Bad to the Bone: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 95%

George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_BoneSo, George T. only wrote three of the songs on this 1982 “Bad To The Bone” record. Who cares, right? Not when the other songs are done up in George Thorogood fashion and style. So grab a few beers and get ready for a party down memory lane.

So, it’s Blues mixed with dash of Country and Rock n’ Roll. Great mixture of genres for George Thorogood’s style of slide guitar. The way George adopts these songs from other artists and creates arrangements to suit his band is amazing. It’s got soul, it’s got talent, and it’s got swing. It’ll leave you thirsty for more.

The musicianship is very tight.  Billy Blough’s bass lines are very good. The drumming of Jeff Simon is good and the added saxophone by Hank Carter makes the music even more energized. You add that along with the whiskey drench vocals and the beer soaked style of the guitar, you have a true sound unlike any other. To this day, I still think that Thorogood is under rated and unappreciated by Rock n’ Roll. 

Track listing:

“Back to Wentzville” (George Thorogood) – 3:30
“Blue Highway” (Nick Gravenites, David Getz) – 4:44
“Nobody but Me” (The Isley Brothers) – 3:28
“It’s a Sin” (Jimmy Reed) – 3:32
“New Boogie Chillun” (John Lee Hooker) – 5:03
“Bad to the Bone” (George Thorogood) – 4:52
“Miss Luann” (George Thorogood) – 4:13
“As the Years Go Passing By” (Deadric Malone) – 5:03
“No Particular Place to Go” (Chuck Berry) – 4:00
“Wanted Man” (Bob Dylan) – 3:12

The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin

Rating: 90%

Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Song_Remains_the_SameSo, when I was younger I owned the cassettes to this sound track. Now, I own the DVD movie, the original vinyl, and the 2007 remaster CD set with unreleased songs of this concert. I no longer have the cassettes, they were lost many years ago.

Now, I’ve heard from both sides about the content of this live performance. Many people say it’s not their best because of the fact that many of the songs are drawn out. Or, because of the stardom has taken the band over. On the other end, I heard those in favor of this album say it’s one of Zeppelin’s best performances. Either way, this album has pros and cons. Forget about the movie. The movie was OK, but that’s what bands did back then before MTV. They were entertainers first, and not movie directors. Even “Let There Be Rock” by AD/DC has it’s slow parts during the interviews that makes no sense of the actual concert.

What I like about this album is Jimmy Page’s guitar solos and his performance. Forget about the fact that Robert Plant can’t hold a single note on here or keep up with the music. What Jimmy Page showcases is talent that is undeniable. He plays based upon feeling and not by perfection. John Paul Jones on is a talented bassist. His bass is clearly heard all over this performance. Then, you have John Bonham the master of the skins. His performance too is outstanding. It’s amazing to hear how in tuned he, John P. Jones, and Jimmy Page are playing together. This performance is almost a solo album for each of the musicians in so many ways. The improve of each musician is something that most bands can’t do today.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Rock and Roll” 4:03
2. “Celebration Day” 3:49
3. “The Song Remains the Same” 6:00
4. “The Rain Song” 8:25
Side two
1. “Dazed and Confused” Page 26:53
Side three
1. “No Quarter” 12:30
2. “Stairway to Heaven” 10:58
Side four
1. “Moby Dick” 12:47
2. “Whole Lotta Love” 14:25

Death Had No Name (The Lost Ep): Danzig

Rating: Priceless

R-2028854-1406389132-9792.jpegSo, I stumbled across this long lost ep of Danzig that is a bootleg from 1991. It contains the song “When Death Had No Name” with alternate lyrics. The B-side includes the Elvis cover “Trouble” and “Possession.” All three songs, one can more of the Blues influence coming out while Danzig begins loosing the Punk feel to his music as these are to be some of the earliest versions of the songs.

