Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus – We Was Wrong in 2009

A classic case of Live and Learn.

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We used to think that:

This German import pressing of Waiting for Columbus is much better sounding than the typical Mastering Lab-mastered copy.

This German pressing is similar to one that came from my own personal collection, accidentally discovered way back in the early ’80s as I recall. It KILLED my domestic original, and got some things right that even my treasured Mobile Fidelity pressing couldn’t. We have been meaning to do a shootout for this album for at least the last five years, but kept running into the fact that in a head to head shootout the right MoFi pressing — sloppy bass and all — was hard to beat.

This is no longer the case, courtesy of that same old laundry list you have no doubt seen on the site countless times: better equipment, tweaks, record cleaning, room treatments, etcetera, etcetera. Now the shortcomings of the MoFi are clear for all to see, and the strengths of the best non-half-speed mastered pressings are too, which simply means that playing the MoFi now would be an excruciating experience. All I can hear is what it does wrong. I was so much happier with it when I didn’t know better.

That same laundry list continued to pay big dividends, and right around 2017 or so the best original domestic Mastering Lab copies started to sound much more right to us than the German ones.  The German pressings can be good, but the TML pressings are the only ones we expect to win shootouts from now on.

But who knows? We could find something even better down the road. That’s what shootouts are for.

The Concert

Many of Little Feat’s earlier albums are difficult to find with good sound. (I won’t say they were badly recorded; I was nowhere near the studio at the time and have no idea what the real master tapes sound like. All I know is their records usually don’t sound very good.)

But this is a BEAUTIFULLY recorded concert, and the versions they do of their old material are MUCH BETTER than the studio album versions for the most part. Fat Man In A Bathtub on this album is out of this world. You will have a hard time listening to the studio versions of these songs once you have heard them performed with this kind of energy, enthusiasm and techical virtuosity. This is some of the best sounding live rock and roll sound you will ever hear outside of a concert venue.

It’s one of the greatest live rock and roll album ever made, by one of the greatest rock and roll bands to ever play, now sounding better than ever! Three words of advice: Turn It Up. Especially side three.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Join the Band 
Fat Man in the Bathtub 
All That You Dream 
Oh Atlanta 
Old Folks’ Boogie

Side Two

Time Loves a Hero 
Day or Night 
Mercenary Territory 
Spanish Moon

Side Three

Dixie Chicken 
Tripe Face Boogie 
Rocket in My Pocket

Side Four

Willin’ 
Don’t Bogart That Joint
A Apolitical Blues
Sailin’ Shoes 
Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

Little Feat was one of the legendary live bands of the ’70s, showered with praise by not only their small, fiercely dedicated cult of fans, but such fellow musicians as Bonnie Raitt, Robert Palmer, and Jimmy Page. Given all that acclaim, it only made sense for the group to cut a live album… there’s much to savor on Waiting for Columbus, one of the great live albums of its era, thanks to rich performances that prove Little Feat were one of the great live bands of their time.