Phase III/Live

Phase III/Live

by The Osmonds


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The second installment in the 7Ts label's series of Osbros two-fers, these are the albums that -- at least until "Crazy Horses" trampled everything else underfoot -- proved that there was more to the combo than those toothsome grins and some candyfloss pop. Opening Phase III, their sensibly titled third album, "Down by the Lazy River" was at least as solid as anything the rival Jackson 5 were then knocking out, and ushers the listener into an album that actually exceeds whatever demands the hit machine might have been making. Partially recorded at Muscle Shoals, and certainly benefiting from the surroundings, Phase III is the closest the brothers had yet come to recapturing their in-concert penchant for good-time rock & rolling, as "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues" shrugs off its over-candied arrangement, while an exuberantly bouncing "Yo Yo" ricochets off the ballads and establishes a mood that feeds effortlessly into the second of the albums included on this disc, 1972's Live. Recorded before "Crazy Horses" became their biggest hit yet, Live nevertheless captures all the hysteria of a great Osmonds show, a mixture of covers, hits, and medleys that never lets up. In terms of drama and choreography, the later Around the World double set is the definitive article, but Live preserves the sound of the siblings before it all became so smooth and slick, and is all the better for it.

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