Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Long John Baldry

More than overdue I need to get this posted - I remember my older sister’s favorite album with the baby faced Elton John and Rod Stewart on the back cover, and Ron Wood in the credits. "Hey you would like this," she said one day handing it off to me nonchalantly. I took care of my records and she new I was playing the daylights out of the Allman Brothers "Beginnings". “Hey who's this Leadbelly guy?” What do you want from a 14 year old? Well in one listen back in 1974 I have never, ever heard a better rendition or scarcely a better song than Flying. "Since we all know the lyrics can we lower the lights" Ka-Boom – right between the eyes man you have to believe, and then the magic appears. If John did nothing else in his entire life the album "It Ain't Easy" is a gem, a milestone, a scorching rock n’ blues album for all time. You won't see it on Rolling Stone's Top 100 list. That is why I am long over due in posting something about it. Through my decade on the air it was a special show when I cautiously pulled it from its paper sleeve and spun any one of the original ten tracks - including "Conditional Discharge into Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock n’ Roll”

They were all favorites "Let's Burn Down The Cornfield" indeed. How about “let's melt down the mixing board” or “lets scorch up the turn table” or “lets fire up the air ways.” It was my secret weapon my hurricane of musical righteousness when I wanted to jolt the Phil Collins Wham decade out of their pop slumber and serve up something real! This album combines everything I love about music - passion – smart lyrics - story telling - hammering blues - gritty playing - traditional covers – keyboards, sax, harp, righteousness (Mr. Rubin), soul and inspiration. This is serious. I am not just blowing smoke. This may be song for song the greatest rock n' roll album I have ever heard.

If you are not aware of it then check it out and if you are dust it off again. If you are on the air play it, all of it, and often. To give you an idea of how revered this album is the original shrink wrap while obviously ripped open is still attached to the sleeve (from 1971?). It’s not tight enough to warp the album or loose enough to fall off. From the first play no one was throwing anything of this album away.

Thank you John Baldry wherever you are! Reaching through from the infinite I hope you somehow hear my finite words of praise and thanks. When you walk into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame this album cover should be one of the first ones that greet you! If you don’t see it ask them and then tell them to get a clue. Go to his web site and read up on the details and order your copy with new tracks I haven't heard yet - oh my.....

It Ain't Easy - Long John Baldry


Jeff Thomas said...

The late, great and dear John Baldry would be flattered. I am, and I only wrote a few of his songs.

Jeff Thomas said...

The late, great and dear John Baldry would be flattered. I am, and I only wrote a few of his songs.

Paul Burke said...

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Leave me a link so I can explore your music.