Monday, March 5, 2007

Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action

This 1976 album is a cornerstone of Beatles-esque power-pop. Highly melodic, clean-guitar driven, at turns upbeat and moody, this is THE album that secured the Flamin' Groovies a place at the top of the list of best British Invasion albums ever (even though they're American and 10 years late). The title track is reason enough to get this album. Also, the wonderful "You Tore Me Down", which Yo La Tengo later covered on their Fakebook album. Reviewby Mark Deming

A lot had happened with the Flamin' Groovies in the nearly five years that separated the epochal Teenage Head album and their return to American record racks with Shake Some Action. The Groovies lost their record deal with Buddah, lead singer Roy Loney had quit the band leaving Cyril Jordan as uncontested leader, and they had spent a lot of time in Europe, building a significant following in the United Kingdom. As a result, the Flamin' Groovies on Shake Some Action almost sound like a different band, albeit one driven by a similar obsession with the utter coolness of pre-hippie rock & roll. (The fact that Jordan and bassist George Alexander were the only holdovers from the Teenage Head lineup probably had a lot to do with the different approach as well.) The rawer blues and rockabilly accents were gone from the Groovies' sound, with the guitar-fueled cool of the British Invasion era taking their place. While this version of the Flamin' Groovies didn't rock out with the same manic fervor as they did on Flamingo or Teenage Head, they could indeed rock when they felt so inclined, as demonstrated by the glorious "Please Please Girl," "I Can't Hide," and "Let the Boy Rock and Roll," while the Brit-flavored take on "St. Louis Blues" showed that some shades of the old band were still visible. And the title cut was a stunner -- a brilliant evocation of the adventurous side of British rock circa 1966, "Shake Some Action" was tough, moody, wounded, and gloriously melodic all at once, and by its lonesome served as a superb justification for the Groovies' new creative direction. If Shake Some Action was the first salvo from the new and improved Flamin' Groovies, it also demonstrated that this edition of the band had as much promise as the Loney-fronted group.


Stream "Shake Some Action"

Stream "You Tore me Down"


Anthony Clark said...

Shake Some Action was the Flamin’ Groovies finest hour - fact. A great, and sadly underrated, band that should rightly have been a garlanded success rather than a celebrated footnote to music history.

However, ex-front man, Chris Wilson is going back into the studio very soon to start work on a new album. For more details see:

elflaming74 said...

gracias por este álbum. Estoy empezando un blog "Sin Ton NI Song"(")Utilizo tu enlace del disco y enlazo tu blog a esta entrada. Gracias otra vez!!!(si no lo deseas eliminaré la entrada inmediatamente) Espero seguir linkeando en tu blog!!!

huskyfrk said...

they set the standard for merseybeat bands, ahead of the knack , and the rest of the skinney tie set. a very much underrated songwriting team of jordan/wilson. only now in 2010 and 11 are the groovies getting airplay on little stevens show.. 30 years too late.

huskyfrk said...

a standard to shot for as far as merseybeat bands are concerned. equal to or better then big star, The Knack, plimsouls. the shoes

huskyfrk said...

a standard to shot for as far as merseybeat bands are concerned. equal to or better then big star, The Knack, plimsouls. the shoes

R.Treacher said...

It's where Badfinger meets Big Star...peppered with a dash of Mersey. Although I would have wished greater success from this album both commercially as well as monetarily, I feel (selfishly) that it has kept its luster purely because of it's low-level of public notoriety. So much great music has been bastardized...this remains unspoiled.