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THE OUTLAWS – Anthology (Live & Rare) 1973-1981

| 27 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Purple Pyramid (Cleopatra Records)
Released: August 2012
Review by Shane Pinnegar

Billed as one of Southern Rock’s leading lights, it may come as a surprise to casual listeners to find that The Outlaws had their origins in New York, and boasted a sound with as much country and soulful rock influences as Skynyrd similarities.

Across 3 discs we hear the band go from naïve and chatty youngsters having just released their debut album in August 1975, to a well oiled triple-guitared stadium road machine, and then, through 6 years of albums and tours, becoming road weary.

The Outlaws were a live band from the outset – a fact hammered home by how vibrant these songs, recorded all over the US between ’75 and ’81, all sound.  Even on the late Seventies material, when the vocals sound tired and stressed, the band never miss a note, weaving perfectly into an electric fence of noise.

There are multiple versions of some classics on offer – There Goes Another Love Song, Lover Boy and their own Freebird (so said Ronnie Van Zant) Green Grass & High Tides – and plenty of lesser known tracks like Gunsmoke, Blueswater and even a cover of Ghost Riders In The Sky.

A fourth disc of studio demos sheds some light on the evolution of the songs, but it’s the cracking live renditions you’ll want to be playing over again.

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Category: CD Reviews

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