Legend - Playing With Fire,
After the release of ‘Light In Extension’ Legend found that they were popular in Japan, but as they were a small band with no record label support they couldn’t really tour there so instead released a live video for which they had hired a great light system and had a blast. For some reason they never released a live album, but that has now been corrected by Steve going back to the tapes for the video and releasing ‘Playing With Fire’. This is Legend in concert live in 1992, and as anyone who was lucky enough to see them back then this was a prog band with a concentration on power rock, great interplay between keyboards and rock guitars (think a far more modern sounding Uriah Heep with the emphasis on the keys as opposed to the guitars). I was lucky enough to see them three times in concert, and I was always blown away by the sheer power and might of the band in concert. Somehow singer Debbie Chapman managed to soar above it all, there have been melodic chaos going on but her clear and powerful vocals shown above it all.
Someone coming across this now would say that there are strong elements of Nightwish in this album, but remember that Legend pre-date them, they were doing this first! This album contains many of my favourite songs, including “The Chase” – which is a perfect example of what prog rock instrumentals can be like, exciting and invigorating it is incredible and set the heart racing every time I play it.
Legend are back, with a compilation, this live album and the stunning Cardinal Points – so if you were unlucky enough to miss them first time around, and many did as they didn’t fit in with the normal prog scene, then you owe it to your ears to find out about them this time.