Struttin’ My Stuff: Elvin Bishop

Rating: 85%

R-2626362-1492923031-5096.jpeg.jpgCharlie Daniels once sung “Elvin Bishop sittin on a bale of hay, he ain’t good lookin, but he sure can play.” So who was Elvin Bishop and where did this guitarist come from? Elvin has been around from the first generation of electric Blues artists. So, he’s no stranger to the Blues scene first with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Elvin Bishop Group.

Elvin Bishop is one hell of a good guitarist and this album proves that. His style is very unique. But as the years pass, many seem to have forgotten Elvin Bishop. That’s why I was glad to hear that “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” was part of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. The problem is that this song was way too popular and many think that was the only one he ever released. Although, he has released over two dozen records. 

Now, before you go out and download or buy this album, there’s a few things you need to know. This isn’t your typical Blues Rock band or record. This record is very soulful, funky, and groovy. Now, throw Country, Southern Rock, and Blues into the mix. Then, take a dash of Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Motown and add that in. Spread a bit of easy listening to it and add some huge backing vocals to it and give it a swirl. Now you have the overall sound. So, there’s a lot happening here. But, it all work out very well and sounds pretty good. A pretty solid follow up to the debut “Let It Flow” if I might say so.

Track listing:

Struttin’ My Stuff 4:10
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey 3:30
My Girl 3:05
I Love The Life I Lead 2:30
Fooled Around And Fell In Love 4:44
Holler And Shout 3:07
Slick Titty Boom 5:05
Grab All The Love 2:53
Have A Good Time 2:31
Joy 4:01

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More George Thorogood and The Destroyers: George Thorogood & the Destroyers

Rating: 85%

MoreGeorgeThorogood.jpgSo, 1980 saw George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers tearing up the scene with their style of Blues music. And the music was GREAT! However, I do take one issue with this album, the fact that George didn’t write any of the material on here. That’s my only complaint. But, the way the band covered these songs, they did so, in their own fashion. In other words they adopted the arrangements and made these songs their own. The final product is something that rocks as if every song was written by George Thorogood and his band. The sound is great from the over all sound of production down to the melodies. The instrumentation is great as well.

The band itself is playing really tight as if they are enjoying themselves. George’s style of slide guitar complete with those whiskey drenched vocals are damn near perfect on this album. He really knows how to make that guitar scream with that slide. The work of bassist Bill Blough and drummer Jeff Simon is again like most albums outstanding. Top that off with a rhythm horn of Hank Carter’s saxophone and you have on hell of a good record. But that is all you have, is a good record and not a great record.

So, with George Thorogood, you have to give a little in order to take a little. Good songs, done in good style, but not George’s own songs.

Track listing:

1.”I’m Wanted” (Willie Dixon) – 4:05

2.”Kids from Philly” (George Thorogood) – 2:30

3.”One Way Ticket” (John Lee Hooker) – 4:33

4.”Bottom of the Sea” (McKinley Morganfield) – 3:30

5.”Night Time” (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) – 3:03

6.”Tip On In” (James Moore) – 3:01

7.”Goodbye Baby” (Elmore James) – 4:18

8.”House of Blue Lights” (Don Raye, Freddie Slack) – 3:03

9.”Just Can’t Make It” (Hound Dog Taylor) – 3:03

10.”Restless” (Carl Perkins) – 3:14

 

 

’74 Jailbreak: AC/DC

Rating: 100%

Ac-dc-74-jailbreak-coverAlthough, released in America in 1984, this EP contains some of the early AC/DC songs that weren’t released on the High Voltage and Dirty Deeds albums. Which is a shame because, these songs are awesome. Some of the best early AC/DC songs in my opinion. Well, I’m just glad that they were eventually released in American.

I’m not going to go over the musicians, simply because of the fact that there were numerous ones. Three different drummers and two different bassists. But, listening to the songs, one would never pick up on the fact that the line ups were totally different from song to song.

What makes this EP so special? It’s a powerhouse of raw sound, great riffs, and yes, whiskey soaked high pitched vocals of Bon Scott. Every song on here is a good song. Lot’s of Blues and Rock N’ Roll influence. It contains those killer riffs, melodies, and those signature Angus Young leads and solos. It’s a wonder that these songs were released on the American media sooner than AC/DC’s 10 year birthday. Lyrically, these to me are some of the best written songs of early AC/DC.

Track listing:
1. “Jailbreak” 4:40
2. “You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me” 3:31
3. “Show Business” 4:46
4. “Soul Stripper” 6:25
5. “Baby, Please Don’t Go” 4:50

Who Made Who: AC/DC

Rating: 75%

Whomadewho.jpgSo, AC/DC did the 1986 soundtrack to the movie “Maximum Overdrive.” There’s only a few new songs here and two of them are instrumentals. Something that I thought I would never hear from AC/DC, but, this is a soundtrack album. This sound track produced another popular AC/DC song called “Who Made Who.” Other than that, nothing else to report here. Everything else, has been around plenty for a while. I think the song collection could have been a bit more exciting.

