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Nine Below Zero - "Don't point your finger" & "Third Degree" | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

Nine Below Zero - "Don't point your finger" & "Third Degree"

 Betyg

Review3407_nine_below_zero_-_dont_point_your_finger

To celebrate their 35th anniversary year, two albums by Nine Below Zero are being reissued - 'Don’t Point Your Finger' & ‘The Third Degree’ - the 2nd and 3rd albums by the band. This follows the remastered re-release late last year of the band's first album "Live at the marque".
The band formed in 1977 and continued till 1983 when they split, reforming later in 1990 and continuing to the present day. The band supported The Kinks and The Who on tour as well as peforming their own shows, and also appeared on television including The Chris Tarrant Show, South Bank Show, The Old Grey Whistle Test, and comedy series The Young Ones .

Both the albums are re-mastered and come with a second disc full of bonus material. In the case of "Don't point your finger" the second disc is a live recording, "Live at the Granary, Bristol 24.10.1981" - the show was recorded at the time for the BBC. In the case of "The third degree" the second disc is an alternative version of the album - the band originally recorded the album with Glyn Johns at his studio in Sussex. However, it was rejected by A&M who didn't like the raw sound they'd gone for. The band had to re-record it with Simon Boswell and it's that version that A&M released as the album, with the original version only now seeing the light of day as part of this re-release.

If you've never listened to Nine Below Zero then these reissues are a great way to start listening to a superb blues-rock band. In fact the chances are that if you're old enough you have heard at least one of their songs - the band appeared on cult classic TV show "The Young Ones" performing their song "11+11" - that was certainly my first experience of the band. In fact that TV appearance gives you an idea of the calibre of the band when you look who else appeared on the show - Motorhead, Dexys midnight runners", Madness , John Otway and The Damned - a pretty impressive selection of bands.
The band took their name from the song by blues musician Sonny Boy Williamson II.

"Don't point your finger" is an excellent album, and the remastered sound is excellent. The sound on the live recording is also very good but isn't quite as good as the album itself - almost certainly down to the limitations of the technology live recordings back in 1981. It is still a good quality recording though and more than good enough to satisfy the vast majority of fans. For me the drums feel slightly muffled and the guitars feel slightly muted but the vocals are crystal clear and sharp though and the crowd noise comes through loud and clear between songs. It's great to hear the songs played live.

"Third degree" is another great album. It opens with the song they played on "The Young ones", "11+11" and is a more diverse album than "Don't point your finger". It's a great album - in fact they both are. what is really interesting with this release is hearing the original album and also the alternate version of it (which technically is the original version rather than the one that orginally got released). While the songs are the same they really do sound quite different, and listening to them like this really does show how much of an impact the producer has on an album - the sound can really vary quite significantly. The alternate version does have a more raw live sound to it than the version that got released. I wouldn't say that one is better than the other as both are excellent and I can see different people preferring different versions.

These are both excellent releases - two great albums that have been remastered and had a load of bonus material added. Both come with interesting and informative sleeve notes with information about the albums. Both are highly recommended.


Nine Below Zero will be on tour supporting The Stranglers on a 22 date tour from 27th February onwards.

'Don’t Point Your Finger' & ‘Third Degree’ will be released on 24th February 2014 via UMC

Track listings:

Third Degree:

Disc: 1
1. Eleven Plus Eleven
2. Wipe Away Your Kiss
3. Why Can't We Be What We Want To Be
4. Tearful Eye
5. True Love Is A Crime
6. Egg On My Face
7. Sugarbeat (And Rhythm Sweet)
8. Mystery Man
9. East Street, SE17
10. You Don't Love Me
11. You Can't Say Yes And You Can't Say No

Disc: 2
1. Eleven Plus Eleven
2. True Love Is A Crime
3. East Street, SE17
4. Why Don't You Try Me Tonight
5. Mama Talk To Your Daughter
6. Tearful Eye
7. Johnnie Weekend
8. Sugarbeat (And Rhythm Sweet)
9. Egg On My Face
10. You Can't Say Yes And You Can't Say No


Don't point your finger:

Disc: 1
1. One Way Street
2. Doghouse
3. Liquor Lover
4. Helen
5. Ain't Comin' Back
6. I Won't Lie
7. Treat Her Right
8. Three Times Enough
9. Sugar Mama
10. Don't Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man
11. Rockin' Robin
12. You Can't Please All The People All The Time

Disc: 2
1. Don't Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man
2. True Love Is A Crime
3. Three Times Enough
4. Ridin On The L & N
5. Treat Her Right
6. Helen
7. 11 + 11
8. I Can't Quit You Baby
9. Rockin' Robin
10. Sugarbeat (And Rhythm Sweet)
11. Homework
12. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
13. Why Don't You Try Me Tonight
14. You Can't Please All The People All The Time
15. Pack Fair & Square
16. One Way Street

Review3407_Nine_below_zero_-_third_degree

Writer: Anthony May
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