Myles Goodwyn - vocals, guitar; Steve Lang - bass; Jerry Mercer - drums; Brian Greenway - guitar; Gary Moffett - guitar
Although they only cracked the American Top 40 three times, April Wine was one of the most successful rock 'n' roll bands in their native Canada. Next to The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, April Wine racked up more hits than any other Canadian band. They were the first group to chart a platinum album in Canada and the first to launch a tour that grossed over $1 million. The group debuted as a national recording act in 1969, but it would take almost a decade for them to gain international recognition. In 1975, as The Rolling Stones were getting ready to launch their world tour from Canada, it was at a small April Wine club gig at Toronto's El Mocombo that Mick and the boys emerged to play an unannounced 90 minute warm-up set.
The show was captured for the band's Got Live (If You Want It), double album and earned April Wine a spot as opener on several of the Stones shows. The endorsement from the Stones helped win them recognition with American audiences and fans of U.S. radio programmers, who for the first time really started to notice the band. Shortly thereafter, they began charting hits of their own, and by the early 1980s, had become a staple on the U.S. touring circuit - and a new music medium called MTV.
This recording, originally made as part of a series of shows for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was captured while the band was promoting Animal Grace, the album that gained them their last considerable popular attention. By this point, only Goodwyn remained from the original band, but all of the crucial songs are here: "Sign Of The Gypsy Queen," "Roller," "I Like To Rock," (which is fused with a cool cover of The Beatles' "Day Tripper" riff) and "Just Between You And Me." On "All Over Town" the band cranks it up an extra notch with some exceptional guitar work and a rock solid rhythm groove. These guys prove over and over again that they were indeed the Canadian kings of riff rock.
Goodwyn leads the band through a powerful set, and the dual guitar work of Greenway and Moffett gives the band a decidedly Thin Lizzy feel. They journey through the "way back" machine to perform an all-out rockin' rendition of "You Could Have Been A Lady," their first hit from 1972. It sounds as fresh in 1984 as it did when it was originally recorded 12 years earlier.
Throughout their career, April Wine has proved uniquely able to attract and please fans of both hard rock and pop music, a fact that's evident in their ability to structure a live show that celebrates musicianship and also appeals to the mainstream audiences. After this recording was made, April Wine Goodwyn cut Walking Through Fire in 1986 under the April Wine name, but Greenway was the only other band member to play on the record. The band officially broke up after this album's release. Although Goodwyn had limited success as a solo artist, within five years he and various members of earlier lineups reformed. The band had a successful reunion tour in 1993, and they continue to tour sporadically today.