Snowman rules when he posts all his findings in one month. So this morning when I saw John’s post I thought, “Well maybe todays the day I nick John’s idea and run with it, for this month anyway!”
HEY FOLK’S… This week it’s a couple of Black Crowes reviews that are on tap and Mikey Ladano is onboard as well with a couple of reviews of the same album over at his site. In other words it’s “DOUBLEHEADER TIME”.. Click the link below/pour yourself a beverage of your choice and enjoy some fine reading…
You know Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell who played the Ivories on Shake Your Money Maker must have told his bosses Mick & Keef about the Black Crowes. Wonder if the Glimmer Twins heard this album before it hit the streets for mass consumption back in January 1990?
If so I betcha Keef lost his shit when he heard that opening riff of Stare It Cold as Crowes guitarists Rich Robinson and Jeff Cease sound like a jacked up version of Richards/Wood? That opening riff has so much muscle…Ok I’m getting way ahead here ….
So It was the release of this album I came across in one of my weekly jaunts to the record store(Jan/90) and came across SYMM on CD in the new release bin.
It easily caught my attention as these 5 dudes on the cover looked rock and well it was a no brainer and I got money in my pocket burnin a hole so there ya go! (wish I could say that now!) I think I may have seen a bit of promotion in the magazines about this disc but it was little…Boy would that change in a few months!
My first impression on listening to Money Maker was how Stonesy like it was. I read later in reviews as well that it had an element of The Faces but I can’t really comment as I’m not a Faces fan…so we go with the Stones vibe but with a more amped up sound!
George Drakoulias captures the sound of the Crowes brilliantly on the debut and funny thing was when this album took off Rick Rubins name was added as co producer as Rubin owned the label but had really nothing to do with the production of this album which irked singer Chris Robinson. Actually you have to hand it to Chris as once this album started moving units The Crowes were invited to open for ZZ Top but once Chris started saying that it sucked that some bands needed corporate sponsorship to promote a tour( ZZ was sponsored by Miller Beer for their 1990-91 Tour. I can back Chris up as when I caught this tour the ZZ shirt underneath the Tour dates on the back had Miller as a sponsor. Kinda irked me but hey I’m the ding-dong who bought the T in the first place!) The Crowes were punted off the ZZ tour. ZZ canned em in Atlanta (Crowes turf)
Twice As Hard opens the album and from the outset you know this badboy is gonna be jammed with bunch of Riffs and a ton of Rolls! Cease and Rich drive forward with there playing and drummer Steve Gorman keeps the Crowes movin along. Chris has a bit of a southern rasp in his voice which is quite frankly Awesome. Real good put together straight ahead opening tune!
Wow man did this song take off eh? Jealous Again is track 2 and once again it’s a riff that starts the track. This is the tune I betcha Keef would say he wish he had written! The guitars play almost in a chill like vibe and ramp up with that Stonesy vibe during the chorus!
Sister Luck. Plain and simple another real slick like track. Jeff and Rich inner channel once again Keef/Ronnie and this song just drifts along and Chris sings it perfectly. Awesome Chorus!
Could I Have Been So Blind kicks the doors off its hinges with a super-duper coolness and its the Crowes taking the party and moving on.
Seeing Things is a great track! Seeing things for the first time! It may take a while as Chris lyrics say but it will be more evident as time passes on! Gorman keeps the train a moving so this track doesn’t dip into Sapville! JellyFish!
Gorman lays down the groove and were off with Hard To Handle (Otis Redding Cover) and this song was everywhere in the Summer of 91. Great beat played but the fella’s and I like that little snippet of when the tempo picks up right before the verse! Pretty cool Crowes on the road video that was shot of the Crowes to plug this tune!
Got a chainsaw buzzin’/Who’s that cussin’? and this is the opening line to the fantastic Thick N Thin! Clocking in at 2 minutes 44 seconds and it’s the Crowes rolling up with plenty of riffs n spiffs and along with Colts bass line and Steve driving the drums this track is a scorcher. Cease and Rich’s guitars are fired up on this album.
