Music Review: Rob Zombie – Zombie Live [Geffen]

At long last we FINALLY have a live CD from Rob Zombie – after all, he’s only been at this band stuff for 20 years or so.  No rush there, Rob.

Originally this was announced as being a CD/DVD combo – which made sense because there’s nothing like seeing a Zombie concert.  The live shows are pure legend with high energy, heavy theatrics and explosions galore but sadly, it seems there was a last minute change of plans.  Within only a couple weeks of release on Amazon.com, the price suddenly dropped to under ten bucks BUT the DVD part of the combo was removed.  Not sure exactly of the reasons but now it appears there may be a DVD in the spring of 2008.

This is a fatal flaw, in my opinion as the CD sounds awesome, and the adrenaline of the band in performance is still captured – but without being able to see it something is definitely missed.  It’s like listening to a movie from the other room – you can just sense you’re not getting all that you should out of it.  There ARE 2 bonus videos and some links to Youtube available if you put the disc into your PC and access ‘bonus.robzombie.com’ however the sound is horrible and they look like what you would expect from streaming video.

Aside from that, the CD is slickly produced and chock full of songs (18 of ’em) as recorded during Zombie’s Educated Horses tour.  The set list is a good mix of White Zombie material, solo hits and a few tracks off the Horses CD.  The crowd is clearly full of fire but there’s not much ‘between song’ dialogue represented or extended ‘live’ variations of most songs.  I counted 1 drum solo (after ‘House of 1000 Corpses’) and 2 guitar solos (following ‘SuperBeast’ & ‘Thunderkiss ’65’).   What also improves the listening experience is that most songs are considerably heavier live versus their studio versions.  ‘Never Gonna Stop’ for example, which I’ve always considered one of his weaker hits, gains some much needed ‘umph’ from the live sound mix.

The included booklet is also a real plus, as it focuses on the band as whole rather than just Zombie, the man.  This is a generous move, when you think of it – how many egomaniacal singers would share the spotlight so readily with their musicians?  But considering the band, most notably the severely under-rated John 5 on guitar plus Piggy D. on bass and Tommy Clufetos on drums, this is a wise choice making sure each of them is recognized.

I was disappointed that we weren’t treated to any of Zombie’s original artwork but the band photos and stage shots were still cool to look over.

And that sums up my thoughts on this release.  It’s good, but not great – and at the end of the disc I found myself wishing to have had a more complete sampling of the Rob Zombie experience.   It is rumored that Zombie is working on a definitive White Zombie box set, to include basically all of the output of the band during it’s brief career plus bonus and/or unreleased material. 

Let’s hope that that set gets a more thorough treatment.

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9 Responses to “Music Review: Rob Zombie – Zombie Live [Geffen]”

  1. Scott Kleindorfer says:

    I just bought the live CD yesterday. Thought it was pretty good but missing some excellent songs. Does he not play Pussyliquor live? The DVD idea would have been great. I have tickets to see him Dec. 19th at The Murat in Indy. Saw him once before in Louisville opening for Ozzy. Alot of people left after Zombie. Can’t wait for the show!

  2. RevMortis says:

    The reviews I’ve been reading about the Ozzy/Zombie show is that In This Moment rocks, Zombie rocks, and Ozzy kinda goes thru the motions.

    Still, wish the show were coming closer to me. I’ll love to see that line-up!

    As for Pussy Liquor being played live, I’ve never heard that it has been. But what do I know.

  3. nico side says:

    tank you for the super power show off the montreal is the long time is ossom zombie zombie power zombie…

  4. RevMortis says:

    You’re welcome. I think. . .

  5. kris crash says:

    Sounds great! Your blog is one of my most favorite now ;). You have hit the nail on the head, just like you always do.

  6. jason says:

    evere day i sing to the kiss rock band.

  7. RevMortis says:

    Jason, all I can say is “mmmmk”.

    But thanks for sharing that little tidbit.

  8. Dennis says:

    Well, I bought this today, and I can’t access bonus.robzombie.com… 🙁 CD is great though

  9. RevMortis says:

    Not sure how long the bonus material is/was live. Sorry you’re having troubles accessing it, but you’re right – the CD kicks!

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