RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Keith Emerson, Glenn Hughes & Marc Bonilla - The Boys Club: Live From California
Varese Sarabande

Rating: B+

Back in 1998, Glenn Hughes teamed up with Keith Emerson and Marc Bonilla for a few shows as The Boys Club.   A concert was recorded and Prog fans around the world fell in love with this classic line up.  The music blasted out ranged from rock, to progressive, to boogie woogie and beyond. 

As far as the fans of these three men were concerned, the ten songs originally released on this live album couldn’t be beat…or could they? Apparently, they could, as proven by the release of The Boys Club: Live from California: The Complete Concert

The past is brought into the present via four additional songs and a second CD to the original ten songs.  The four tunes include  “Close To Home,” “Creole Dance,” “Honky Tonk Train Blues” and “Fanfare For The Common Man/Rondo.”

As good as the entire concert is, this review would not be done correctly without letting the reader know about one southern rock staple on the album, which is the Allman Brothers created and Molly Hatchet remade, “Dreams.”  Hughes sings the song with soul and Bonilla brings home the guitar.  Emerson gets into the mood on this one as well with a killer organ part. 

Elsewhere the musicianship on “Tarkus,” “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Hoedown” and “Nutrocker” is top notch.  Glenn Hughes singing “Whiter Shade of Pale” makes so much sense that it is silly that this was not a huge hit. 

The Boys Club fizzled out, but Bonilla and Emerson became great friends and collaborators as a result of these gigs.  This is a great moment in time that was properly captured for posterity. 

Up until now the entire concert has never been released.  Hats off to Varese Sarabande for bringing this full gem of a concert back to life in all its glory. 

Track List:
Disc 1:
1. Afterburner
2. Long Journey Home
3. Hoedown
4. Whiter Shade of Pale
5. Cover Me
6. Close To Home
7. Creole Dance
8. Honky Tonk Train Blues
9. White Noise
10. Nutrocker

Disc 2:
1. Tarkus
2. Fanfare For The Common Man / Rondo
3. Dreams
4. Middle Of A Dream

By Jeb Wright