“Greatest Hits Live” by 707

Artist: 707
Title: “Greatest Hits Live”
Label: MVD Audio
Release Date: 6/5/2007
Genre: Melodic Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

Take a trip back in time with me and the guys in 707 as we revisit a solid selection of live concert performances that perfectly captures this talented group and also provides a look at how Rock history was progressing at the time. In the early 80’s they were a growing sensation but one that might have easily passed you by if you had limited exposure to when they were at their best. That is the good thing about albums like this one as they live on forever because of it and it provides a great document to what they were all about. The group on this recording featured Kevin Russell (guitar, vocals), Todd Howarth (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Phil Bryant (bass, vocals), and Jim McClarty (drums). Founding member Duke McFadden had chosen to move on by this time so he is not featured on the recording. Many will remember Todd the best as he went on to join Ace Frehley’s band and also do keyboards for Cheap Trick for many years. There’s only nine tunes to enjoy on the album but in one sense that’s all you need to have to understand just how “fan friendly” this stuff was. There are big choruses on every tune since ¾ of the lineup provided vocals and the guitars and bass crunch when necessary while the drums provide that solid backbone with just an added touch of flair tossed in to keep it interesting.

From the period of this recording the bands biggest hit to date was “I Could Be Good For You”, but beyond that I felt that “Tonite’s Your Nite” and “You Who Needs To Know” were also strong contenders for that honor. “Tonite’s Your Nite” actually has a really strong Cheap Trick vibe to it and could have easily been one of their tunes while “Pressure Rise” finds Howarth singing lead and delivering one of the heaviest tunes on the set list. The production on this is really clean but it doesn’t sound as dry as some sound board recordings do and has a real live feel to it. The jams work well and don’t appear to be contrived and I felt that the entire album doesn’t lose its level of energy for one second. It was clear that they were a group who knew how to bring it on during a concert. This is a worthy trip down a musical memory lane since it’s not only a solid listen from beginning to end but it’s also a great reminder of just how good Melodic Hard Rock was in the past. It also shows just how easy it was to have fun at a live show if the band was on point and rocking hard. The captured crowd reaction is testimony about these shows being nothing less than a good time.

While the band disbanded in 1983, members Russell and Howarth are still very active in the music industry. The band also found tremendous response to their song “Mega Force”, but that number is not featured on the CD reviewed. It’s good stuff and recommended for any Rock Music Historian type of listener as well as those who enjoy music from bands such as Cheap Trick, New England and The Sweet.

Track Listing:
1. Live With The Girl
2. Feel This Way
3. Rockin’ Is Easy
4. City Life
5. Millionaire
6. I Could Be Good For You
7. Pressure Rise
8. Tonite’s Your Nite
9. You Who Needs To Know

Official Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/707_%28band%29

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