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

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San Francisco’s STILL Doomed: Crime

Rating: 90%

CRIMESFDfront.jpgThis compilation album has tracks that were recorded in 1978-1979 and wasn’t released until 1991. The band featured vocalist and guitarist Johnny Strike, vocalist and guitarist Frankie Fix, bassist Ron Greco, and drummer Ricky Williams.

This Punk band is amazing. Their style is pure Rock n’ Roll played on volume ten. This gives the music a crunch and gritty sound that is covered in mud. The guitars are heavy has hell. They pelt out riffs and leads. Then the feedback just rips through the music. It’s almost sloppy, but at the same time, the chords are very tight. The bass sticks out and just dominates the entire record.  The drum lines are out of this world. The vocals are very sloppy. I don’t think the vocals have reach any kind of range, but, this is Punk, so the vocals don’t have to be perfect.

Track listing:

Side One
“Frustration”
“Crime Wave”
“I Knew This Nurse”
“San Francisco’s Doomed”
“Rock & Roll Enemy No.1”
“Piss On Your Dog”
“Feel The Beat”
“I Be Stupid Anyway”
“Twisted”
“Murder By Guitar”
“Instrumental Instrumental”

Side Two
“Flyeater”
“Rockabilly Drugstore”
“Dillinger’s Brain”
“Flipout”
“Emergency Music Ward”
“Monkey On Your Back”
“Yakuza”
“Rockin’ Weird”
“Samurai”

Hell Yeah!: HorrorPops

Rating: 90%

Hell_Yeah!.jpgThe HorrorPops is a great band that mixes the 1950’s Rockabilly with 1970’s Punk music. It then blends some of the surf music into it’s sound. It’s almost as if Elvis meets the Misfits and the Cramps. The band is led by Patricia Day on upright bass and lead vocals, guitarist Karsten and drummer Niedermeier.

There are several tracks on this album that are good. This is an enjoyable album to listen to. The musicianship is just breath taking. Lot’s of great vocals by Patricia Day. Man, she has plenty of range with her gritty style of vocals. The chorus lines are just as amazing with the harmony of the band itself. Lot’s of great guitar riffs and leads. The drumming is really good.

The overall sound is what makes this band so good. It’s not polished enough to ruin their sound, but it’s crisp and clean. Although, nothing explosive, meaning no overly distorted guitars, you can almost feel the influences of the Misfits, the Cramps, and No Doubt. Plenty of energy and power within the band and their music. It’s good to see that this Danish band has taken the old traditional sounds of America and England to create their own blend on Punk and Psychobilly music. High points of this record include, “Psychobitches Outta Hell”, “Horrorbeach”, “Miss Take”, and “Ghouls.”

Track Listing:

“Julia” – 2:45
“Drama Queen” – 2:22
“Ghouls”  – 2:06
“Girl in a Cage” – 2:58
“Miss Take” – 3:58
“Where They Wander” – 3:00
“Kool Flattop”– 3:09
“Psychobitches Outta Hell” – 3:12
“Dotted With Hearts” – 3:53
“Baby Lou Tattoo” – 3:11
“What’s Under My Bed” – 3:15
“Emotional Abuse”– 3:21
“Horrorbeach” – 2:52

Born To Be Bad: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 85%

BornToBeBadSo, many consider George Thorogood as a guy stuck in the same old rut and releasing the same old music since 1977. But, if he changed his style, everyone would’ve called him a sell out. So what would one expect? Well, you keep on keeping on with the boogie woggie music that you’re known for. “Born to be Bad” released in 1988 was no exception. Why sell out to the power ballads of the Hair Metal scene that was at it’s high-tide? George Thorogood’s own brand of the Blues and Rock n’ Roll is just that, it’s hard ass kicking music with attitude. George Thorogood never sold out his sound and his brand of music to make a buck.

This record never gets it’s due and that’s a shame. This record has some of the best Blues, R&B, County and Rockabilly music that came out in the late 1980’s. His slide work on the guitar is among the best of guitarist. Musically, the highlights are “You Talk Too Much”, “Born to Be Bad”, “Treat Her Right”, “I Really Like Girls”, and “I’m Movin’ On.” Although, the entire record is good.

The way he plays, is amazing. George Thorogood should be considered as among the best of the modern Blues and Rock guitarist, but hasn’t made the top 100 of any lists that I am aware of.

Track listing:

“Shake Your Money Maker” (Elmore James) – 3:29
“You Talk Too Much” (George Thorogood) – 4:35
“Highway 49” (Big Joe Williams) 49 – 5:46
“Born to Be Bad” (Thorogood) – 3:34
“You Can’t Catch Me” (Chuck Berry) – 3:45
“I’m Ready” (Sylvester Bradford, Fats Domino, Al Lewis) – 3:20
“Treat Her Right” (Roy Head, Gene Kurtz) – 3:32
“I Really Like Girls” (Thorogood) – 3:49
“Smokestack Lightning” (Howlin’ Wolf) – 3:15
“I’m Movin’ On” (Hank Snow) – 3:58

Maverick: George Thorogood and the Destoryers

Rating: 90%

George_Thorogood_Mavrick.jpgWhen it comes to George Thorogood, you can expect a full barrage of guitar that is very high energy that shreds each note from start to finish. George Thorogood brings to airwaves a style of boogie music, drenched in ol’fashion Rock n’ Roll, heavily influenced by traditional Blues with a dash of Country music. His music has been covered by Rock and Country artists alike.

