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Why the "Clifford Ball, 1994" will always be my favorite show

Posted 2 years ago by ericwyman - 35 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/50a29cd6

Some days you get just end up neck deep in it. I knew I was in for trouble when I woke up incredibly hungry and willingly broke my morning breakfast routine and schedule for immediate satisfaction. Fast forward to lunch and a (luckily) damage-free fender bender at the Traffic Circle Satan himself would apologize for and I'm writing off today. Arriving back at my desk, I need to take the edge off, so in go the headphones. Now normally, I'd search for a show to listen to, but inevitably a random show will only add to the day's frustration. That's it! I'm opening Spotify and putting on A Live One.

And then everything changed...

You see, the fine folks at Spotify didn't get the memo on the album's origin.

[Live LP Version - Clifford Ball, 1994]

No one told the data entry person that the whole "Clifford Ball" thing was an inside joke with the band. It made me chuckle. And in such a liberating way. Then it made me think. Isn't this album the ultimate show?

It's the mix tape we all made before LivePhish and the internet gave us everything we wanted. It's the process that successfully tried to find the best versions for all the best songs. It's the show that if they played it now, we'd all sit back in awe.

And for a few minutes today, it changed my whole perspective on today. So thanks, Spotify. For keeping it real, you guys.

Comments

LawnMemo Reply
LawnMemo Forever and always A Live One will be

A.) The album I have listened to the most
B.) The album that REALLY got me into Phish
C.) The "default" version I always hear in my head when I think of each song on that album.
D.) The day I sell my kidney if they ever release it on Vinyl
Score: 11
ZapRowsdower Reply
ZapRowsdower A Live One is what hooked me, specifically the Hood.
Score: 5
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten coming on vinyl record store day 2016!!!
Score: 1
chickenwing Reply
chickenwing Can you explain the the inside joke to me? :)
Score: 2
ivy_light Reply
ivy_light Awesome post, @ericwyman! Glad you got at least a brief reprieve from what sounds like an otherwise kind of crappy day! Here's to better ones ahead!
Score: 0
Ian_cman Reply
Ian_cman First Phish song I ever heard was Bouncin. I thought "this is pretty cool". Listening to track 2 Stash was an epiphany. I had never heard anything like that in my life but I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.
Score: 3
bs915 Reply
bs915 @chickenwing said:
Can you explain the the inside joke to me? :)
The jist of it is, they had heard of the aviator Clifford Ball long before the festival that they named after him. In fact, they wanted to use that name for the H.O.R.D.E. fest. But, John Popper vetoed that along with a lot of funnier suggestions. So, in the liner notes for "A Live One," they said something along the lines of "All songs recorded at the Clifford Ball" instead of stating the venue and date of each song.
Score: 4
ericwyman Phish.net Staff Reply
ericwyman Thanks for the assist @bs915.

I wrote this as really quick exercise to just get the thoughts out there. It's certainly light on details. The Wikipedia page probably says it all better ;)
Score: 1
maddyb4me Reply
maddyb4me This album got me hooked too... Specifically, ... The Tweezer!!!! The realization that live Phish was different than album Phish was like switching from tighty-whities to boxers.
Score: 2
MDosque Reply
MDosque Always and forever my favorite release. I heard Hoist and Nectar, but once I put A Live One in my CD player, I was changed for good, never to go back. The YEM, Chalkdust, and Hood (especially) are all my favorite versions of each song of all time. I will argue with anyone that wants to step - this is the best Phish.

Sincerely,
Dosque
Score: 1
switz Phish.net Staff Reply
switz @LawnMemo said:
Forever and always A Live One will be

A.) The album I have listened to the most
B.) The album that REALLY got me into Phish
C.) The "default" version I always hear in my head when I think of each song on that album.
D.) The day I sell my kidney if they ever release it on Vinyl
If only the Tweezer would fit on an LP.
Score: 1
seano Reply
That tweezer has the best Uncle Ebeneezer I've ever heard
Score: 1
BernardShakey Reply
BernardShakey The Hood is the reason I am a part of this beautiful wacky phenomenon called Phish.
Score: 0
meanpete Reply
that slave jam in the most beautiful, transcendant phish moment i have ever heard
Score: 1
Peezy Reply
Peezy the tweezer ate my brain.
Score: 1
thehurricane Reply
Its what I listened to before we were treated to the vast catalog that is now available. Only bootleg imported cd's were available and they were like 100 bucks. I listened to a live one over and over again. If it were a cassette I would have worn the damn thing out.
Score: 0
Phacemelter Reply
Phacemelter This specifiec version of Stash has insane tension and release build-ups and the skull ripping high notes are a major reason for my grand appreciation for these incredibly talented 4 musicians, well ok 5 members, the lights have always been phacemelting !!! Thanks CK
Score: 0
nichobert Reply
nichobert ". Only bootleg imported cd's were available and they were like 100 bucks"

ha god remember when people with a CD burner and a laser printer could make more money than crack dealers by pretending like a CD full of crappy quality outtakes and/or live tracks was worth $30 bucks?

i really wish i had a CD Burner and a laser printer in those days.
Score: 0
cuddlyandmuscular Reply
love a live one

love it

but i gotta say that i prefer slip switch and pass for live phish releases before LivePhish and i also if i had to had to say would put Junta as my fav phish compact disc... with ghost as a close second
Score: 0
TwiceBitten Reply
TwiceBitten @switz said:
If only the Tweezer would fit on an LP.
nothing a nice fade won't fix. 4 LP set:

