(U.S 1965 - Present)
Right from the start, Canned Heat has been at the forefront of popularizing blues music. Their second album, "Boogie With Canned Heat," included the worldwide hit "On The Road Again" and a twelve minute version of "Fried Hockey Boogie" that established them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie!" Their third album, "Living The Blues," included a 19-minute tour de force, "Parthenogenesis" which displayed the quintet at their most experimental along with their incarnation of Henry Thomas' "Bulldozer Blues" where singer, Wilson, retained the tune of the original song, rewrote the lyric and came up with "Goin' Up The Country," whose simple message caught the "back-to-nature" attitude of the late '60s and went to #1 in 25 countries around the world.
The band can boast of collaborations with John Mayall and Little Richard and later with blues icon, John Lee Hooker, the musician that they initially got much of their musical inspiration from in the first place. This union first produced the spirited and revered album, "Hooker 'n Heat" and then Hooker's 1990 Grammy Award-winning classic, "The Healer." The band is also credited with bringing a number of other forgotten bluesmen to the forefront of modern blues including Sunnyland Slim, who they found driving a taxi in Chicago, Skip James, who they found in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi and took to the Newport Festival, Memphis Slim and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown with whom they recorded in France and Albert Collins. They brought Collins to California where they had their manager negotiate a recording agreement for Albert that started him on his way to becoming a well known musician throughout the world.
On September 3rd, 1970, the band was shattered by the suicide of Alan Wilson. His death sparked reconstruction within the group and member changes continued throughout the next two decades. On April 5th, 1981, at the Palamino in Los Angeles, gargantuan vocalist, Bob Hite, collapsed and died of a heart attack and on October 20th, 1997, Henry Vestine died in Paris, France following the final gig of a European tour.
Despite these untimely deaths and assorted musical trends, Canned Heat has survived under the leadership of Fito de la Parra since the late 70's. Since 1967, the band has toured extensively all over the world, performing at numerous festivals including Monterey Pop, Newport Pop, the Sturgis Motorcycle Run U.S.A., and the original Woodstock. They have performed at world-renowned venues such as Paris' Olympia, both Fillmore Auditoriums, The Kaleidoscope, Carnegie Hall (with John Lee Hooker), Madison Square Garden and even Royal Albert Hall and have played more biker festivals than any other band in the world.
They and/or their music have been featured on television (In Concert, David Frost, Merv Griffin, Midnight Special, Playboy After Dark, etc.), and in films ("Woodstock," "Flashback," and "Forrest Gump" etc.). Their legend has recently been heard and felt in various television commercials ("On The Road Again" for Miller Beer, "Goin' Up The Country" for Pepsi, Chevrolet and McDonalds, "Let's Work Together" for Lloyd's Bank, England's Electric Company and for Target Stores along with other songs for 7-Up, Levi's and Heineken Beer).
Fito's book, "Living The Blues" is available through the band's website and at most popular book outlets. It is the complete and outrageous Canned Heat story of "Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival" along with over 100 captivating pictures from their past.
Canned Heat '70 Concert is taken from various locations on live concert European tour right before Alan Wilson’s death and is the band's first officially released live album. Canned Heat had toured Europe in 1970 in support of their album Future Blues, which had featured the hit single "Let's Work Together" (a #2 hit in the UK). Recordings from the tour were put out as a live album, orginally called Canned Heat '70 Concert - Recorded Live In Europe (as per this post), but later reissued with the simpler title Live In Europe. It was a great blues album, showcasing the whole band, in particular the excellent lead guitar of newcomer Harvey Mandel. The album did well in the UK, where it reached #15.
However on their return to America, both Mandel and bassist Larry Taylor left the band to work with John Mayall (who had just then relocated to California). Original lead guitiarist Henry Vestine then returned, bringing with him bassist Antonio de la Barreda.
This album captures the 1970 incarnation of Canned Heat with Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals), Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals/harmonica), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Aldolfo "Fito" de la Parra (drums), and newest addition Harvey Mandel (guitar), who had replaced Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar) in 1969.
They headed across the Atlantic in the spring of 1970 on the heels of "Let's Work Together" -- a Wilbert Harrison cover that charted within the Top Five in Europe. These are also among the final recordings to feature Wilson, whose increasing substance abuse and depression would result in an overdose prior to having re-joined the band for another stint in Europe in the fall of the same year. Indeed the brooding "Pulling Hair Blues" from this effort is marked not only by some decidedly dark and strung-out contributions, but more subtly, Hite's tentative introduction of Wilson -- indicating he had not been playing for the duration of the set. The Heat's performance style has shifted from the aggressive rhythm and blues of their earliest sides to a looser and more improvisational technique. The opener, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right Mama," is given a greasy mid-tempo groove over Hite's vocals . Mandel shines as his guitar leads dart in and out of the languid boogie. Although presented as a medley, "Back on the Road" is more or less an inclusive number with only brief lyrical references to "On the Road Again." Mandel's sinuous fretwork melds flawlessly with Wilson's harmonica blows. The powerful rendering of the aforementioned "Let's Work Together" is a highlight, with Canned Heat in top form as Wilson's electric slide riffs recall their seminal sound.
[Review by Lindsay Planer at AllMusic.com]
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy (the album has seen better days so click removal was applied to the audiophiles) and includes full album artwork for both CD and vinyl releases.
What makes this post great is the fact that the rough sound reproduction on this 45 year old vinyl gives the listener a realistic concert experience which is lacking on any CD release.
So sit right back, crank up the bass, and as The Bear would say: "Don't Forget To Boogie!"
01 That's All Right Mama
02 Bring It On Home
03 Pulling Hair Blues
04 Medley: Back On The Road/On The Road Again
05 London Blues
06 Let's Work Together
07 Goodbye For Now
Bass – Larry "The Mole" Taylor
Drums – Adolfo "Fito" De La Parra
Guitar – Harvey Mandel
Guitar, Vocals, Harp – Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson
Vocals – Bob "The Bear" Hite
Producer – Skip Taylor
Canned Heat Link (127Mb) New Link 17/10/2015