Dr. Feelgood - Stupidity
Brilliant stuff! Raw and yet slick at the same time. The Feelgoods were at their peak when this came out and in some ways the excellence of this as a live set helped pave the way for punk. This was taking rock music back to its roots. Yet it was done without falling into the trap which some bands, in their desire to emulate their heroes of yesteryear did, and shameless copy the style and tempo of their forebears. No, this has its own distinct edge to it.
I first heard this when it was bought by a friend of mine at school. On first listen I did not like it, but then I was still heavily into the hard rock of the early seventies and this just did not fit my tastes at the time. It was only about eighteen months later that I truly began to appreciate it. By then, punk was upon us, and this album started to appeal more and more. For a while it was one of the leading things I would reach for when I wanted to listen something. As a result, the vinyl I still have is rather old and worn out. But even then, it still sounds absolutely top notch.
Every track on here drips with class. Among the highlights is my personal favourite, "Going Back Home", which has outstanding harmonica solos, while "Hog for You Baby" and "Stupidity" really get you going. The more well-known tracks are their singles, both of which were minor hits in the UK, "She Does It Right" and "Roxette", the former with its sharp guitar hook and the later with its thumping bass line. But if you are into bass lines look no further that "I'm A Man", originally done by Muddy Waters as "Mannish Boy". This track has been covered by more artists than I care to remember - Yardbirds did a classic version of it on Live Yardbirds with Jimmy Page on guitar. And that bass line, well I have heard it on everything from Bowie's "Jean Genie" to Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way", but never has it been done with such almost clinical precision as it is here.
(By the way, for all of you out there who think Beyonce or the like is RnB, you are wrong. THIS is RnB. Derived from the blues with a solid rhythmic backing. Beyonce and the rest of her ilk get their roots from soul, which derives from the blues via gospel. Sadly, true soul, like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and the Stax and Motown hits of the sixties is badly let down by what is now called RnB. Soul was called soul, because it had soul. Modern RnB, the musical dross which dominates the urban wasteland radio airwaves, lacks any soul and is a complete waste of space).
End of rant - back to the album.
These days, this goes by the label of pub rock, and never was a label more apt than when describing this. The whole album brings to mind a sweaty, crowded pub, brimming with anticipation. Then the band rips into the first song on its set and the whole crowd moves as if one: beer flies everywhere; everyone gets their toes trodden on; the temperature rises; and the amount of sweat flying around the room increases exponentially. Aah, those were the days - when music was meant to be played for the enjoyment of an audience rather than for the smug self-satisfaction of the musicians or the jingling pockets of the record executives. So if you want to experience what truly great, simple, energetic, in-your-face, never-let-up rock and roll sounds like, go get this album.
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