By the time his eponymous first album for A&M came out in 1975, Nils Lofgren, then just 24, boasted a CV packed with so many impressive achievements that it seemed to belie his relative youth. Hailing from Maryland, Lofgren was discovered by Neil Young and got to play on the Canadian singer/songwriter’s After The Gold Rush and Tonight’s The Night albums, and record with Crazy Horse. Not content with being a sideman, Lofgren also led his own early 70s band, Grin, wowing the critics but not the public.
When Lofgren’s debut studio platter failed to set the world alight, A&M execs decided to press up 1000 copies of this sensational live show, recorded in 1976, for a US radio station. Although this promo-only LP couldn’t transmit the visual aspect of Lofgren’s flamboyant onstage showmanship (he’d do back-flips off a trampoline while taking a guitar solo) it successfully captured the infectious energy of his live performances and won him an army of new admirers. Over 30 years later, the energy is still palpable on this seven-track album that includes combustible versions of Keith Don’t Go, Back It Up and Beggar’s Day. A defining moment in Lofgren’s storied career.