Smugglers Growing Up Smuggler: A Ten Year Anniversary Live Album

The Smugglers are one of those bands that are way better when you see them live. It’s not like their five studio albums (or countless seven-inches and compilation appearances) have sucked — they just don’t do their live show energy and charm any justice. It’s hard to hold a dancing or kissing contest on an album. I think it is safe to say that this is finally the definitive Smuggler album, and it is certainly an appropriate anniversary album, on many levels. First, the Smugglers have played all over the world and have put out releases in no fewer than seven countries (Canada, U.S., Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain), which has more than earned them the moniker of the Canadian Ambassadors of Rock’n’roll. So it only makes sense that this album was recorded at a show in Madrid, Spain, and that it’s being simultaneously released on labels in four different countries on three different continents (Mint in Canada, Lookout in the U.S., Impossible in Spain, and 1+2 in Japan). It also throws in lots of old live favourites like “Rock’n’roll Was Never This Fun,” “Your Mom’s The Devil,” and covers like the Leather Uppers’ “Smokin’ Monkey” and “Supercar,” plus the Beach Boys’ “Luau!” There’s a great mix of old and new songs, originals and covers, plus half of the 20 tunes are out-of-print or exclusive to this album. The only things missing are a few between-song wild and raunchy stories as told by singer and shimmy-shaker, Grant Lawrence. The Smugglers have thrived and survived for ten years because they understand that rock’n’roll is above all about entertainment and fun, and it shows on this album. (Lookout!)