CARNEGIE HALL goes beyond “one of the best live releases of the ’70s”. This competes with LIVE AT THE HARLEM SQUARE CLUB 1963 as my favorite live album of all time. This is one of the must-gets. So much so that I immediately re-upped it when I saw the old link died. -Ian!
A wonderful live album that capitalizes on Withers’ trademark melancholy soul sound while expanding the music to fit the room granted by a live show. Lovely versions of “Grandma’s Hands” and “Lean on Me” are balanced by heartfelt downbeat numbers like “Better Off Dead” and “I Can’t Write Left-Handed,” the latter being an anti-war song with a chilling message. The set finishes off with the lengthy “Harlem/Cold Baloney,” with lots of audience-pleased call-and-response going on. One of the best live releases from the ’70s.
-Steven McDonald, allmusic.com
Bill Withers-LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL (1973)