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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Rockpile

Live At Montreux 1980

Review by Larry Toering

There is no better way to present Rockpile than with this Montreux Jazz Festival performance, and thanks to Eagle it is now available on CD. Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe never sounded better together, as they blaze through this energetic collection of pure rock and roll numbers, written by various songwriters including work of their own, together and apart. All in all, it's a very enjoyable recording, full of both classic and modern vibes that stand the test of time, as they sound as good now as they did on that night of July 12th, 1980. Rockpile were at their peak, so this is a highly recommended release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sweet Little Lisa

Right away they just start kicking with no end in sight, and no indication of what's to come, as this is easily one of the more country grooves, regardless of how rocking it is.

So It Goes
This direction changes but the energy remains intact as they burn through this nice little number. It's an infectious tune that only takes a couple of listens and one is hooked. Their rock roots are much more evident on this track. It’s great stuff.
I Knew The Bride
The guitar kicks in here and the wonderfully clean licks start to take effect. Now we're really swinging. This is classic Rockpile.
Queen Of Hearts
I love their version of this song made famous by Juice Newton, and they brought it so well that night. By this time in the set there is no turning back.
Switchboard Susan
More straight forward rockabilly with a modern touch, this is something they were well known for pulling off. This had that special little punk attitude to get it there. One of their perfect songs, this is played at the top of their abilities. Once again, it’s great stuff. 
Trouble Boys
This is nice to hear between two of their more well known numbers, although most of Rockpile's material was either brought in from Edmunds or Lowe's outside work, oddly enough. And plenty of the tracks here are written by others, in fact most of them. This is the case because they only recorded one album, Seconds Of Pleasure-and this was the tour, so they had to use a lot of other material of their own perspective catalogs in concert.
Teacher Teacher
This is the only track from their album in the set, but it’s somehow just as well known as anything else on here. It’s great stuff, but also not entirely their own, as it can be heard on the motion picture soundtrack for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Girls Talk
This is more or less one of the fillers in the set, if there are any.
3 Time Loser
Another great romp, the “3 time loser” is exposed somewhere in all of the excitement, but it's the music here that matters.
You Ain't Nothin' But Fine
Some of the most fun had in the show, as expressed at the end how much they love it. More infectious vibes galore.
Crawling From The Wreckage
This one is from Graham Parker, and it's one of the best songs of the night, simply fantastic!
Let It Rock
More guitar bite helps this very Johnny B. Good style number, traditional rockabilly at it's finest.
I Hear You Knocking
A  rollicking run through the Edmunds hit is the icing on the cake, it really is. There’s no letting anyone down here on this perfect Rockpile rendition.
They Called It Rock
This is the only track here actually penned by both Edmunds and Lowe. It’s a good example to show how good they were together. This is another one of the highlights, needless to say.
Ju Ju Man
Here’s more fun before the night closes, and not a step lost. The energy displayed in this performance is unreal.
Let's Talk About Us
This is a great way to close the set, with some super tasty guitar to spice up one of Edmunds prior recordings.
 
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