She Talks To Angels features the acoustic guitars that are in the forefront and its the Crowes spreading there wings and the track must be about a long-lost friend who succumbed to addictions. This track was a big single as well.
Struttin Blues another straight ahead rocker that features a nice Hammond Organ rocking along with the boys. 4 on the Floor stomper of a track!
Remember about what I had written in the first paragraph of this review about being jacked up with a cool riff that Keef and Ronnie would and wish they could devour? This is indeed time for Stare It Cold. Big and I mean Big riffs along with Gorman snare drum that sounds like a shot being fired along with the big Bass drum propel this tune into utter coolness! This is one of the Crowes finest tracks I have ever heard! Love the Verses/Chorus/Solo’s and cue end of song crazy jam out mashup of everyone including Chris whose about to unravel at the speed of the song. Whooooosh! So good, that opening riff is pure gold! My CD has some creep out eery what the hell it is tied to the end of this track…hahaha…Silly Crowes …
When you talk about killer debut albums in the rock spectre SYMM has to be included as there are no dud’s on this album. I’m sure these songs were built from the rehearsal space into the bar stages and into the recording studio where the sonics captured the rest!
The playing on this record is infectious. Must make note of the guitars of Robinson and Cease. They intertwine each other so well and of course when this tour wrapped up Cease got the heave-ho to be replaced by Marc Ford. Shame really for Cease as everyone loses their shit over Ford and his playing on the follow-up to Moneymaker(myself included) but give it up for him. Hell I would think this is the best-selling album in the Crowes catalogue so that’s gotta stand for something correct?
Check back round these parts this upcoming Friday when myself and Mikey drop down another review….
Darr I have known for about as long as I have known Tbone and there’s a simple explanation for that and the answer would be that Darr is TBones younger brother( not by much though!)
Darr growing up got the knowledge of all good things Rock from myself and Tbone! Basically it worked like this. I would buy the product. Than pass it on to Tbone and from the inner sanctum of Tbones Basement Bedroom Darr would hear and be and be captivated by the Sonics Of Rock ….
Like what I did to Tbone I loaded up a syringe of Roth Era Van Halen and shot Darr up ! From there he gathered up all things Rock(1987-88 or so) and found his own path. Digging around buying stuff and I would occasionally check in to see his growing Cassette Collection growing by leaps and bounds. After a short while I knew my work with Darr was done!
So here we are almost 30 years later and when I posted my Top 20 Albums on Facebook Darr delivered and real Super Duper List like along with his old brother as like all good friends do to another I called them out publicly!
After Darr posted to my FaceCrack page his Top 20 and we bantered a bit I knew I had to yammer about his selections.
Time To Dissect…..See Darr’s Top 20 Below….
The Cult Electric and Guns N Destruction just like Tbones and my list made the cut! 1987 Babee……
Aerosmiths Pump(1989) makes an appearance and why wouldn’t it? Its SoberAero but it still reeks some sleaze ball like slickness that is a classic for sure and just like the Aero albums of Toys In The Attic and Rocks. Steve-o and Joe put the ballad right at the end of the album and I’m real fuckin good with this move! Not a dud on this album and as we had all seen this tour in Winnipeg(March 1990) that may have swayed Darr somewhat but make no bones about Pump! It’s a bonfide classic!
Like his older brother,Darr selected ZZ Tops Eliminator and this little Texas Nugget rocks bad ass! ZZ Nation is alive and well with the brothers in Tbay!
Heres something that Darr pulled out of the Rule box and was a pure genius move! He selected Two Van Halen Albums! Now the rules were you couldn’t pick two albums by the same band so Darr picked the Van Halen debut(1978) with Dave Roth singing and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)with Sammy Hagar singing. True its the same band in name but two different animals in the studio! Van Halens debut is the juggernaut of Guitar Brilliance and the Vocal Shenanigans of Roth while F.U.C.K is Sam fueled with his own spin on tunes like the immortal Poundcake,Right Now and how could we forget Spank! HA! Not to be outdone Darr even selected Dave’s Eat Em And Smile as a Top 20 ….Well Played Darr….
