Ten Years After: Access All Areas

Repackaged live show from Alvin Lee’s Brit blues rockers.

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Guitar geeks and blues buffs alike would have been equally excited when Ten Years After re-formed in the early 80s to play the Reading Festival. On 1990’s Access All Areas live album (originally released on CD in 1994) they’re promoting the previous year’s About Time comeback with a homecoming show in Nottingham.

As ever the main man is singer/guitarist (the late) Alvin Lee, originally known for his lightning-fast fretwork but by this time adding shredding elements to every solo, as if to keep up with the later generation of turbo-squiddlers he influenced.

For TYA fans that makes things here a touch more metallic than is strictly necessary, and perhaps subtracts some of the feel from his soloing, but classics like Love Like A Man and I’m Goin’ Home still have a feisty groove to them.

The accompanying DVD is a fine master class, even if the performance doesn’t have the same edge or intensity as the band’s career-defining set at Woodstock (that you can find on YouTube).

Classic Rock 215: Reissues

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Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock