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Flamin' Groovies

Live 1971 San Francisco

Review by Gary Hill

This is definitely an artifact of historical importance. It was one of the last shows ever performed at the Fillmore West as it was winding toward closure. It was also Roy Loney's final performance with The Flamin' Groovies. Both of those things make this well worth having for fans of the Groovies and those into this kind of music. These guys created a form of hard rock that's a bit rough around the edges and surely the kind of thing that would eventually give way to punk rock. There is a lot of jam band sound and psychedelia built into the mix, too. It should be noted that the recording quality here leaves a bit to be desired. There is a lot of channel drop out and distortion. Still, that's part of the experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bill Graham Intro

This is literally what it says it is, a spoken introduction.

I Can't Explain

The sound quality isn't great on this. The mix has some trouble with one of the guitars coming in way too loud. Additionally, it doesn't seem to be in tune with the rest of the band. It definitely gets pulled together better as the song works toward it raucous conclusion.

Sweet Little Rock and Roller

I find this to be a lot of fun. It's a solid no-frills rocker that works well.

Have You Seen My Baby

Not a big change, this is just another fun rock and roller. It's definitely the kind of thing that influenced punk rock.

Road House

Grinding and driving, this rock and roller makes me think of the kind of sound that DEVO would do on their first album years later. This is just a lot of fun. They turn in a freaky kind of psychedelic space rock jam later in the piece. This is over eleven minutes long, so they had to do something with that time, right? There are parts of this that make me think of Hawkwind. The drums get to show off on this beast, too.

Doctor Boogie

Old time rock and roll is the order of business on this fun little stomper.

Slow Death

Here we get a screaming hot rocker with some cool slide guitar built into it.  The jamming later in the tune is definitely noteworthy.

Shakin' All Over

Here's a cool cover of this classic tune. It's a great song to begin with, and the Groovies put in a smoking hot raw rendition. There is some awesome jamming built into the instrumental section. This is a psychedelic meets garage rock classic.

Teenage Head

Noisy, hard rocking stuff is the order of business on this stomper. This is the kind of thing that was definitely one of the influences on punk rock. It's a party rocker that's irreverent and potent.

Louie, Louie

This is a smoking hot raw version of the old school rocker. It has a cool jam mid-track that showcases the drums for a while. I used to love to play this song (we had a joke with one band I was in that we wrote it), so I like hearing different versions of it. Motorhead's version is still my favorite, but I dig this.

Walkin' the Dog

Another raw rocker, this is fun stuff. It's a nice way to end things in style.

 
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