Although, the sound quality isn’t the best, this ep shines light on the making of three songs. All of which I have heard before. The earlier versions of the Elvis cover “Trouble” and “Possession” were released with the Samhain box set. Two versions of the “When Death Had No Name” were released on the Danzig Lost Tracks, and the 1993 version was released as a b-side on the single “Dirty Black Summer.” All three songs are very rough, raw, and dark. This to me is what makes this such a great piece of Danzig history. A small ep, but it packs one hell of a punch.

I have to admit, sound quality aside, I really like these versions of the songs. “When Death Had No Name” again features a totally different set of lyrics, but the tempo is much faster. It’s always a neat thing to hear a song progress from day one to it’s final cut in production. “Trouble” is cut from classic Elvis and is sung is Elvis fashion, but it retains some originality, as Danzig adopted this song and cut it to form his own song. Only Glen Danzig can do a song like this. “Possession” is another one that is pretty damn good.

Track listing:

A When Death Had No Name
B1 Trouble (Demo Version)
B2 Possession (Demo Version)

At Fillmore East: The Allman Brothers

Rating: 100%

AllmanBrothersBandAtFillmoreEastI was sadden by the passing of Greg Allman which happened on May 27 of this year. I have been a fan ever since the mid 1980’s. Their music style has changed so much over their career, but I have often called them one of the best Blues Rock band out there who mixes their style with country, jazz, and rock.

In fact, “At Fillmore East” was one of those records that I wore out. I had the cassette and CD versions of the album. The Cd has lots more on it that the actual LP version. But, since I am listening to the vinyl version, that is one I am rating. The recording is very good. The sound is clear. It’s rich, it’s full, and it sounds very good.

The musicianship is outstanding.  I love how the band members improvise their instrumentation to take a five minute song and make it into a twenty minute song. That shows talent. Greg Allman’s vocals sound great in his prime. His organ work is just as good. Then you add the duel guitar work of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts. WOW!!!! These guys know their way up and down on the neck of the guitars. Then you have the duel action of drums of Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks which gives the overall sound that fullness. Add the bass by Berry Oakley and you have an amazingly good line up of musicians.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Statesboro Blues” 4:17
2. “Done Somebody Wrong” 4:33
3. “Stormy Monday” 8:44
Side two
4. “You Don’t Love Me (“Joy to the World” medley in the ending portions)” 19:15
Side three
5. “Hot ‘Lanta” 5:17
6. “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” 13:04
Side four
7. “Whipping Post” 23:03

Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell: Social Distortion

Rating: 90%

Social_Distortion_-_Somewhere_Between_Heaven_and_Hell_cover1992 was the year that “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” by Social D was released. The album features some very talented musicians. The musicianship is incredible. Lead vocalist and lead guitarist Mike Ness whose voice is whiskey drench sings the blues or country and punk as if those genres were created for him. His leads and riffs are so precise. Rhythm guitarist Dennis Danell throws out such good riffs. He actually compliments Mike Ness’s style. Plenty of great bass by John Maurer. The drum lines by Christopher Reece are wonderfully done.

Musically, this album is rock solid from start to finish. It flows very well. The influences from Punk, Country, Blues, Rock n’ Roll, and Rockabilly are  so balanced. It’s heavy, but it could be played on any radio station no matter the genre. It’s very energetic and powerful. Everything in so in tuned here from the melodies to the harmony of the instruments to the vocals.

Track listing:

“Cold Feelings” – 3:31
“Bad Luck” – 4:26
“Making Believe” (Jimmy Work) – 4:12
“Born to Lose” – 4:09
“Bye Bye Baby” – 3:06
“When She Begins” – 5:04
“99 to Life” – 4:28
“King of Fools” (W.E. Bruce) – 2:50
“Sometimes I Do” – 4:01
“This Time Darlin’ ” – 4:08
“Ghost Town Blues” – 4:38

Road Fever: Thundermother

Rating: 90%

R-7454682-1441816548-2515.jpeg.jpgI recently came across the Swedish band Thundermother and boy can these females rock. Their brand of music is compared to that of AC/DC, Rhino Bucket, and Krukus. The band consists of guitarist Giorgia Carteri, vocalist Clare Cunningham, lead guitarist Filippa Nässil, bassist Linda Ström, and drummer Tilda Stenqvist.

