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Edgar Winter

I've Got News for You: Featuring The Edgar Winter Group and Edgar Winter's White Trash 1971-1977

Review by Grant Hill

This new box set compiles all the albums recorded by Edgar with his two bands (Edgar Winter's White Trash and The Edgar Winter Group) from 1971-1977. It's a six CD set, with each CD reproducing one of the albums. There are three from each act, and they are included in chronological order. Edgar Winter's White Trash was more of a soul band, while The Edgar Group was more of a hard rock band. Each of these discs includes bonus tracks. Since they are mostly just alternate versions of songs from the main album I haven't said much about them (with the exception of the full "new songs" that are included in the bonus tracks on a couple sets. I've also done an overall review under each album title, and then the track reviews for that CD beneath that. A few notable musicians guest along this ride including Edgar Winter's brother Johnny, Rick Derringer and Ronnie Montrose. Each CD is included in a sleeve that duplicates the original album cover. There is a book included, and the whole thing is packaged in a cool clamshell box. This is a set that's well worth having and a real bargain.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
                    
Edgar Winter's White Trash - Introducing Jerry laCroix (1971)
The debut album from Edgar Winter's White Trash, this has a killer soul sound to it. Horns and an ocean of vocals really bring this tracks to life. It's a high energy set that works quite well.
Give It Everything You Got
Coming in literally screaming, this is a powerhouse hard rocker packed with soul music. The horns add a lot to the mix, and the whole thing just oozes cool. I love the bass led instrumental section on this. The entire instrumental section is a smoking hot groove.
Fly Away
Some classy blues styled piano opens this cut. They work it out into a classy rock ballad. The chorus vocals brings some real soulful elements to the table. The whole cut gets powered up into a soaring soul cut from there.
Where Would I Be
This has a real Motown meets gospel music kind of vibe. It's energized and potent. It really rocks and grooves. The horns and sea of voices really add a lot to the mix.
Let's Get It On
A hard rocking number, this one still has some soul in the mix, but is more of a straight rock song. There is a breakdown later in the piece with just percussion and wailing harmonica that's quite cool.
I've Got News for You
This is a powerhouse tune that is built on a horn-laden blues concept. This is one of my favorite tunes on this particular CD of the set. I really love the horns on this tune.
Save the Planet
The female backing vocals add so much to this number. It's a fast paced gospel based tune. It's classy and energetic.
Dying to Live
This cut is based on piano and vocals only, but strings augment it later. It makes me think of the more soulful side of Todd Rundgren.
Keep Playin' That Rock 'N' Roll
The horns add something to this number for sure. It's a high energy old school rock and roller. It's also a lot of fun.
You Were My Light
Coming in with a horn heavy jam, this is a killer soulful rocker. It leans on the balladic side of the equation but has powered up sounds in the mix.
Good Morning Music
Piano brings this into being, and the vocals join as it moves forward from there. This gets into some powered up jamming with horns and a lot of cool soulful sounds in the mix.
Bonus Tracks
                   
Keep Playing That Rock 'N' Roll (single edit)

You really just need to look at the title (and parenthetical) to know what this song is.

Where Would I Be (Without You) (Single Edit)
Truth in advertising at play, you know what this track is.
Where Would I Be (Without You) (Mono Edit)
As you might guess, this is a mono version of the previous tune.
Give It Everything You Go (Single Edit)
Again you can easily tell what this is by the title.
Give It Everything You Go (Mono Edit)
The final bonus track on this first CD is another mono rendition.
Disc 2
                     