Track listing:

Who Made Who 3:23
You Shook Me All Night Long 3:29
D.T. 2:59
Sink The Pink 4:12
Ride On 5:47
Hells Bells 5:10
Shake Your Foundations 4:08
Chase The Ace 3:00
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) 5:44

For Those About To Rock: AC/DC

Rating: 80%

ForThoseAboutToRock_ACDCalbum.jpgReleased in 1981, as the follow up to the “Back In Black” album, AC/DC has created something of a international anthem. But then, as you listen to the rest of the album, it becomes more or less a hit or miss album.

The musicianship is lacking here. It’s like the morning after when you are suffering from a major hangover, and you don’t feel like doing anything. Brian Johnson’s vocals are a bit weak, but still impressive. After this album, Brian’s vocals really start going downhill as AC/DC matures. His vocals are still strong with some rasp as he hits those mid to higher level notes with in the soprano range. The guitars are seem to be coping and pasting the same styles throughout many of the songs. I can’t hardly hear Cliff Williams on bass. Phil Rudd to me is the only one that is saving this record. 

The music is lacking the raw power and intensity of explosive melodies. The music tempo is very slow, compared to the previous AC/DC albums.  It’s almost to the point, that I find myself wanting to push the skip button to fast forward to another song. Lot’s of filler on this album. The overall sound is heavier than prior albums, but there’s no drive to half of the album.  

But not all is lost on this album. Take the opening track, “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” This is over five minutes worth of pure Hard Rock. It has a powerful guitar riff. This song has become one of the best international anthems of all time. “Inject the Venom” is another good song on this album that stands out. “Evil Walks”, “C.O.D.”, “Night of the Long Knives”, and “Spellbound” are also good songs with decent riffs, but they too lack that power driven guitar that AC/DC is always known for.

Track listing:

1. “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” 5:43
2. “Put the Finger on You” 3:25
3. “Let’s Get It Up” 3:53
4. “Inject the Venom” 3:31
5. “Snowballed” 3:23
6. “Evil Walks” 4:23
7. “C.O.D.” 3:19
8. “Breaking the Rules” 4:23
9. “Night of the Long Knives” 3:25
10. “Spellbound” 4:28

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: AC/DC

Rating: 100%

ddddc.jpgIn 1976, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep was released to the world, except for the U.S. which would have to wait until 1981. This album is excellent! It’s got the right dosage of Rock N’ Roll, Blues, and yes, Country music all blended into one bold sound. Angus Young is really tipping his hat to Chuck Berry.

The musicianship is super tight. I love the quirkiness of Bon Scott’s whiskey soaked vocals. Behind the power switch is Angus and Malcolm Young on the guitars. Angus really knows how to through out the best solos. Then bringing up the rear and yet, establishing the fuel for the power is bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd.

This is a great album lyrically because of the humor in the songs. Take “Big Balls” for example. It’s full of tongue in cheek humor making one think is he talking about those parties or what’s between his legs. Simple, yet funny! Just look over the song titles. There’s a lot of great riffs and leads. The rhythm and melodies are raw and yet, explosive when you give this album a listen to. This is an example of what a Rock band should sound like. 

Track listing:

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 3:46
Love At First Feel 3:05
Big Balls 2:39
Rocker 2:46
Problem Child 5:43
There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’ 3:14
Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire) 6:51
Ride On 5:47
Squealer 5:12

If You Want Blood: AC/DC

Rating: 90%

Acdc_If_You_Want_Blood_You've_Got_It.JPGRecorded in 1978 during the world tour of “Powerage”, AC/DC released this live album. I manged to pick this gem up on vinyl over at Hanover for under $6.00 near mint.  This record has a lot of power and energy behind it. The raw sound of AC/DC during this concert can be summed up as “sheer raw power.” The entire band sounds great. This live album showcases the best that the band is and greatest was yet to come.

Bon Scott’s whiskey soaked vocals are at his greatest. Musically, the songs are well balanced and engaging. Angus Young on lead guitar is an entertainer. His style of power is just mind blowing. His leads are on top of the world. Malcolm Young on guitar is just as good as his brother, pumping out the grooves. Cliff Williams on bass and drummer Phil Rudd are the backbone of this band on stage.

After listening to this on vinyl, it was like hearing the concert as it was meant to be heard. The sound of the concert is clear with very little background noise. If you’re into early AC/DC, then go out and find this record. It’s awesome!

Track listing:

1. “Riff Raff” 5:59
2. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” 4:10
3. “Bad Boy Boogie” 7:29
4. “The Jack” 5:48
5. “Problem Child” 4:40
Side two
6. “Whole Lotta Rosie”  4:05
7. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation” 3:41
8. “High Voltage” 5:05
9. “Let There Be Rock” 8:33
10. “Rocker” 3:24