Thursday, 13 September 2018

The Flamin' Groovies - Now (1978)

A whole lot better....


Released September 1978

Recorded at Rockfield Studios, South Wales

Now firmly seen as part of the "new wave", this follow-up to "Shake Some Action" was pretty much more of the same mid-sixties influenced jangly guitar "power pop". There are a lot more cover versions on this album, however, making one wonder if the group were treading water somewhat.


1. A Whole Lot Better
2. Between The Lines
3. Ups And Downs
4. Move It
5. Take Me Back
6. Reminiscing
7. Good Laugh Mun
8. Yeah My Baby
9. House Of Blue Lights
10. Blue Turns To Grey
11. Paint It, Black
12. All I Wanted
13. Don't Put Me On
14. There's A Place                                    

The Byrds' "A Whole Lot Better" is a convincing cover to start with, though, and "Between The Lines", although an original song, sound so much like The Byrds so as to almost be a cover. There are hints of early Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The Dylanesque rock of "Ups And Downs", a cover  from a group called Paul Revere And The Raiders, who I have no knowledge of is delivered with a punky swagger. Cliff Richard's "Move It" is covered excellently with a huge drum sound. Overall the sound is much better on this album than on the previous one. "Take Me Back" is a Beatles-esque mid tempo rocker with a Searchers/Byrds riff. "Reminiscing" is a King Curtis cover and is delivered in a punchy, bluesy style.

"Good Laugh Mun" is another harmonious Byrds/"Aftermath" era Rolling Stones influenced number. "Yeah My Baby" has a Velvet Underground-style intro, sort of like "Waiting For My Man", with some slight T. Rex riffage in there too at one point. "House Of Blue Light" is a great rocker. "Blue Turns To Grey" is a good cover of a Rolling Stones rarity, but "Paint It, Black" is too well known in its original form to work quite as well. "All I Wanted" is lively and Beatles-esque with some killer guitar in the middle. "Don't Put Me On" is an excellent one, one of my favourites. Finally, The Beatles' comparative rarity, "There's A Place" is lively and appealing.

To be honest, there was so much new, vibrant creativity around in the late seventies that a group so retro in its approach was not really necessary. That is probably why The Groovies didn't really make it fully. Listening to them now, however, they sound great. Like a sixties group though.


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