Dakota - 2000 Three Live Times Ago

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ARTIST: Dakota
ALBUM: Three Live Times Ago
LABEL: DAK Records
YEAR: 2000


LINEUP: Jerry Hludzik - vocals, guitars * Bill Kelly - vocals, guitars * Bill McHale - bass * Jeff Mitchell - keyboards * Louie Cossa - keyboards, guitars * Tony Romano - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Settle Down * 02 Magic * 03 Crazy For Your Love * 04 Possession * 05 You Can't Live Without It * 06 When The Rebel Comes Home * 07 Lady * 08 Workin' Hot * 09 Changes * 10 One Step * 11 It Gets Easier * 12 Restless * 13 If It Takes All Night * 14 Silly Boy * 15 Dear Love * 16 You Can Be * 17 Bad Dreams


Well I can see this release turning into a collectors item in a few years time. Getting hold of a Dakota album at the best of times is a rare event, so making that process easier are the guys from Thoughtscape. Thanks Scott.

Now you must remember this is not a current live recording, in fact it dates back to 1980, and was recorded just prior to the release of the debut Dakota album that same year.

There are seventeen tracks on offer and for any Dakota fan or a general fan of melodic rock-West Coast, this is a wet dream.

The twin vocal attack of Kelly and Hludzik is one of the compelling reasons I love listening to them, and hearing these songs in a natural and raw environment really hammers home the fact this lot were-are a talented mob indeed.

I was reminded a lot of Head East when I put this on, as it came from a time when bands like them were fairly big on the US tour circuit.

The Songs

I don't know where to start as some of these songs just stay in my head relentlessly.

There's the radio friendly 'Magic', the rather compelling 'Crazy For Your Love' which has those signature Dakota melodies coursing throughout, or the beefed up track 'Lady' which comes close to Shooting Star territory.

The epic tag gets applied to the track 'Changes', all 6.25 minutes worth. Most of the tracks are sourced from the debut album, and though it may sound dated from todays perspective, there's a lot of charm in these recordings which give it a warmth that many current bands lack.

'It Gets Easier' for instance is a great Pablo Cruise type jazz workout.

The very commercial 'If It Takes All Night' was one of their singles and one listen and you can see why.

Tracks 14-17 were a series of songs originally written in 1977 to be part of the Jerry-Kelly Band album released that same year.

These songs have not been released until now and are: 'Silly Boy', 'Dear Love', You Can Be', and 'Bad Dreams'.

There's some soaring keyboard lines in some of these, and the whole thing is an interesting insight into some of Dakota's never before recorded or released moments.

In Summary

If you're a hard core Dakota fan, then you could do worse for not picking this album. Go on, reinvent yourself with a little bit of melodic rock history and buy it before it disappears of the map completely.

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