Edgar Winter's White Trash - Roadwork (1972)
A live album from Edgar Winter's White Trash, this continues the same type of sounds we heard on the first album. I have to say that I think the music works better in this live setting. This album features both Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer. They bring more blues and hard rock to the proceedings.
Save the Planet
There is a bit more of a rocking vibe to this version of the cut. It really comes to life, if you'll pardon the pun, in this setting. I have to say that I'm not overly crazy about the acapella stuff at the end of the song. It's not bad. It's just not my thing.
Jive, Jive, Jive
Now, this is so much fun. It has an old school rock and roll vibe. The saxophone is so cool on this.
I Can't Turn You Loose
An Otis Redding tune, this has such a cool soul vibe to it. It's part James Brown and part Blues Brothers. It's all cool.
Still Alive and Well
The guitar that opens this has some killer bluesy rocking sound built into it. This is one of the highlights of the live show. It has some killer guitar work.
Back in the USA
I love this cool hard rocking song. It's another that works really well here. I love the guitar solo led instrumental section later in the song. It has some cool changes and really rocks out with some definite blues elements at its heart.
Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo
Johnny Winter comes out for this tune. It's a trademark Rick Derringer cut. They put in a killer performance of the song. The guitar soloing on this is purely on fire, but that's to be expected given the talent here.
Tobacco Road
This classic blues number gets a live airing here. They start it a bit stripped back and strange. It eventually makes its way to the kind of hard rocking blues jamming you'd expect. Edgar Winter really shines on the saxophone on this screaming hot tune. They put in such a cool (and greatly extended at over 17 minutes) rendition. It drops way down to let Johnny Winter show off a bit, but works back out to the screaming hot rock. The vocal call and response section on this is one thing that doesn't do a lot for me, though. The guitar solo that comes at the end of it is pretty strong, though. That makes up a big chunk of the middle part of the cut. The keyboards get a chance to solo after that. More scat singing joins with the keys as it drives forward. Again, I'm not overly crazy about that part. That said, it's impressive in the way he mirrors his keyboard work with his voice (or vice versa). The keys continue to solo after his voice drops away, but the voice returns after a time, and then the whole band rises up to meet that scat singing. They work out into a smoking hot jam from there where that scat work really drives it well. This things screams out as Edgar Winter's saxophone wails and the guitar solos. They stretch it out a bit too far for my tastes with the theatrics, but honestly I'm sure it worked better if you were actually there. The vocals bring it back to the song proper acapella just in time for the band to join for a powerhouse climax of the piece.
Cool Fool
This comes from a different show and does not include Johnny Winter. It's a cool funky groove that is so cool. The horns bring a lot to the table here. This is a hot soulful jam.
Do Yourself a Favor
The funk leads this one out, and the horns join to bring it home. This has a healthy helping of James Brown built into it. It's another high energy stomper that works really well. The powerhouse horn drenched jam later in the cut really screams.
Turn on Your Lovelight
Old school R&B is the idea here. This is high-energy and a lot of fun. There is a drum solo mid-track on this one. During that the vocals join and we get an audience participation section in the midst. The bass and rhythm guitars join as they drive upward from there. The soulful acapella bit on this tune works pretty well.
Bonus Tracks
             
I Can't Turn You Loose (Mono Edit)

You know what this bonus track is, right?

I Can't Turn You Loose (Single Edit)
Here's another that's self-explanatory.
Cool Fool (Single Edit)
As you might guess, this is a single edit of the earlier track.
Disc 3
        
The Edgar Winter Group - They Only Come out at Night (1972)
The debut disc from The Edgar Winter Group, this is a real classic. It includes both of the band's best known tunes ("Free Ride" and "Frankenstein"). Ronnie Montrose provides the lead guitar work, and you can't really beat that.
Hangin' Around
There is a real glam band sound built into this rocker. I dig the group vocal on the choruses. The whole song works so well.
When It Comes
A bluesy rocker, this is classy stuff. The saxophone adds a lot to the piece, and this really has a great groove.
Alta Mira
The opening of this feels a lot like The Jackson Five to me. That said there is a bit of an Island vibe to this cut. The chorus brings some great summer textures to the piece. The percussion and voice based bit later in the track is solid.
Free Ride
This is an absolute classic song. A cool driving pop rocker, this still holds up really well today. I love the cool breakdown section of this piece. In a lot of ways this sounds like The Doobie Brothers.
Undercover Man
Another killer bluesy rocker, this is a strong tune. There is plenty of glam rock built into this thing, too. This gets really powerful as it drives forward. It includes some killer guitar work, too.
Round & Round
There is a lot of country and folk music built into this number. In fact, the jamming on the tune lands near bluegrass.
Rock 'N' Roll Boogie Woogie Blues
This hard rocker is another classy tune. The guitar work on this is exceptional, and the cut is a solid bluesy rocker that works really well.
Autumn
A rock ballad based tune, this is quite a pretty piece of music. It gets a more lush arrangement later, boosting the power of the number without altering the musical concept.
We All Had a Real Good Time
Here we get a cool rocker that's recorded live. This has a lot of bluesy texture built into and really rocks.
Frankenstein
It's a safe bet to say that if you are reading this review, you've heard this killer instrumental. Even people who don't know the title, know this song. It's a powerhouse that features both killer saxophone work and great synthesizer jamming. That's not to even mention that smoking hot riff. This is just so cool. There is a bit of a drum solo in the middle of this thing. The section that brings it back in from there is the definition of classic.
Bonus Tracks
            
Frankenstein (Edit)

This is (as you might guess) a shortened version of the instrumental hit.

