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Reel Big Fish - Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album [2-CD/DVD] (Cover Artwork)

Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish: Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album [2-CD/DVD]Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album [2-CD/DVD] (2006)
Rock Ridge Music

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: William_DavidWilliam_David
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Before going into detail about the new double live album and DVD, I'd like to address the one thing everyone keeps bringing up: Yes, Reel Big Fish did release another live DVD just shy of three years ago, with only one album in between. With that said, I have to admit there was no vital necessity fo.
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Before going into detail about the new double live album and DVD, I'd like to address the one thing everyone keeps bringing up: Yes, Reel Big Fish did release another live DVD just shy of three years ago, with only one album in between. With that said, I have to admit there was no vital necessity for another at this point, but Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album is, by all accounts, a much more extensive collection and better in almost every way. The focus is actually on the double, live CD collection, which just happens to have a feature-length live DVD with plenty of extra content that could have easily stood on its own, but I'll get more into that later.

The circumstances around this live collection should be noted, as Reel Big Fish just parted ways with the label they've hated for so long: Jive. In a sense, this was a way for the band to take back ownership of their songs, and fix things they didn't like with the original recordings. In addition, for whatever reason, some members were ousted or quit the band, and they (Aaron, Scott, etc.) seem really happy with the new guys. Furthermore, apparently the band wasn't happy with the Kung Fu DVD in the way it was shot and recorded, so with a new director like Jonathan London (who did their "Don't Start a Band" music video) and a string of shows to record, it was another chance to correct the problems they felt plagued the first DVD. Again, this doesn't necessarily justify the move in terms of what fans are going to think of the decision, but from the perspective of the band, they had a number of good reasons to do this.

The packaging of the collection makes comment on the great sound quality of it all. The live albums do, indeed, sound great, bringing through a clear sound while still including the live feel with included crowd noise. If you watch the extra features and listen to the commentaries (two of them) on the DVD, you'll realize how much work went into making this sound great, between the overdubbing, and the clipping of the banter and song parts from multiple shows, to put something fun together, like the track containing the various versions of "S.R."

The two live CDs contain 35 tracks, only a few of which are throwaway banter tracks. For the most part, this is a great collection of fan favorites, with a few covers and other oddities added to the mix. Basically, if you don't own any Reel Big Fish stuff already, it's the perfect collection for a first-time fan to pick up. Conversely, if you are a huge fan, you'll still find this collection entertaining and there are a few tracks you might not have from elsewhere or can't get anywhere else, like "So Much for Rock and Roll," which was cut from the last album for an arguably good reason, but it's not terrible, and again, it's just something that adds to the already amazing collection.

The cinematography of the DVD is both good and bad. Contrary to the Show Must Go Off! DVD, it's not a few stationary cameras zooming in and out. There is a lot of movement and quick cuts, making it more exciting and making the viewer feel closer to the show. However, by the end, I realized it was a bit overdone. It was almost as if all the cameramen were random fans who were just handed cameras and went frantic with them for a couple hours, forcing the director to have to make a lot of quick cuts to salvage the few good seconds from each shot. There are a few great shots pulled out of the footage, such as one that zooms to the face from the bell of a horn during a perfect point in the song, but overall, the camerawork has the ability to give more sensitive viewers motion sickness, something that's actually alluded to on the commentary. The venue chosen also seemed less than exciting, which contrasts the otherwise great performance. In addition, there are a few points where camera cuts should have been made on parts that were obviously overdubbed. As they stand, they call extra attention to the mistakes and corrections. At least Reel Big Fish has a good sense of humor about these spots in the commentary.

Again, the DVD just adds to the collection, with a cover of Operation Ivy's "Unity" featuring Ali Tabatabaee of Zebrahead. Rachel Minton of Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer lends her stage presence and vocals to "She Has a Girlfriend Now." The special features are fairly extensive, while some have more value than others. As previously mentioned, there are two commentary tracks, which I was surprised to find featured basically all of the same members, with the addition of the band's manager on one. I was even more surprised to find, though, that aside from the band's trademark sense of humor, there is actually a wealth of quality information about the band and the tracks on both commentaries.

