Thursday, 13 September 2018

The Flamin' Groovies - Now (1978)


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.

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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