Lets Talk About Us - Dave Edmunds - Get It
Label: Swan Song - SS 8418 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Rock & Roll, Classic Rock
Can traditional rock'n'roll survive in the modern world? As long as Dave Edmunds is around, the answer will be yes. A rousing singer, superlative guitarist and wizard producer, the Welsh native has preserved the simplicity and directness of '50s rock without ever sounding like a slavish revivalist.
Along the way, he's also performed tricks with country music and even Phil Spector's elaborate constructions. Edmunds has had his ups and downs on record, but the one Lets Talk About Us - Dave Edmunds - Get It he's never been is pretentious.
As a singer, guitarist and producer, he has generally invested even his most derivative output with a good deal of his own energy, and has never fallen back on mere genre-mongering. While his recording career has had its share of artistic ups and downs, Edmunds has consistently demonstrated a solid grasp of the fundamental emotional appeal of the styles he emulates. Dave prefaced his solo career with two LPs as the leader of manic blues-psychedelic trio Love Sculpture. Edmunds made his first solo album, Rockpileto capitalize on his worldwide smash single, a one-man remake of "I Hear You Knockin'," the classic Dave Bartholomew number from the mid-'50s.
This LP established the boundaries of the first phase of his solo career: a Chuck Berry tune, a Willie Dixon blues, a country stomp by Neil Young, no less and so on.
Bythe unprolific Fool Boona - Hellfire (98 Remix) had a few more UK hits and enough other odds and ends to assemble another LP; unfortunately Subtle as a Flying Mallet doesn't hold together. The Everly Brothers' "Leave My Woman Alone" and a few other individual tracks work, but this is otherwise a largely lifeless record.
Two tracks recorded live The Lark Ascending - Various - Classic Hits 3 - 50 Unbeatable Tracks Brinsley Schwarz point to the end of Edmunds' hibernation in the studio.
The arrangement was ideal, giving Edmunds access to a sympathetic and witty writing partner Lowe as well as a crack band. Although Dave still laid down a lot of the tracks unaided, Get It lets air into the musty old room of Edmunds' musical mind. Tracks on Wax 4 hardens and intensifies the attack, fully freeing Edmunds from the negative aspects of his nostalgic leanings.
On Tracks on Wax 4Rockpile drives Dave to new heights of rock'n'roll glory. Perhaps his best effort, Repeat When Necessary follows the course set by Tracks on Waxwith a bit of country sweetening.
Following the acrimonious breakup of Rockpile, Edmunds rushed out Twangin Despite the presence of a few pearls, this is clearly an inferior patchwork. Outtakes deserve to remain outtakes. The return to the claustrophobic one-man-band sound of his early days is Lets Talk About Us - Dave Edmunds - Get It disheartening. The Best of Dave Edmundsthirteen tracks from the four Swan Song LPs, makes no chronological sense, but offers an impressive musical overview.
In the years since Rockpile's dissolution, Edmunds has cast about fitfully, trying out various directions with mixed results. After that encouraging effort, Edmunds inexplicably put himself in the hands of machine-pop mastermind Jeff Lynne, whose wholly inappropriate production and songwriting contributions make for baffling listening on Information and Riff Raff. Though neither album is as dreadful as Edmunds devotees would have you believe each actually contains a Lets Talk About Us - Dave Edmunds - Get It of memorable tracksthey're symptomatic of the malaise that dogged Edmunds' recording career for much of the '80s.
Oddly enough, Edmunds did some of his best post-Rockpile work on the soundtrack for an obnoxious teen-flick sequel, Porky's Revenge : he contributed three new tunes and produced and played on tracks by George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Clarence Clemons and former Swan Song mentor Robert Plant.
Edmunds touches all the obvious bases with little fanfare save some intrusive synthesizerreprising the better half of his Swan Song compilation while adding "I Hear You Knocking," "Information," "Paralyzed," "Slipping Away" Fancy Seeing You Here - The Easybeats - Falling Off The Edge Of The World a fine reading of Dion's "The Wanderer. Edmunds' artistic productivity may have dipped in the mid-'80s, but his career as a producer stayed hot all decade.
He guided the latter-day Stray Cats to the top of the charts and fulfilled a longstanding ambition of working with the Everly Brothers by producing their comeback album. He produced k. Edmunds took another extended hiatus from record-making before re-emerging four years later with the surprisingly spry Plugged Ina return to his claustrophobic but cost-effective one-man-studio-band approach. This time, Edmunds manages to get engaging music out of the mechanical rhythms that weighed down his Lynne collaborations.
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