Side A
Bouncing Around The Room
Stash
Gumbo

Side B
Montana
You Enjoy Myself

Side C
Chalk Dust Torture
Slave To The Traffic Light

Side D
Wilson
Tweezer Pt. 1

Side E
Tweezer Pt. 2
Simple

Side F
Harry Hood

Side G
The Squirming Coil

Side H
ETCHING -- or better yet...bonus track!!
Score: 1
Tmbgnicu Reply
The Clifford Ball 1994 tag shows up on itunes as well.
Score: 0
RovingReporter Reply
RovingReporter Curiosity has the best of me. Does anyone know of a place where I can download AUDs of ALO in one file? I don't want every show, just a collection of the songs on this release. For some reason, I get a serious kick out of comparing AUDs to SBDs (even though I am a SBD snob to the max.)

Score: 0
Wilson420 Reply
Wilson420 May just be the best version of Bouncing Around The Room.
Score: 1
CJayW Reply
How about a 2015 commemorative ALO box set on the 20th anniversary of release that includes each entire show, all 12 of them, titled "A Live Ones". BTW, I was at the Bangor Tweezer!

7/8/94
10/9/94
10/23/94
11/2/94
11/16/94
11/26/94
11/28/94
12/2/94
12/7/94
12/10/94
12/30/94
12/31/94
Score: 0
CJayW Reply
or titled "Clifford Ball, 1994"
Score: 2
dsanbensoff Reply
dsanbensoff I remember being confused about the whole "recorded at clifford ball" thing. I also, for a short but unforgivable amount of time, thought that a live one was a single show.

I came in late to the game. ;)
Score: 1
ericwyman Phish.net Staff Reply
ericwyman @TwiceBitten said:
nothing a nice fade won't fix.
GD's Dark Star 72 that was released on RSD last year is one song, two sides. So vinyl.

+1 to the bonus track from the era idea!!!!!
Score: 0
ericwyman Phish.net Staff Reply
ericwyman @CJayW said:
How about a 2015 commemorative ALO box set on the 20th anniversary of release that includes each entire show, all 12 of them, titled "A Live Ones".
I love that idea, as a release. But, I must point out that the real motivation behind my post was that ALO...IS a show. It's this phantom show that never happened. With a fake date and a fake location. I remember (especially after SSP) clamoring for this "full show" CD. Mostly because at that time you were dealing with trades of suspect quality and to have something remastered was so amazing. You just wanted that show that meant so much to you released. Almost 20 years later, that "fake show" is the best part for me, even though I didn't appreciate it at the time.
Score: 1
switz Phish.net Staff Reply
switz @ericwyman said:
@TwiceBitten said:
nothing a nice fade won't fix.
GD's Dark Star 72 that was released on RSD last year is one song, two sides. So vinyl.

+1 to the bonus track from the era idea!!!!!
Yeah, but it goes into Drums for two minutes, so it's not one continuous song like the Tweezer.

Side 1 Dark Star (19:21)
Side 2 Drums (2:32), Dark Star (17:34)
Score: 0
Raible Reply
Raible The Hood. Oh, that wonderful Hood.
Score: 0
Hood369 Reply
Hood369 Bouncin into Stash was really my first exposure to Phish. The switch was flipped.

The album itself changed my life. And I totally agree with the previous comment, a lot of the tracks on here are still the default track I hear in my head when I think of the song.
Score: 0
makisupalope Reply
makisupalope Never really listed to much Phish before I got to college, then my neighbor in the dorms played me Chalkdust & Slave...I haven't looked back since.
Score: 0
waxbanks Reply
waxbanks thanks for this @ericwyman.

for a long time i thought that the 'turn' in the ALO Hood was standard operating procedure -- it was the first Hood i heard, and remains my template for the song. i remember my mom and brother walking in to the supermarket once when i was in high school -- junior year, probably -- i refused to go with them because i wanted to sit and listen to that Hood. the first time i remember crying with happiness was listening to the 12/30/97 Guyute(?!?!), but i wouldn't be surprised to unearth someday a memory of being torn in half by that Hood. the particular sound of the recording is precious to me.

plus the Harry/Coil pairing to close this album is pretty close to my ideal finale -- i'm glad they left off Tweeprise, which would have dispelled the powerful spell of page's Coil solo.

damn, i'm gonna listen to this today!
Score: 0
Bhish Reply
The show that the ALO Hood is from (10/23/1994) was my first show. I swear I can hear my friends in the crowd noise. Speaking of which, in my opinion, the crowd noise/reactions are an integral part of what makes the ALO Hood so powerful. Not just saying that 'cause I was there. The band really was connected with the small audiance that showed up for the free show. There was probably less than 800 people.

A Live One is still one my go to Phish albums, and I am glad that I get to remember my first show whenever I hear it.
Score: 0
itayc Reply
Random trivia: If you turn up the volume and listen carefully after the end of Squirming Coil there is some music with the lyrics "I saw you, I saw you, I saw you, with a ticket stub in your hand". This was actually part of the soundcheck at 11/25/1994 and was recently released in the Chicago '94 box set.
Score: 0

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