murphy's greatest hits.

What else do artists do during long stretches where nothing is released? A collection of hits. If not, a live album. That's two in a row for this former member of Bauhaus. aLive Just For Love is a show recorded in L.A. at the end of November 2000. It's totally uncut until the encore, which is on a second disc. There's a lot of audience noise, and at times it can be downright annoying. During "Marlene Dietrich's Favourite Poem," my all-time favorite Peter Murphy song, some wanna-be-Peter-Murphy-but-really-offkey fans start singing the chorus in the background before the clear, majestic voice overpowers them. As for the musical quality of the recording, it sounds excellent. I saw this tour last year and this album brings me back to that exquisite memory. The second disc has a four-song encore with special guest and former bandmate David J.. They reminisce by performing three Bauhaus songs to the audience's delight. "Delight" might be too light a word. "Fanatical frenzy" would be closer. There's so much screaming that it makes the songs hard to enjoy. Afterwards, Peter gives the mic to some guy and he proposes to his girlfriend. How charming... His Big Question is now immortalized for public consumption. After getting the mic back, the show ends with a cover of "Love Me Tender."

The recording has its moments and gives the sense that Mr. Murphy puts on a good show (and he does), but there's so much audience noise that it makes it hard to really enjoy. Think of standing next to the annoying people who talk through the entire show. You get the picture. Now that the greatest hits and live album are done, how about some NEW material?
(PO Box 54307 Philadelphia, PA 19105)

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