Better Than the Rest: George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Rating: 85%

BetterThantheRestThis album was recorded in 1974, but was later released in 1979 as the third album once Thorogood had become better known. It was released in 1986 as “Nadine” which I had on CD.

George Thorogood sounds very raw vocally on this album. That may be due to the fact that this recording was when he was younger. His guitar playing is electrifying. The rhythm section consisting of bassist Michael Levine (whom the album is dedicate to), and drummer Jeff Simon really showcase some very nice melodies.

Although, none of the songs are written by Thorogood, he does have a way of making these songs his. Because of that, the only negative thing I have to say is the album is unoriginal. With that being said, all of the positive things I can say is that the album is raw, tuneful, and melodious. Vocally, it’s very raspy and raw. George has a very distinctive voice. 

All and all, when I found this in the record shop for $6.00, I have to by to it. This album was the last studio album I need for my vinyl collection aside from “Live”.

Track listing:

“In the Night Time” (Michael Henderson, Sylvester Rivers) – 3:08
“I’m Ready” (Willie Dixon) – 2:46
“Goodbye Baby” (Joe Josea, Jules Taub, Sam Ling) – 3:08
“Howlin for My Darling” (Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf) – 3:24
“My Weakness” (Vetter Smith, Wilson) – 2:26
“Nadine” (Chuck Berry) – 4:03
“My Way” (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart) – 1:56
“You’re Gonna Miss Me” (Eddie Jones) – 2:14
“Worried About My Baby” (Wolf) – 3:29
“Huckle Up Baby” (Bernard Besman, John Lee Hooker) – 2:24

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George Thorogood and the Destroyers: George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Rating: 95%

George_ThorogoodI recently picked this vinyl LP up at my local record store. I was pleased with the fact that this was the very first album by the band. So…1977 was the year that George Thorogood and the Destroyers released their debut record.

Musically, this album sets the career for young George Thorogood and his backing band. It’s Bluesy, hard rocking, heavy slide guitar drenched, and great sounding Rock n’ Roll. George Thorogood knows his way around the frets of his guitar with that metal slide. I can’t think of any modern musician that is that good with a slide. The rhythm section of guitarist  Ron Smith, bassist Billy Blough, and drummer Jeff Simon is outstanding. They provide some great sounding rhythms and even keel tempos. I love it when I hear musicians complimenting each other by their style of playing.

The music is raw and drenched with whisky. It’s so power driven by electricity that one can’t help to tap their foot or play air guitar. One thing is for sure, George Thorogood pays tribute to the African American Blues musicians like no other. His music is real, and his covers are played with feeling and made to be his. This is the type of music I want to listen to on a hot summer night while drinking a few beers and playing along with my guitar.

Track listing:

“You Got to Lose” (Earl Hooker) – 3:15
“Madison Blues” (Elmore James) – 4:24
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” (John Lee Hooker) – 8:20
“Kind Hearted Woman” (Robert Johnson) – 3:48
“Can’t Stop Lovin'” (E. James) – 3:04
“Ride On Josephine” (Ellas McDaniel) – 4:17
“Homesick Boy” – 3:02
“John Hardy” (Traditional) – 3:18
“I’ll Change My Style” (William Parker, Manuel Villa) – 3:57
“Delaware Slide” (Thorogood) – 7:45

Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars: The Blues Vultures

Rating: 85%

61gcphvyKCL._SX425_.jpgAfter Kix took a break, guitarist Ronnie Younkins put together a Country and Blues Rock band. The band consisted of bassist Zak Mabie, drummer Aaron Isaacs, and guitarist Rich Moxley. In 2005, the debut record “Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars.” The debut also featured drummer Sam Stilwell and Kix drummer  Jimmy Chalfant, among other musicians.

The music structure is really good. It’s got a lot of soulful guitar work from the leads, fills ins, slides and riffs. Ronnie Younkins is like an Izzy Stradlin as Izzy is to Guns n’ Roses. The rest of the band is also top notch. There’s a lot of great bass and drumming. Musically, there is a lot of nice mellow tempos and a great rhythm section. Some good vocal work. The song writing is very good.

Track listing:

1 Cheap Guitars & Honky Tonk Bars 3:39
2 Wrap Yourself In Glamour 3:09
3 Cheatin’ Kind Of Woman 3:08
4 Can’t Be Lovin’ You 3:36
5 I’m Goin’ To Pieces 4:35
6 Givin’ Up On You 4:34
7 Glimpse Of Soul 5:40
8 My Baby Up And Left Me 6:13
9 I’ve Been So Lonely 3:14
10 Subway To Success 3:05
11 Ya’ Gotta’ Lotta’ Nerve 5:00

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

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