-- I am not sure when or why I acquired this CD
, and while it's packed with performances from lots of great jazz folks I admire (Earl Hines, Art Blakely, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Ammons, Budd Johnson, etc.) and I like a lot of big band/bop stuff, I wasn't particularly enamored of this disc. And the best way to describe what dragged it down for me -- as odd as this sounds coming from a guy who admits to preferring music recorded before he was born -- is that it sounds really, really dated. Big band always sounds somewhat dated, of course, but it's really Eckstine's vocals that I find so ancient sounding. He's very mannered and sounds almost unnatural. This
was my fave track on here (probably cuz it's mostly instrumental). The liner notes assure me that Eckstine's big band was on the cutting edge, being one of the first bop groups in that format, but to me, this mostly sounds like soundtrack music to a not-particularly-hip old Hollywood movie.Duane Eddy
-- I'm guessing some of my guitar-player friends will jump in to tell me how brilliant this stuff is, but beyond the obvious fact that Eddy is technically great, he didn't make very interesting records, IMHO. On CD, I own Have "Twangy" Guitar Will Travel
, $1,000,000,000 Worth Of Twang Vol. II
, and a disc of collected singles and odds and ends. There's no denying the guy's a great guitar player, but ridiculous song selection, cheeseball arrangements, and a lot of sameyness make for pretty dull listening in large chunks. 2½ minutes at a time is great. 150 minutes at a stretch? Not so much.Dave Edmunds
-- Sadly for this project, I don't have Tracks On Wax 4
on CD, as that's probably my favorite of his albums, but still, what I do have is mostly pretty great, and representative of my favorite kind of roots-rock-n-countryish-roll. Edmunds has great taste and a fantastic, underrated voice.
1971's (mostly) one-man-band Rockpile
album is pretty neat -- great song selection and loopy charm. Kicking off with a great version of "Down Down Down
the album is chockful of delights, including a fantastic version of Dylan's "Outlaw Blues". The CD bonus tracks round out a pretty-great solo debut (we'll get to his pre-solo band Love Sculpture eventually. Strange stuff.)
The only other two albums of his I have on CD are 1977's Get It
and 1979's Repeat When Necessary
(the latter being a full-fledged Rockpile album.) Both are fantastic. Get It
features Dave's awesome version of Bob Seger's "Get Out Of Denver"
(which Rockpile rocked the shit out of live), a version of Nick Lowe's "I Knew The Bride"
, which I prefer to Lowe's later re-recording, some straight-up country roots-rock like "Worn Out Suits, Brand New Pockets", the always-welcome "Juju Man" (I can't find the Edmunds version online, but here he is sharing the vocals with Billy Bremner in Rockpile
) and lots more pleasures.Repeat When Necessary
is in some ways even better, now that Rockpile is a full-time, full-fledged band with a couple years of jamming under their belts. The new wave influences are stronger and there's more straight-up power pop. It kicks off with his magnificient version of Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk"
, dives into the driving rock and roll showstopper "Crawling From The Wreckage"
(which Rockpile played at a truly breakneck speed live), and then just gets weirder.
I could do without "Queen Of Hearts", but the version of "Take Me For A Little While" is interesting, and Huey Lewis's "Bad Is Bad" which closes the record (thankfully) sounds nothing like the later hit version from Sports
The rest of what I have on CD is leftover tracks from the Rhino 2CD best-of
. Stray cuts from 1975's Subtle As A Flying Mallet
and 1978's Tracks On Wax 4
(like the fantastic "Trouble Boys"
and "Never Been In Love"
) bump elbows with decidedly inferior dreck from his ill-conceived Jeff Lynne-(over)produced garbage dumps from '83 and '84. In between are highlights from 1981's Twangin'
, which features the death throes of Rockpile (plus the emergence of The Stray Cats) and 1982's DE7
, which alternates between inspired covers like Springsteen's "From Small Things, Big Things Come" and insipid ones like "Me And The Boys".
I could ramble on about how much I love this kind of stuff all day, but instead I'll just leave you with this sensational Edmunds/Lowe-penned single from 1976
. Perfect.Willie Egan
-- Wow Wow
is the disc I have, and it is some really fucking great, hard-rockin' R&B. Highlights: "Wear Your Black Dress"
, "Wow Wow"
, and "I Don't Know Where She Went", which is unfortunately unavailable on YouTube. The 8th Day
-- decidedly second-rate Holland-Dozier-Holland stuff from their Invictus label. "She's Not Just Another Woman"
is a snappy single, but the two-albums-on-one-CD
I have gets bogged down in drippy ballads and Jesus-loving. The second album has more jazzy instrumentals, but none of it really catches fire. For completists only.Elastica
-- Boy, I haven't listened to this is a loooooong time. The best stuff -- "Line Up"
, for example -- still sound pretty great (I always have loved Wire...) but there's some dire stuff here too (I'm looking at you "Indian Song".) Apart from the self-titled LP, I also have the "Stutter" CD single and the Waking Up
EP. I don't think I'll wait another 15 years to listen again, but I doubt this'll end up in heavy rotation, either.Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie
-- I have the Roy And Diz
CD and it is delightful. I find I don't really have the vocabulary or knowledge for talking jazz with much depth, but I really enjoyed jamming this, which I'd completely forgotten I owned.
Next up... Electric Light Orchestra!