Review

John Hiatt's first live album was recorded during a 1994 winter-spring tour of the U.S. (the title is a joke) and finds the singer/songwriter backed by the Guilty Dogs, a guitar-bass-drums trio. He doesn't need any more ammunition than that, not when he's got a set of 15 songs drawn from his last four critically acclaimed albums, including "Thing Called Love" and "Tennessee Plates." Hiatt gives his songs a rougher treatment than some of those who have covered them, his throaty voice giving even love songs like "Angel Eyes" an unsentimental force. In the absence of an A&M best-of, Hiatt Comes Alive at Budokan? makes a good sampler of his work, 1987-1993. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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