February 13, 2018 John Corabi – Live 94 (One Night In Nashville) (Live Album Review)
John Corabi, former Mötley Crüe vocalist and current frontman of The Dead Daisies, is giving fans an exciting Valentine’s Day gift with his first solo, live recording, Live 94 (One Night In Nashville), which arrives this Friday, February 16th, thanks to Rat Pak Records.
On Live 94 (One Night In Nashville), 1994’s self-titled Mötley Crüe comes to life with John Corabi once again at the helm as lead vocalist. As you already know, Corabi, in fact, replaced the band’s iconic Vocalist Vince Neil when Neil walked away in 1992. Mötley Crüe history is well-known and abundantly documented, so most fans are aware that Corabi’s stint with the Glam Metallers was short-lived and, due to label pressures, he was ousted in 1997 to make room for the return of Neil.
In a case of Rock-n-Roll irony of the highest order, Corabi now gets to shoot a poison arrow through the heart of Crüe history with his latest release. In fact, there is no shock involved for fans whatsoever that on Live 94 (One Night In Nashville), he flawlessly resurrects the energy of the original release.
Pulling together a band of solid musicians, Corabi enlisted the likes of Nashville’s own Guitarist/Vocalist Jeremy Asbrock (of Gene Simmons’ band), Guitarist/Vocalist Phil Shouse (of Gene Simmons’ band), Guitarist Tommy Daley (of Black Shag), and his talented son, Ian Corabi (Drums/Percussion). With Rock vocal chops that soar into the stratosphere, Corabi impressively holds his own and shows no signs of aging on the album, which was recorded live from The Basement in Nashville, Tennessee back on October 27, 2015. Quick to the point, this is a clean recording that serves as a true representation – with no overdubs or mixing tricks or backing tracks. Instead, this is pure, unadulterated Rock-n-Roll!
The album is a beefy fifteen cuts: two tracks of Corabi addressing the crowd about his time in Mötley Crüe are included adding to the history of the rocker. Nashville itself is represented with the opening “Power to the Music,” with the essence of the crowd’s energy blending with the live Rock. It is important to note that throughout the entire performance, the band’s guitar work absolutely shreds, but it never once overshadows the vocal delivery. The band, in fact, fit perfectly together and are a joy to listen to; each piece of this machine is packed full of power!
Listeners will cheer for the deep resonance of Corabi’s voice on “Uncle Jack,” it delivers a dash of stellar angst that is definitely a delicious team effort. The band is the skeleton that all of Corabi’s ministrations rely upon, and that body is tight as they shift gears into “Hooligan’s Holiday.” Here it is interesting and easy to spot the sonic connection between father and son, with a talented lineage that is palpable. Much like the entirety of Live 94 (One Night In Nashville), listeners can feel the ultimate in Classic Rock moments here: steady shredding that formulates a master-class on musicianship.
Interestingly, Corabi has said in past interviews that he harbors no animosity towards his former bandmates, though it seems that he is finally having a last laugh with this beast of a release. With no misgivings from the past to clutter the present, “Misunderstood” is still one of the most beautiful Rock ballads ever written. On a live platform, it is only taken to another level of energy, with abounding riggs and stunning breaths throughout. Clearly those label executives made some grave mistakes back in 1997!
The band’s performance of “Loveshine” offers up an almost Pop hook and great, lush harmonies; it is a quick hit song that is driven by a singular lyrical idea, a love song Mötley Crüe style. Moving on, “Poison Apples” grooves in with drums and guitar leading the way, taking that classic hit-making formula for the Rock that listeners love. While the track is an almost cliche formula – from riff to drum solo to vocal scream – it is still a great offering and enjoyable here. He then takes a moment to provide some backstory on his time in the band before launching his comrades into “Hammered,” a new layer of reality.
Corabi then leads his skilled pack into “Til Death Do Us Part” and “Welcome the Numb.” There is a fresh take to these classics tracks that highlights their old familiarity for fans. Finding that delicate balance is no easy task, but the boys do it with layered gang vocals that serve the lyrics wonderfully.
There is no resting place on Live 94 (One Night In Nashville), and every rocker worth a shit knows that none is needed until the show is over! Thus, “Smoke The Sky” blasts forth with head-banging at its finest and killer vocals to match. Dropping down vocally, Corabi matches his range to the guitars, ripping up and down his lower and upper ranges in a cacophony of Rock. The best thing here, perhaps, is the feel that this album can keep company with the greats, like Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous or Cheap Trick’s Live at Budokan. In fact, listeners can literally hear audience members sing along with the choruses!
This is followed by the softness of “Driftaway,” proving that the original Mötley Crüe album was sequenced with genius skills; as easing out of such intense Rock with the intensely beautiful, musical track is a perfect ending to a marvelous collection. Going that extra mile, however, Corabi and co. add the nightcap of “10,000 Miles Away” as a bonus track. The song was actually not included on the album’s original release, though it appeared on the Japanese release of the Quaternary EP. This brings the Rock performance full-circle, offering up a conclusion that roars.
Chock full of stellar musicianship and John Corabi’s always impressive vocal theatrics, Live 94 (One Night in Nashville) is a truly superb live record that captures all the glory of the performance and leaves behind no filler or fluff. A delight for fans old and new, CrypticRock give the collection 5 out of 5 stars.