Friday, 14 September 2018

The Flamin' Groovies - Jumpin' In The Night (1979)


  

Released July 1979

Recorded in England

By 1979, the sixties guitar pop revivalist groove of The Flamin' Groovies was starting to wear a bit thin. From 1976 to 1979 they certainly had some glory years on the coat-tails of punk and new wave, but, as energetic and enjoyable as this album undoubtedly is, maybe the writing was on the wall.

The title track is a rousing Dr. Feelgood-esque rocker, while "Next One Crying" is so John Lennon circa "Imagine" its barely believable. Despite that, however, I can't help but enjoy it. "First Plane Home" sounds, for me, like The Rolling Stones from the mid sixties meets mod-revivalists Secret Affair. It has a big, pounding rock sound, though. "In The USA" is a Chuck Berry derivative with a Status Quo-sounding vocal delivery and riffery to it. "Down Down Down" is very much in the style of previous producer Dave Edmunds. New producer Roger Bechirian went on to produce Elvis Costello's "Trust" in 1981 and you can hear influences from this on that album. "Yes I Am" is a solid, punchy mid-tempo rock number of its time.

Now it's time for the covers. Warren Zevon's "Werewolves Of London" is ok, but it loses some of its piano-driven appeal and becomes a plodding rocker. The Byrd's "It Won't Be Wrong" is strong and solid, but was there any need for Byrd's covers in 1979? The Beatles' "Please Please Me" is as rocky as it should be. I remember The Groovies playing this live and it was excellent. "Tell Me Again" is a Groovies original with a Tom Petty feel to it.

Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" is actually very convincingly covered, at breakneck speed with swirling organ and frantic drums. It's great. The Byrds' "5D" and "Lady Friend" are both enjoyable, but, as I said, was there any need for them? The Flamin' Groovies would not release another album for eight years.

C+


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