Whitesnake before that Crazy Cougar slid all over hoods of cars made Darr’s list with Slide It In!(1984) Great add Darr as the late great Cozy Powell slams those drums and you have John Sykes( playing chill before he’s let loose a few years later on the 1987 album) along with others like Jon Lord and David Coverdale singing about everything Sex,Sex and more Sex! Hey Sex sells so Slide It In!
AC/DC take Darr on the Highway To Hell(1979) and He’s not coming back folks! Night Prowler,Get It Hot are some Gems there that never get discussed and they should! I need to review that bad boy someday!
Bryan Adams with Into The Fire resonated with Darr and this is another great surprise! This album at the time when released in 1987 kinda stalled publicly as it wasn’t Reckless Part Deux! Adams served up a change ball to us and for Darr he took the pitch! Atta Boy! Hearts On Fire from this album is one of the best tunes I think Adams ever wrote!
Bono and U2 make the grade and you can read my thoughts on TBones post about Achtung Baby(1991).
But a real deadly pick was The Black Crowes with Shake Your Money Maker(1990) Holeee Fudge Darr! This is easily a piece of Rock Gold! Those two wacky Robinson Brothers nailed this one out of the park and into the next decade,make that two and half decades and the album still cooks! Thick N Thin I just love ..no we love it all!
Like on a few lists Def Leppard shows up and for Darr Its pyro rock n roll with Pyromania (1983). What can I say about a album launching sonics into another stratosphere ….Man Oh MAN……
Darr does not leave the Canadian Rock behind and picks Rushs debut from 1974 with John Rutsey on the drums and Darr must have taken a shine to the throwback sound of the debut. Why Not? This little debut cooks quicker than Tbone frying Finnish Pancakes in the morning after a hard nights Drinkin!
Tragically Hip show up 20 years later after Rushs debut with Day For A Night(1994) and compared to my fav of the Hip Road Apples Day For Night is darker more moodier than Apples kinda like as if the Hip were to take a sledgehammer to a bag of Apples! Day For Night would come to fruition! Mopey Hip but it works! Grace Too is a beauty of a opener!
‘Here I Am I’m On The Scene’ so says Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar are here with 1998s Heated a mash-up of ZZ Top and Bob Marley with a huge dose of fuzzed up reggae like tones! Even Randy Bachman plays on Let it Ride and old BTO nugget that Bachman wrote…Sweet add as well….
Rest In Peace! Cupids Dead! Yup that would be Three Sides To Every Story(Yours, Mine And The Truth) by Extreme and can you once again say Shock A Roo! Darr dug deep into his Sonic LunchBook and Wowzers Nuno and Gary would be pleased to see this! Pretty impressive that back in Grunge 92 these boys could toss out a solid rock record and still have it sell….somewhat!
Dazed And Confused a soundtrack that features amongst others a whose who of Classic Rock! Sabbath,Kiss,Foghat,Cooper,Sweet! There all here…..crank it,drink it,snort it whatever it may be! Added bonus points to Mr Darr for this being the first Soundtrack on any list I seen! A round of Kudos please!
Darrs last couple of picks that I’m gonna talk about are real cool one of which I’m familiar with and one I’m not with…
Jack Whites Lazaretto just was released two years ago(2014) Too be honest my old buzzard mind has no idea about anything about this release but if Darr included It Lazaretto must be a Solid Ball Of Rock! Great pick and perhaps one I should seek out myself and Darr can load up the Sonic Syringe and shoot me up with a dose of Jack Rock!
Beastie Boys Paul Boutique came out in 1989 and I even bought this on cassette and it was a huge departure as for myself I was weened on Fight For Your Right To Party from 1986 but man The Beasties change-up the sonic atmosphere and well how about a round of applause for “Shake Yo Rump” Ha…love that tune Mega Pumping Bass! Darr not only stepped out of the box on these two albums but he kicked the snot out of the box! Well done Son!
Actually out of Darr’s Top 20 list I have only reviewed 4 of these 20 picks. So I hope you’s all dug it!