Picks and Pans Review: Recovery: Live!

updated 03/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Great White

When a band that's been banging around for a while finally breaks out, some enterprising record company will usually dip into its vaults and reissue earlier material to exploit the band's new favor. Great White, a sluggo rock band from Los Angeles, scored with their recent LP, Once Bitten, so we get this curious collection. Recovery: Live! is actually two records. The first side offers a selection, recorded in 1986, of the band's favorite songs by other groups. They fare surprisingly well on a pair of Led Zeppelin songs. Singer Jack Russell even survives the most daunting aspect of covering Zep: matching Robert Plant's caterwauling. Russell handles Immigrant Song convincingly, failing only on the soprano Tarzan yodels that punctuate the verses. The first side's other covers, including Hendrix's Red House and Humble Pie's I Don't Need No Doctor, show off Mark Kendall's hot guitar work, but basically these are sloughed-off jam sessions. The band was probably just rehearsing songs to use as their fourth encore on nights when the crowd won't let them off the stage and they're out of their own material. The album's second side contains five songs recorded live in 1983. The hard-rock style never rises above Spinal Tap triteness, but the sound quality and the band's forceful delivery should make this side, anyway, a welcome surprise for Great White's new fans. (Enigma)

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