Cherry Red Album Reviews – May 2013 by Colin Bryce

 The Isley Brothers


Isley BrothersWinner Takes All (BBR/Cherry Red)

This is funk/soul legends the Isley Brothers 1979 release with – wait for it – an extended 12” disco mix bonus cut! Surprised? Didn’t think so. I can just see the extended mix sittin’ in the record rack back alongside the countless others issued at the time. Funky, hand clappin’, disco-fied and slick as a sweaty dance floor the Isley Brothers and this release were the business for the night club crowd back all those many years ago. The album has aged remarkably well and if I was so inclined to pop my collar and hoop and holla I might very well spin this at my next party. As it is my tastes tend to the more raw and eccentric ancient sounds of funk so while I appreciate this albums place in the Isley’s history the groups slow jams (and there are a few here) and funky ballyhoo will have to wait til I get through some stuff with a little less satin and slappin’. (15 tracks) Buy HERE!

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George Jones


George JonesJones Country/You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart
(Cherry Red)

A double album release of country legend George Jones’ early 80s work. Jones’ legendary voice may have left the world but he lives on in the rich recorded legacy he left behind. Many fans will know the great “Hello Trouble” from Jones Country but apart from that one and :Loveshine” from You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart not much of this approaches a mid or even uptempo. Strictly slow drinkin’, thinkin’ and cryin’ in your beer stuff that works great if you’re cosied up with a bottle yourself but not so much if you’re pullin’ outta the truck stop and wanna get the rig into high gear. (20 tracks) Buy HERE!

Eddie and the Hot Rods


Eddie and the Hot RodsLive at the Rainbow 1977 (Cherry Red)

Finally! I’ve been waiting a long, long time for some live footage of the Hot Rods line-up that recorded the first LP and so here it is and hey, only 30 years or so later! Not only does the package contain a DVD of the extremely sweaty Rainbow concert but as an added bonus an audio CD version is also included. Nice. The Hot Rods hailed from the same Southend scene that spawned the highly influential Dr. Feelgood and were a unique bunch really in that they basically came in at the tail end of what was known as “pub” rock and were walking the precipice between that crowd and the nascent “punk” bunch. While drawing  on many of the same R&B influences as the Feelgoods, the Hot Rods also mixed it up with some US garage rock/Nuggets standards like “96 Tears”, Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” and UK 60s snarlers like “Satisfaction” and “The Kid’s are Alright”. The simple, amped up, angsty numbers and the fact that the Hot Rods actually made Dr. Feelgood sound complicated endeared them to many a wayward youth and if the Teenage Depression LP cover wasn’t punk (trendy clothes or not) then I really don’t know what was.

Politics and historical bunk aside, for fans of this period of the band this release is a total bonus. Capturing the band at its peak just as Graeme Douglas is set to join them as second guitarist/songwriter the Hot Rods rip through a set of Teenage Depression faves, add a couple of rare ones (“Writing on the Wall”, “Keep On Keeping On”) and then have Douglas come out to noodle all over the last portion of the set. Uh, and he does noodle. Audio of his fretboard workouts is toned down thankfully (seems a bit tentative and unnecessary frankly) and so there is plenty of Dave Higgs (mildy out of tune) telecaster rifferama which is just as it should be. Not so much footage of Paul Gray here but we do catch him from time to time and of course the classic shots of Steve Nicol pounding the kit in his y-fronts. What?!?! Shocking! If I had to guess, and I’m gonna, vocalist Barrie Masters is a bit,uh, peaked at the beginning of the show here. A bit too much of the old crotch grabbing which is kinda weird and strangely unsettling. Maybe there was a nice looking lady in the first row or something he was trying to impress or possibly the trousers were just kinda chaffing but it’s kinda weird. Sorry for noticing folks. There are some amazing shots of the heaving, sweat soaked crowd and the package is sure to bring back some great memories for those of us old enough to remember this exciting period in music. Region free and PAL versions are available so but sure to check when ordering. Many, many, thanks to Cherry Red again for getting this out. (17 tracks.) Buy HERE!



ThemBelfast Gypsies (Rev-Ola)

The simple version is that after Van Morrison split Them the group became two with one set decamping to the US to cash in on ‘Gloria” while the remaining fellows hooked up with Kim Fowley and under his tutelage kept it gnarly and simplistic. Neither of the groups ended up much further down the road to success but the Fowley produced Belfast Gypsies furthered the blueprint for garage-rock snarl and whiny organ balladry. Jon “Mojo” Mills’ liner notes quote producer Kim Fowley extensively and Kim points out the fact that Iggy was apparently a big fan of the band’s “Secret Police” 45 track and that it had a big influence on him. I can certainly see the paranoia theme of the track making a whole lot of sense in the A2/Detroit scene as the revolution there grew wilder and woollier. Inspiring some record store clerk at Discount Records in Ann Arbor, MI was never gone pay the bills however and the snarling R&B of Belfast Gypsies was not long for this world as Sergeant Pepper and psychedelic fever kicked the lot of them to the curb side . (18 tracks) Buy HERE!

Los Brincos


Los BrincosContrabando (él Records/Cherry Red)

Brincosis! Sounds unhealthy but in fact it was the term used to describe the fan mania surrounding Spanish pop sensations Los Brincos. The bands story is told in detail from the beginning here in the liners but this release is based on the period after two of the original members split to form Juan & Junior the new line up hooked up with producer Larry Page (Kinks, Troggs, Hammersmith Gorillas etc) and recorded in London (circa 1967) at Abbey Road, Pye and Olympic Studios. I don’t have a clue as to what they are singing on the Spanish tunes but their marvellous harmony pop is as hip and as catchy as anything the Hollies and many others were crafting at the time. There are a few English language tunes but my guess is that their native language material is a little more involved lyrically. Again, I’m guessing, but the other songs certainly sound more involved.  If any of you Spanish speakers want to drop me a line to confirm this it would be much appreciated. Good stuff either way. (26 tracks) Buy HERE!

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Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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Originally posted 2013-05-30 14:47:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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