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Bobby Brown - Live (1978)


Bobby Brown stands as a shining example of a California musical eccentric.  By the way, that's meant as a heartfelt compliment, rather than a slam.

Born and raised in Sacramento, California, by the early 1970s Brown was making a living as a one man band, playing up and down the California coast.  As shown on the front cover, his act included an impressive home-made rig that contained some 50 instruments that were placed on racks that could be easily loaded and unloaded from a van.  Brown would apparently cruise up and down the coast, stopping to play concerts for folks, selling copies of his albums from the back of his van.


Selected as the opening act for a Fleetwood Mac/Kenny Loggins concert at the University of California Berkley, Brown originally planned to release the results as a live set. Unhappy with the resulting tapes (the crowd noises were apparently distracting), he piled his recording equipment into a van, drove to a local beach and recorded nine tracks in front of a curious and somewhat mystified crowd (love the back cover pictures). Released in 1978, "Live" wasn't half bad. Recorded without postproduction adornment you had to admit the guy had a great voice. Sure, as a one man band the sound was occasionally a bit thin, but you had to admire Brown's earnestness; 'Hawaii' and 'Mother Nature We're Guilty' echoing his deep seated ecological concerns. On the other hand, dog lovers were bound to get a kick out of 'My Dog Is Every Bit As Good As Me'. Spread across two sides, the material started to sound alike and Brown had an irritating habit of stretching his voice. Check out the bizarre performance on 'Motherless Child').  Still, for a vanity project it wasn't bad. (source)




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