Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus

Little Feat is a lot like the Dave Matthews Band in several regards. At heart, the group was a jam-oriented band comprised of excellent players. And just as every 90s frat party seemingly required a few Matthews records, so, too, did every 70s college soiree demand at least two Little Feat albums. Usually, the latter involved Waiting For Columbus. Recorded live in London and Washington D.C. in August of 1977, and regarded by many as one of the best live records of the era, the effort captures Feat at the peak of its career. Less than two years later, bandleader Lowell George would be dead.

The two-record set highlights a fairly random mix of tunes from the band’s first five albums, including the party anthem “Don’t Bogart That Joint.” It’s a fantastic showcase for the group’s evolution from roots rockers to a New Orleans boogie style unit to an ensemble that finished its main career as jazz-fusionists.

If you are a Feat fan and do not have this record, now is the time to get it. Mobile Fidelity’s 24k CD, while not quite as smooth as the 180g vinyl, is much better than all but the earliest pressings of standard vinyl. The audiophile label also produced copies of this record in the early 80s on 140g JVC “super vinyl” (as they all were back then). Sealed copies sell for around $125, with good-condition used copies regularly fetching $45-$65. Pocket the difference and buy the new version, as the student has eclipsed the master.

Yes, Stan Ricker did a great job on the original, but current MoFi engineer Shawn Britton aced this one. If you already have the original in your collection, you won’t be missing out if you don’t buy the newly minted pressing. However, for those that take the plunge, the current version has an even smoother high end and improved soundstage width and depth. The surfaces are dead quiet, again exhibiting MoFi’s fanatic level of pressing quality. Feat will not fail you on this release, no matter what format you choose.  -Jeff Dorgay

MoFi 180g 2LP set or 24kt CD