Frankenstein (Mono Edit)
Here is a mono version of the previous piece.
Round & Round (Single Edit)
You know what you get here.
Round & Round (Mono Edit)
This is the mono mix of the previous number.
Free Ride (Single Edit)
Here is the single version of this classic.
Free Ride (Mono Edit)
This one is the mono version of the previous tune.
Catching Up (B-Side)
Jazzy piano brings this number into being. As the other instruments join, it has a real jazz meets blues vibe. This is a cool cut that is effective. It makes sense that it didn't make the album, though, as it really doesn't fit with the rest. This does get pretty powerful before it's all over.
Frankenstein (Single Edit)
Here we get another alternate version of the instrumental hit.
Hangin' Around (Mono Edit)
This (as I'm sure you figured) is a mono version of the earlier track.
Disc 4
   
Edgar Winter Group - Shock Treatment (1974)
Embracing glam rock and more, this album evolved the Edgar Winter Group sound. It was definitely a harder rocking set. It leans toward heavy metal at times. It's one of my favorite discs in this set.
Some Kinda Animal
This screams in with near heavy metal fury. It's probably closest to a glam rock vibe. There are some killer changes and this is just plain on fire. This works out to some serious weirdness at the end.
Easy Street
Piano brings this into being. I love the bluesy, glam rock kind of vocals that come over the top. This is a powerhouse blues rocker that works really well. The saxophone soloing is cool.
Sundown
Psychedelic rock is on the menu at the introduction on this number. It works out to more of an arena rock vibe as it continues. There are hints of progressive rock built into this
Miracle of Love
This powers in with a fast paced progressive rock kind of sound. It works forward within that general concept, but lands in the vein of catchy AOR prog. This isn't far removed from stuff like Starcastle.
Do Like Me
There is a funky groove to this cut. It's a powerhouse that feels part James Brown and part glam rock. It's such a classy tune. It makes me think of Parliament quite a bit.
Rock & Roll Woman
We're back into the catchy glam rock styled vein here. This is a fun hard edged jam that's just so cool.
Someone Took My Heart
Pop meets psychedelia and progressive rock on this piece. It feels a bit like the kind of music Klaatu would make later. The choruses bring it into more hard rocking modes, but it modulates back downward from there.
Queen of My Dreams
This is a screaming hot hard rocker. It's a guitar dominated stomper that's so cool. This one leans toward heavy metal, and has a lot of Rick Derringer type sound built into it, too.
Maybe Some Day You'll Call My Name
More of a pop rocker, this has a real mainstream 1970s rock vibe to it. It's a catchy cut. There are hints of psychedelia and progressive in the mix later.
River's Risin'
A fast paced melodic rocker, this is another that's very catchy. The bridge on this takes into some seriously psychedelic and proggy directions.
Animal
They bring the funk and hard rock on this killer tune. This one has definite nods to heavy metal. There are some weird touches to it that really make it interesting. This is one of my favorites here.
Bonus Tracks
                  
River's Risin' (Mono Edit)

The truth in advertising is in effect here.

River's Risin' (Single Edit)
And here we have the single version of the song. This is the stereo mix of the previous cut.
Someone Took My Heart Away (Mono Edit)
By this point, I'm sure you know what this is.
Someone Took My Heart Away (Single Edit)
Here we have the stereo mix of the previous cut.
Easy Street (Mono Edit)
Here is a mono version of the single version of this cut.
Easy Street (Single Edit)
The final bonus cut is the stereo mix of the last one.
Disc 5
          
