Thursday, May 31, 2012

40 Year Itch : Three We Missed

This is the end of the month round-up of albums I didn't get to for one reason or another.

Radio has such a short memory. When Dave Edmunds released "I Hear You Knockin" in 1971, there wasn't anything else like it getting played. The music of Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Smiley Lewis couldn't be heard anymore.

For his debut album, Rockpile, Edmunds recorded the music of his idols, a few originals and some surprising covers: Neil Young's "Dance Dance Dance", Ron Davies's "It Ain't Easy" (which would also show up on David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust a month later) and "Down, Down, Down" from The Move's Trevor Burton. Everything great thing Dave Edmunds has ever done can be heard in these three glorious minutes.

No sophomore slump for Los Angeles slacker boogie artists Little Feat. The critically acclaimed Sailin' Shoes features a second version of Lowell George's classic "Willin'" which I don't think I'll ever get tired of listening to. I managed to grow up without hearing a lot of Little Feat. Even when I bought Dixie Chicken I didn't listen to it much.

 In college I had The Neville Brothers and Radiators delivering the same kind of dazed funk --the air on campus smelling like ripe magnolias and sweet weed. In New Orleans "Sailin' Shoes" meant the Robert Palmer cover version recorded with The Meters. It's still taking some time for me to get into this one. Where am I going wrong?

1972 was a great year for Italian progressive rock. We got the first two albums from  Premiata Forneria Marconi (the name means Award-Winning Macaroni Bakery) and the first two albums from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso ("Tour the Mutual Aid"?) as well as Le Orme 's Uomo di Pezza..

Founded by brothers Vittorio and Gianni Nocenzi, Banco specialized in complex, symphonic prog rock a la Emerson Lake and Palmer or Gentle Giant. Frankly, it's not the kind of stuff I listen to for pleasure. The follow-up Darwin!, released later in the year, is said to be their masterpiece.

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