As stated, the collection has a few small problems, but all in all it's forgivable, because there is just so much content packed onto this set for a mere $20. If you're a longtime fan of the band, there's a bit more of a choice here, but I would say it's still worth the price and you'll get your money's worth out of it. If you're just finding Reel Big Fish, Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album is a great way to get started.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Zekrulo (January 26, 2008)

I've been a hardcore Reel Big Fish fan for some time now. I don't care how long they've been playing for, if they can still rock, who cares? This album was by far one of their best.

misterspike (August 4, 2007)

I came way late to the RBF party (about 15 years, by my estimation), but I picked this up at the LTJ/RBF show recently. This record leaves me thinking, "Where was I for so long?" Great package. Buy this if you're even Remotely Interested in the RBF.

neffernin (June 6, 2007)

I would have given it a 10 of 10 but I feel it doesn't COMPLETELY cover their live show, though it comes very close.

The many version of suburban rhythm is awesome to see live, and they have a really good version of it on here.

Taylor2121 (March 3, 2007)

Amazing Purchase. Any one who is a RBF fan definately needs to get this. I listen to it everyday.

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

one of few bands that i can say sound better live that on record

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

This needed a link...
Op Ivy - Unity with horns!

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

"Must suck for this band that they've been around something like ten years and still people can only name about two songs. One of which was a cover.

Give it up, seriously..."

yes, it must suck to play music for a living for 10 years. Are you dumb? Most, hell, ANY band would LOVE to be able to play music for a living as long as RBF, not to mention releasing 4 albums on someone elses dime (aka not having to front any of your own money for producers, recording, studio time, etc.) and finally, any band that can bring out 500 to 1,000 people 10 years after their only commercial hit obviously has a built in hard core fan base that will stick by them regardless of their commercial or 'scene' popularity, the mark of a truly successful band

Paul

Anonymous (October 16, 2006)

i think reel big fish is better live than in studio WHO IS WITH ME

i-type-poorly (October 15, 2006)

Can't you say the same exact thing for 99% of the bands on this site?

Idiot, play a record.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

Must suck for this band that they've been around something like ten years and still people can only name about two songs. One of which was a cover.

Give it up, seriously...

Anonymous (October 14, 2006)

Gyah, I bought this on iTunes months ago, but it didn't come with a DVD. Booooo.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

"I always thought it was a travesty the way Reel Big Fish completely ripped-off the Skolars/Telegraph's arrangement of "Unity". Go listen to "10 songs and Then Some" on Jump Start if you wanna compare this Op Ivy cover. It was done a year or so before Reel Big Fish's."

Actually, that's an alternate arrangement of the song that Op Ivy demoed, but never officially released.

http://opivy.figz.com/mp3/Unreleased Energy - 21 - Unity-with horns.mp3

CoD (October 13, 2006)

So Much For Rock And Roll is amazing. I'd love if their next album contained more songs like this and Cannibal.

FatTony (October 13, 2006)

This is one of the best albums of the year, and easily one of the best live albums I've ever heard.

And I 100% disagree with the reviewer's thoughts on "So Much For Rock And Roll." If it'd been on the last album, it would have been a standout track. It's easily better than half the songs on there (and all the covers). It actually reminds me of classic RBF.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

wow, sounds great, and the cover with ali from ZH sounds insane! i am going to pick this up when i get payed

aahhhh (October 13, 2006)

i couldn't get into this. the songs are too slow to be live. i swear some of them are slower than the album versions

Cos (October 13, 2006)

I always thought it was a travesty the way Reel Big Fish completely ripped-off the Skolars/Telegraph's arrangement of "Unity". Go listen to "10 songs and Then Some" on Jump Start if you wanna compare this Op Ivy cover. It was done a year or so before Reel Big Fish's.

Also, no Monique from Save Ferris singing? Is the new girl the bass player's new girlfriend?

--Cos

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

"I haven't had a chance to watch the DVD yet, but I love this live record. The whole project just has a very "feel good" quality to it and the band really put a lot into it as their first post-major work.

-adam"

its very good, the audio is just as good as the cd's, and the performance of 'shes got a girlfriend now' w/ that chick from zoloft the rock whatever and the cover of 'unity' with the rapping dude from zebrahead is great.

overall this is probably the best live album i've ever bought, great quality, and its a double cd covering all of their releases, plus covers, plus a full length concert dvd for the cost of 1 regular cd. you can't beat that.

must have for any RBF fan. if you don't like RBF, well why are you even reading this?

Paul

fallingupwards84 (October 13, 2006)

this was the best purchase i've made all year

adam (October 13, 2006)

I haven't had a chance to watch the DVD yet, but I love this live record. The whole project just has a very "feel good" quality to it and the band really put a lot into it as their first post-major work.

-adam

MikeStupid (October 13, 2006)

I wasn't planning on buying this, but the review convinced me to pick it up.

Well played, clerks.

irish_joo (October 13, 2006)

I would buy this just because I have never heard kiss me deadly live

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