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Miles Davis: Live-Evil; In Concert; Black Beauty; At Fillmore; Dark Magus (Columbia/Legacy, CD). This mass re-release represents the return of the repressed, as for many these live recordings of 1970-74 (long deleted or released only in Japan) are the unacceptable face of his electric, eclectic and eccentric muse. In fact, they are mostly marvellous (although very uneven) documents from a performing career that had begun to share the same stages as the rock groups whose fame he coveted. Full of Sly Stone funk-settings - wah-wah pedals a-go-go - these albums contain some of the most obsessively self-willed music of the century. Though the big names - Keith Jarrett, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea - are occasionally present, perhaps the best of all the albums are In Concert and Dark Magus, where the sidemen are relatively unknown and more able to sacrifice their egos in favour of the total group-sound, which is quite awesomely loud and aggressive. Throughout, Miles both plays a lot (unlike his later studio albums), and thrillingly well, although the trumpet-voice is strained through several by-now antique electronic filters. Everywhere, the groove is the thing, with whole extended vamps poised on the tension between two or three notes of an endlessly repeated rhythm figure. It's sometimes tedious, but it's mostly astoundingly rich, and on In Concert, the music is so full-on that it's a cause for serious joy, even if you do need a lie-down afterwards. Phil Johnson

ROCK

Chumbawamba: Tubthum-per (EMI, CD/LP/tape). Yes, EMI. Leeds's veteran anti-capitalist collective have signed to an international megabucks corporation, and have got themselves a No 2 single, the singalong-drinkalong terrace chant, "Tubthumping". Is megastardom knocking on the door of their squat? I fear that it's more likely to be one-hit wonderdom. Tubthumper fits Chumbawamba's usual B52s-go-agitprop template. Each song stitches half a dozen segments together, and all of those segments have a dance beat, some big guitar chords, some trumpet flourishes, and lyrics seemingly written by Alan Parker, Urban Warrior. Their message is so obvious and clunking (compared to Pulp's less sloganistic class warfare) that there's little reason to listen to the songs more than once. "Tubthumping" is the track that's least of a lecture, and how many times would you want to hear that? No more times than you'd want to hear "The Birdy Song". Still, we should applaud Chumbawamba for putting EMI's money where their mouth is. The popularity of the single will allow the band to preach to the unconverted at last, in that those who buy the album will find themselves reading sleevenotes that are a sort of John Pilger and Noam Chomsky's Greatest Hits. Nicholas Barber

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