Wednesday, September 08, 2010

CD Review: TEN YEARS AFTER: THINK ABOUT THE TIMES, The Chrysalis Years 1969-1972

Chrysalis Records of England has recently released this excellent new 3 cd box set of the five post-Woodstock albums issued by the great UK rock blues act Ten Years After. And for the low asking price of around $40 you get all of the original tracks from SSSSH, CRICKLEWOOD GREEN, WATT, A SPACE IN TIME & ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD digitally remastered along with rarer single versions and B-sides of singles. All told, there are 48 tracks in this great box set.

Although the name Ten Years After was meant to mean "Ten Years After Elvis" the group quickly gained a post-Woodstock reputation for their awesome live shows fronted by guitar superman Alvin Lee and bass player Leo Lyons. Some albums such as ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD have been a little harder to find on cd in the U.S. in recent years, however both the quality of the music as well as the production value on all five albums really warrant this excellent repackage of these five great albums. Previously, their earlier albums had all been reissued with remastered sound and bonus tracks such as single versions of songs as well as B-sides, so this box really takes care of some of their great later albums.

Some albums such as A SPACE IN TIME and ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD are great classic albums and really deserved this remastered version as well as the bonuses. Both albums featured incredible production work in addition to some awesome musicianship, songwriting and just pure classic rock excitement.

Interestingly, Ten Years After really released very few singles over the years, with "I'd Love To Change The World" their biggest U.S. hit by far. Ten Years After was really an album oriented band with a reputation for incredible live performances. In fact, it was really Woodstock that propelled the band to stardom and forced the band to raise the bar with each and every new album release. All five albums really stand out for their quality songs with plenty of classic tracks and few songs that could really be termed as filler songs. TYA was always a top flight act, although not always a chart topping one. But their fans knew how good they were. Usually just one live show was enough to hook new fans.

If any causal fan would like a taste of what this band is all about, then this is a great introduction to the band. There's so much great stuff here.

The bottom line: An excellent box set of one of the finest UK rock acts of all time. Alvin Lee is one of the greatest living guitar legends. Buy this album. You won't regret it for a moment. ++++ Four stars(Excellent)