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

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

 

 

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

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

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