Friday, 9 August 2019

The Honeydrippers - The Honeydrippers: Volume One (1984)

  

Released on 24 September 1984

Running time 17.56

This was a surprise experiment between Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Nile Rodgers - a brief, five track EP of bluesy/early rock 'n' roll done to present Atlantic Records' President Ahmet Ertegun with recordings of some of his favourite late fifties songs. Apparently, Plant was appalled that the crooning "Sea Of Love" became a hit, instead of the upbeat "Rockin' At Midnight", thinking it would ruin his solo career. He needn't have worried, people just enjoyed it for what it was. The EP is only a short blast, but it is a pleasure from the first note to the last.

TRACK LISTING

1. I Get A Thrill
2. Sea Of Love
3. I Got A Woman 
4. Young Boy Blues
5. Rockin' At Midnight                                       

"I Get A Thrill" is a lively, infectious piece of jazzy, shuffling rockabilly. Very sort of Stray Cats-ish in its big rubbery bass line. Robert Plant does his best late fifties Elvis and there is a killer guitar solo in the middle too. I have to say I really like this. The classic ballad "Sea Of Love" is orchestrated with sweeping strings and backing vocals Plant's vocal is surprisingly good and, of course there is also some great guitar.

Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman" is a delight as well, with another addictive rhythm and some strong horns and saxophone driving it along. It rocks from beginning to end, superbly. "Young Boy Blues" is packed full of fifties romantic strings. Plant sounds vaguely like Freddie Mercury in places. "Rockin' At Midnight" is excellent, the sort of thing you wouldn't be surprised to hear Plant doing on the Jools Holland Show. It is powered by pumping horns and stand up, deep bass. Great stuff. The live version, from Birmingham NEC in 1985, of the same track included as a bonus is as good as you would expect it to be.

As I said at the beginning, this short collection is just very enjoyable - loose, fun and immaculately executed.

B+

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