Maverick released in 1985, is just another example of George Thorogood’s hard hitting style of Rock n’ Roll. Now, critics said this album sucked because there are only a few songs that Thorogood actually wrote. The rest are covers. But what the critics failed to realize, is that Thorogood takes those covers and converts them into his own style and makes them his own. This allows Thorogood to pay tribute to those artists that influenced him.

Musically, Maverick is a good combination of songs done the Destroyers’s way. They are hard hitting, fast tempo with attitude. This is the type of music that will get you dancing or drinking. George’s guitar work of finger picking and slide leads are awesome. His style of playing is very traditional of that of the Blues. He brings back some of the forgotten artists like Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and John Lee Hooker on this album. But, two of his famous songs also were released on this album, “Gear Jammer” and “I Drink Alone”. The critics may not have given this album it’s due, but, I enjoyed it.

Track listing:

“Gear Jammer” (George Thorogood) – 4:39
“I Drink Alone” (Thorogood) – 4:35
“Willie and the Hand Jive” (Johnny Otis) – 4:09
“What a Price” (Fats Domino, Murphy Maddux, Jack Jessup) – 2:48
“Long Gone” (Thorogood) – 4:30
“Dixie Fried” (Carl Perkins, Howard Griffin) – 3:46
“Crawlin’ King Snake” (John Lee Hooker) – 4:02
“Memphis/Little Marie” (Chuck Berry) – 5:54
“Woman with the Blues” (Thorogood) – 3:34
“Go, Go, Go” (Chuck Berry) – 3:32
“The Ballad of Maverick” (David Buttolph, Paul Francis Webster) – 2:05

Déjà Vu: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Rating: 90%

Crosby,_Stills,_Nash_&_Young_-_Deja_Vu.jpgOn March 11, 1970 after riding the tide of Woodstock, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Neil Young released “Déjà Vu.” They were the hottest group raging across America. The four men needed to recapture that energy with an official release. “Déjà Vu” was that album. Although, I am not a huge fan of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, this is one of my favorite albums released by the super group.

The harmony of the four vocalist group is amazing. The songs are great including my favorite “Helpless” and “Country Girl.” The rock anthem for long hair “Almost Cut My Hair” by David Crosby is still a classic. “4 + 20” is another great acoustical track that features Stephen Stills on vocals.

This album features many different song styles and structures. The album musically, contains elements of folk, country, blues and rock. If you’re a fan of Neil Young, you’ll know it’s his song or if he’s playing lead just by his sound and style. Just like Stephen Stills style is heard clearly on each track.

The band itself features drummer Dallas Taylor and bassist Greg Reeves. A notable personnel member includes Jerry Garcia  of the Grateful Dead playing the steel guitar on “Teach Your Children.”

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Carry On” Stephen Stills Stills 4:26
2. “Teach Your Children” Graham Nash Nash 2:53
3. “Almost Cut My Hair” David Crosby Crosby 4:31
4. “Helpless” Neil Young Young 3:33
5. “Woodstock” Joni Mitchell Stills 3:54

Side two
1. “Déjà Vu” David Crosby Crosby 4:12
2. “Our House” Graham Nash Nash 2:59
3. “4 + 20” Stephen Stills Stills 2:04
4. “Country Girl (Whiskey Boot Hill/Down Down Down/”Country Girl (I Think You’re Pretty))” Neil Young Young with Crosby, Stills & Nash 5:11
5. “Everybody I Love You” Stephen Stills, Neil Young Stills with Crosby & Nash 2:21

Hanks & Doves: Neil Young

Rating: 75%

Neil_Young_Hawks_DovesAfter riding the heaviness of “Rust Never Sleeps”, Neil Young decided to step back and record a much shorter and softer album. In 1980, “Hawks & Doves” was released. This album to me is a decent album, but musically, Neil is skimming the bottom of the barrel. Many of the songs come in under three minutes. It seems lyrically, Neil was just writing songs to fulfill his obligations to his record contract.

Musically, we have Neil Young combining elements of folk, country, and rock together creating some songs that are true Neil Young styles. While others, are songs that didn’t make his previous records that were thrown onto this record. As side one and side two are completely different in musical styles.

Side one is very mellow with Neil playing acoustically with other band mates including long time friend Ben Keith. Side one is also very heavy on the folk side.  The songs themselves are OK, my least favorite is “Lost in Space” which to me is a children song that drags on.

Side two is a bit different. It’s more focused on the country music sound like you hear on “Stars and Bars.” I love the raw sound of side two and “Union Man” and “Comin’ Apart at Every Nail” are true classic Neil Young songs.

Although, many disagreed with the type of right wing lyrical themes on this album, I thought that this album was good. Is it the best? No! Not even close. But this album does deserve to be recognized. There are some good songs on this album, but it may take a few listens for you to find those songs as I did.

Track listing:

1. “Little Wing” 2:10
2. “The Old Homestead” 7:38
3. “Lost in Space” 4:13
4. “Captain Kennedy” 2:50
5. “Stayin’ Power” 2:17
6. “Coastline” 2:24
7. “Union Man” 2:08
8. “Comin’ Apart at Every Nail” 2:33
9. “Hawks & Doves” 3:27