The Polyphonic Spree: Songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show Live
Performed live in London on a Halloween night, The Polyphonic Spree provides a fan service to replace the dwindling economic sense of large tours. The live performance garnered enough attention that here we have a two-disc volume where disc one provides Songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show… Live and the second disc is Polyphonic Spree classics that any fan of the quirky multi-instrumental pop band will love. Hidden in all the two disc extravagance is a cover/mash-up of The Who’s “Pinball Wizard,” which is done with dedication and like much live material that is recorded, is just fun to hear in a different voice and pushed together against a different song.
Tim Delaughter, the charming frontman/cult leader of The Polyphonic Spree, sticks to the movie pretty closely, but replaces the charm of Tim Curry with the charm of his own vocals. The positives to this disc are that strict and passionate adherence to the film, with the added charm of getting a new and enthusiastic lens of a band performing live. There are enough movie songs to keep even the casual fan of Rocky Horror listening to the disc at least once, and for fans of cohesive “concept” albums, this provides a storyline with adequate-to-great vocals and band work.
The negative is the same for any live performance recorded as an afterthought; the sound quality feels distant. You have to strain to grab each chord progression or to catch what each lyric is. Sometimes the performers feel like they’re caught in an alternate decade, trying to project their sonics forward to listeners.
The live album is a welcome addition to any complete discography.