Musically, this is Hard Rock and Blues Rock done with attitude and perfection. This is a blast from the past upon hearing their style of late 1970’s Hard Rock and early 1980’s Heavy Metal. Their sound is crisp and very clean. Lot’s of vocals and great chorus lines. There’s plenty of melody. These females rockers also have a great harmony with the music and vocals.

Thundermother billard.jpgThe musicianship is great. Let’s start with the raspy, whiskey drenched style vocals of Clare Cunningham. Her vocal style is very unique in this day in age. She has a good voice and a wide range. Then you have guitarist Giorgia Carteri who just throws riff after riff. Her style of beefy chords screams AC/DC.  It’s Hard Rock and Blues Rock at it’s best. Throwing out the leads and solos is Filippa Nässil. This female lead guitarist can play, shred and bend those strings. She’s a damn good lead guitarist. Bassist Linda Ström for the most part is very good, she’s almost like Cliff Williams of AC/DC with her style of playing more in tune with the guitars than setting time with the drums. Tilda Stenqvist pounds those skins. She’s got good beats that are consistent. Nothing funky and nothing off the wall and weird. She just plays the drums.

Track listing:

A1 It’s Just A Tease
A2 FFWF
A3 Alright Alright
A4 Deal With The Devil
A5 Give Me Some Lights
B1 Roadkill
B2 Enemy
B3 Vagabond
B4 Thunder Machine
B5 Rock ‘n’ Roll Sisterhood

Move It On Over: George Thorogood Delaware Destroyers

Rating: 90%

220px-moveitonoverSo, I recently picked up George Thorogood’s second record, “Move It On Over” on vinyl released in 1978. I had forgotten how good this record was, even though, none of the songs were written by George himself. But, then again, the song arrangements are done in Thorogood fashion and are among some of his most popular hits. It was this record that made George Thorogood into what he became and what he is today.

The entire record flows so good and for me, at some points, I wish the album would just keep going. It just keeps on rocking! I love George Thorogood’s style of guitar picking and slide work which I think is becoming a lost art in today’s music word. I love his whiskey drenched vocal style as well. It’s raw, powerful and one of a kind. When you hear a George Thorogood song, you know it’s him.

The other musicians are great too. The musicianship is super tight. You can tell they are having fun while playing. Hammering along on the bass guitar is Billy Blough. Pounding on those drums is Jeff Simon. Then how can one go wrong with the name of Uncle Meat Pennington? Well he’s an added bonus as he plays the tambourine and maracas.

This album pays tribute to many of George Thorogood’s influences from Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon to Elmore James. The songs themselves are not written by George Thorogood as stated, but they are structured very well. His adoption and style as I mentioned, makes them his. George may not be good looking, but damn, he sure can play that guitar. He can adopt Country, Bluegrass,Blues and Rock n Roll and produce a style that is so unique. I personally can’t think of another guitarist who can do what George Thorogood does. The music that is produced on this record are raw and emotional. This record is just plain good ol’ Blues done in good ol’ Rock n’ Roll fashion. In fact, I think I’ll end up picking up my guitar and try to play along.

Track listing:

“Move It On Over” (Hank Williams) – 4:16
“Who Do You Love?” (Ellas McDaniel) – 4:15
“The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James, Morgan Robinson) – 5:09
“Cocaine Blues” (T.J. Arnall) – 2:48
“It Wasn’t Me” (Chuck Berry) – 3:54
“That Same Thing” (Willie Dixon) – 3:05
“So Much Trouble” (Brownie McGhee) – 3:15
“I’m Just Your Good Thing” (James Moore) – 3:29
“Baby Please Set a Date” (Homesick James Williamson) – 4:42
“New Hawaiian Boogie” (Elmore James) – 4:34