Yes, I do. Now, I wonder how much of the sentence “some of his early stuff is actually quite good” I can get out before you hit the back button on your browser. You seem to be still reading, so…
George and his band the Poppets (later the Destroyers) went into the studio to record what would have been their debut album, Better than the Rest, in 1974. It’s an album of blues covers from the likes of John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon, and while it certainly isn’t better than the rest, or even some of the rest, it’s alright.
I guess that’s why MCA decided not to release it until 1979 after he had two solid albums of cheese under his belt from the previous two years. “We don’t want to confuse people with this quality music, George,” said his R and A man, Les Befriends. “You want to win over the musical heartland of America, you gotta play real crap.” So, the album was shelved for five years.
Tucked away on side 2 are two tracks featuring George solo, playing slide guitar and singing. These are, I must say, really quite fine. I’ve posted them both here as well as my own version of Huckle Up Baby, which I make sound kind of folksy because I just can’t play blues very well. Miss Me When I’m Gone also features me on the bass. I don’t know whether it adds anything but it was fun to do.
- Mp3 – George Thorogood – Huckle Up Baby (by John Lee Hooker)
- Mp3 – George Thorogood / GSS – Miss Me When I’m Gone (by Eddie Jones)
- Mp3 – Great Southern Steve – Huckle Up Baby (by John Lee Hooker)
Whose version of Huckle Up do you like more?
And more importantly, who do you think would win in a fight?
My money is on me. He’s quite old now…
(Satire impairment warning: “Les Befriends” does not exist, nor did he ever say either of those things. And lots of people probably really like George’s first two albums. I’m just not one of them.)