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PHISH New Year's Eve 1995
Rhino R2 73275 (2005)

A pretty large concert (Madison Square Garden, New York), and New Year’s Eve is a pretty major event.

And Phish were a pretty MOR pop/rock band, picking up a similar trippy middle American crowd to the Grateful Dead, without as much of the west coast sound. Perhaps like the poppier end of Man.

Promoting 1994’s (Hoist) album and the following year’s live set, this set was recorded and sees its 10th anniversary.

The band were prone to the odd cover version (some festival appearances would see performances of entire albums by The Beatles, The Who, Talking Heads and The Velvet Underground, all of whom influence their sound somewhere in here. But here we get much self penned material and tracks by Townsend and even a rousing version of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode.

It’s a lavish set, the full 3 ˝ hour concert on 3 CDs, in a digipak with a 28 page booklet. The music moves from Grateful Dead to captivating and back again, with tracks from 2 to 25 minutes.

OK as an introduction, even better for the ardent fan. An excellent package that may be hard to get into, but worth exploring all the same.


Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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First six albums by great original blues rockers.

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2nd two double sets are essential listening.

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