Celluloid Records, CELL6135, 1987
The Only Feeling
Field of Fire
Richard Lloyd: Vocals, guitars,
David Leonard: Guitar, background vocals
John Klages: Bass
Ed Shockley: Drums, background vocals
Richard Lloyd goes back to CBGB for a live album. Subtitled "Past Present Future", the material comes from "Alchemy" and "Field of Fire" and also includes "Lost Child" from 1979 and two new songs, "Spider Talk" and "The Only Feeling". And, of course, the old Television favourite Roky Erickson's "Fire Engine" (aka "The Blow Up").
It's a fine document of Lloyd's solo career so far. The sound throughout is excellent, so much so though that I'm tempted to say that if you only wanted to own one Richard Lloyd album then it should probably be this one. In fact, it doesn't sound like a live album at all; the mix is sharp and clear and clean - it's almost too clean. There seems to be no connection between the band and audience and the applause between tracks is quickly faded.
But it does leave no doubt that Lloyd is a great guitarist. His playing here is both more fluid and more interesting than on the greater part of his other two albums. I'd make an exception for "Field of Fire", which, I think, has more power on the studio version. His playing on "Alchemy", especially, is sensitive and lovely. And both "Spider Talk" and "Number Nine" have some great moments, notably the guitar break on the former.
He's also in great voice on this album and the rest of the band provides great support. It would have been good to hear a little more excitement here; personally I would have been happy to hear them sacrifice such close fidelity to the studio versions in favour of a little more rawness, a little more "dirt". Some of the sheer exhilaration and risk-taking that Lloyd brought to Television's live version of "Satisfaction", for example. Something a little less polite and a little more thrilling.