Brian Auger's Oblivion Express

Live Oblivion Vol.2

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Live albums are often a ‘hit or miss’ affair but ‘Live Oblivion’ 1 & 2 buck that trend, Recorded across 2 nights in 1974 at the Hollywood venue The Whisky A Go Go. The group were finishing off a huge US tour that had roared down the east coast then across the Midwest and by the time they hit LA, as Brian recalls “we were all absolutely performing at our height. So I decided that I really needed to record the band live at that point”. Utilising the Wally Heider Mobile Truck, the scene was set for one of the greatest jazz-fusion live recordings to be made. The show opens with a hyper fast version of Beginning Again due to drummer Steve Ferrone being almost an hour late and running high on adrenaline, Brian remembers thinking “I don’t even know if I can play it that fast!” Fortunately, he and the Oblivion Express including stellar vocalist Alex Ligertwood rise to the challenge and the result is akin to some frenetic jazzy drum & bass but also pushes the group onto another level altogether for the rest of the show. Across both volumes there are no fillers and the highlights are many - Bumpin’ On Sunset, Freedom Jazz Dance, and Inner City Blues are all stunning, but especially the epic version of Maiden Voyage which Mos Def sampled on his 1997 'If You Can Huh! You Can Hear', and both DJ Mitsu in 2004 and 2017 Crimeapple both dipped into Live Oblivion to sample that fire for their own projects.


Side A

Freedom Jazz Dance
Happiness Is Just Around The Bend

Side B

Maiden Voyage
Second Wind

Side C

Whenever You're Ready
 Inner City Blues

Side D

Straight Ahead
Compared To What