The Edgar Winter Group - With Rick Derringer (1975)
As you can probably gather from the title of this album, Rick Derringer became a part of the Edgar Winter Group for this release. This seems to combine the harder rocking sounds of the previous disc with some of the elements of the very first EWG album. I think this is another of the highlight discs of this set.
Cool Dance
There are some soulful elements here. This is almost trademark Edgar Winter Group in so many ways. Yet, somehow I'm reminded of Frank Zappa just a little with some hints of Parliament in the mix.
People Music
Somehow this makes me think of Mountain a bit. It's a killer hard rocker that has some blues elements built into it. The chorus, though, reminds me of The Doobie Brothers quite a bit. Again, this is trademark Edgar Winter Group.
Good Shot
There is a lot of funk built into this cut. While Prince was a way off in terms of showing up on the music stage, this makes me think of his New Power Generation era. It's a killer rocker with some much great party texture to it.
Nothin' Good Comes Easy
There are hints of country and folk music here. This is more of a mainstream rock song. It's a classy tune.
Infinite Peace in Rhythm
This has an intriguing dichotomy to the sound. There is a soulful section mid-track, but opening movement has more of an energetic psychedelic rock vibe. This really feels a lot like Todd Rundgren to me in a lot of ways.
Paradise / Sides
There is a dreamy kind of soaring psychedelic rock groove to the first half of this. It makes me think of something John Lennon might have released. The second half is an acoustic guitar based movement that definitely lands in the vein of progressive rock.
Diamond Eyes
Psychedelic rock with some soul in the mix, this is accessible and very tasty. Somehow it makes me think of what you might get if the pre "Staying Alive" Bee Gees worked with The Doobie Brothers.
Modern Love
I dig the rocking riff that starts this thing. It quickly turns funky as this drives forward. This is a classy rocker that works quite well. The closing section really ups the funk factor.
Let's Do It Together Again
More of a mainstream rock song, this is energized and fun. It still has some funk in the mix.
Can't Tell One from Another
There is a ton of country music and more in the mix here. Folk music is a big factor here, too. Yet all of those things are a big part of 70s rock (think of acts like The Eagles) so this is decidedly 1970s rock.
J.A.P. (Just Another Punk)
Power pop and glam are on the menu here. There are definite hints of things like Mott the Hoople and David Bowie here.
Chainsaw
In a nod to the very first Edgar Winter Group album, they close this disc with an instrumental. This one has some weird shifts and changes built into it. It's a powerhouse jam that feels just a bit like "Frankenstein," but is nothing anywhere close to a copy of it. There is plenty of progressive and space rock built into this number.
Bonus Tracks
             
Diamond Eyes (Single Edit)

I'm sure you know what this is.

Diamond Eyes (Mono Edit)
Here we have a mono version of the previous track.
People Music (Mono Edit)
The final bonus track on this disc is another mono take on an earlier cut.
Disc 6
                     
Edgar Winter's White Trash - Recycled (1977)
It had been six years since the previous studio album from Edgar Winter's White Trash, and the sound had matured and moved more from old school soul to powerhouse 1970s funk in that hiatus. That said, there is still some of the older sound on some of the tunes, but it all seems to be modernized a bit.
Puttin' It Back
A powerhouse funk groove, the horns lend a lot to the sound of this number.
Leftover Love
Soul music is the idea here. This has a more 70s leaning concept of that genre than the first album from this outfit did. I dig the horns on this track, and the whole groove works well.
Shake It Off
Fast paced funk opens this number. The horns join as it drives forward. This one is a bit more old school, feeling a bit like James Brown mixed with Earth Wind and Fire and Parliament to me. This does earn a very minor parental advisory on the only line of lyrics. The saxophone solo on this is on fire.  I dig the guitar solo a lot, too. This song is just so much fun.
Stickin' It Out
I like the almost disco funky groove here. There is some cool guitar work bring a driving rock edge to parts of it.
New Wave
Old school R&B is on the menu here. This is bouncy and catchy. It features a sea of voices. It's a fun number that has a lot of blues and gospel in the mix. The wailing saxophone adds a lot to the mix here.
Open Up
I love the energy and groove of this soulful number. It's catchy and a lot of fun. The up-tempo section later really brings the gospel home.
Parallel Love
A cool jazzy texture brings this into being. This more than anything lands under fusion, really. It's quite a tasty tune with some great hooks and killer saxophone work. I like the guitar solo a lot, too.
The In and Out of Love Blues
This cut is an old school blues meets jazz jam that's incredibly cool. In fact, this is one of my favorite pieces of the entire six-disc set. That really says a lot. This doesn't break any original ground, but it's just so tasty.
Competition
A fast paced funky number, there is a lot of jazz in the mix here. This is a powerhouse cut that works so well. The powerhouse jam later in the track is on fire and really brings the funk home to roost with a lot of jazz built into the nest. The closing moments turn into a real freak out section.
Bonus Tracks
             
Stickin' It Out (Mono Edit)

You know what this is, right?

Stickin' It Out (Single Edit)
The final track on the whole set is the stereo version of the single cut of "Stickin' It Out"
 
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