In less that two years Black Country Communion has cranked out two top-notch studio albums and now, they have released a stellar two disc live album, “Live over Europe.” If by chance, you are one of the few unfortunate souls unfamiliar with BCC, the band features Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian.
“Live over Europe” finds the band in excellent form with plenty of original material to choose from, and a couple cuts from Hughes and Bonamassa’s past recordings thrown in for good measure. Taken as a whole, this may be rock music’s best live album since the 1970s and in a class with great live releases like The Who’s “Live at Leeds” and AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood You’ve Got it.”
While they come out of the gate strong, by the time, they hit “Beggarman,” from their debut album, they are absolutely on fire. Bonamassa’s guitar playing is inspired and Hughes vocals are a freak of nature, even more powerful and inspired than they are on the studio albums.
The combination of Hughes on bass and Bonham on drums drives the album. BCC gives Bonham a chance to display his prowess, especially in a live setting. Even if you own the two studio albums, the addition of BCC’s versions of Bonamassa’s “The Ballad of John Henry,” and Deep Purple’s “Burn,” from Hughes tenure in Deep Purple, are great addition s to the BCC collection.
The only thing that makes the release less than perfect is some problems with the mix. At times, the bass sounds muddy, especially on the early tracks, and Sherinian’s keyboards are buried deep within the mix.
In spite of those issues, “Live over Europe,” is a great album and a must own for fans of rock’s best live albums.