Title - 'Flamin' Groovies Now' [Reissue]
Artist - Flamin' Groovies
For those not in the know, the band that played a major role in the evolution of power pop and are considered a forerunner of punk rock, the Flamin' Groovies, are readying to reissue two of their most popular, and now-classic albums: Now (July 10th) and Jumpin' In the Night (August 7th).
While it took a long and torturous five years for the Flamin' Groovies to find their way back to an American record deal (with Shake Some Action), 18 months later the band had a follow-up ready.
And while 1978's Now isn't quite as cohesive as the album that preceded it, in many respects the band sounds at once tighter and more relaxed (with some time on the road firming up the rhythm section) while giving the songs a bit more room to swing.
The band lost guitarist James Ferrell during the post-Shake Some Action tour, but former Charlatans picker Mike Wilhelm proved to be a more than simpatico replacement on these sessions.
And while leader Cyril Jordan didn't come up with another new song as transcendent as 'Shake Some Action,' 'All I Wanted' comes pretty close.
But it's significant that most of the songs on Now are covers, and while all of them are played with love, enthusiasm, and the right period flair, the chance to listen to some newly original material was obviously limited here.
1. 'Feel A Whole Lot Better' (2:26)
2. 'Between the Lines' (4:15)
3. 'Ups and Downs' (3:07)
4. 'Move It' (2:57)
5. 'Take Me Back' (2:50)
6. 'Reminiscing' (2:03)
7. 'Good Laugh Mun' (2:55)
8. 'Yeah My Baby' (3:55)
9. 'House of Blue Lights' (2:18)
10. 'Blue Turns to Grey' (2:29)
11. 'Paint It Black' (3:04)
12. 'All I Wanted' (3:02)
13. 'Don't Put Me On' (4:12)
14. 'There's A Place' (1:50)
Released about two years after their great Shake Some Action album, the Flamin' Groovies had once again changed their sound, beginning with that well regarded previous album to this.
Working with producer Dave Edmunds (one of my all-time favorite musicians) again, they continued to do great covers of pop tunes from the sixties, as well as throwing into the mix some terrific original songs too.
What I like here is their selection, choosing some obscure songs that I myself wasn't actually familiar with, but that they did a fantastic job introducing them to me.
Also, their own original songs are great too, and to my mind, the Groovies never really got enough credit for their intuitive moments of originality.
Anyhoo, moving on and this now reissued album contains great covers of songs from the Byrds, the Beatles' lesser know 'There's a Place,' the Rolling Stones (especially their rarity, 'Blue Turns to Grey'), Paul Revere & the Raiders' 'Ups and Downs,' and even a quite magnificent pre-Beatles Cliff Richard song, 'Move It.'
Oh, and for my money, Now also has one of their best original songs, 'Between the Lines.' This whole album sounds great and the team behind it has done a wondrous job in the remastering department.
• Cyril Jordan: Lead/rhythm guitars, guitars, mellotron, vocals
• Chris Wilson: Vocals, Rhythm guitar, harpsichord
• Mike Wilhelm: Lead/rhythm guitars
• George Alexander: Bass/vocals
• David Wright: Drums
• All percussion: David Chris, George
• Dave Edmunds: Piano, guitar on 'Move It' and Piano, vocals on 'Yeah My Baby'
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