George Thorogood & the Destroyers

Bad to the Bone

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George Thorogood was, is and always will be a bar band rocker at heart. On his first major label record 1982's "Bad to the Bone" made for Capitol, he and his tight-as-duck-feathers band don't change a single note of their hard rocking, beer guzzling sound. Only the size of the bar has changed; Thorogood's slide stings like a big and nasty bee, his voice is as dude-next-door as always, the rhythm section favors brute force over subtlety at all times and Hank Carter blows a marvelously yakky post-Clemons sax. They cover classic slabs of American rock and blues like the Isley Brothers' "Nobody But Me," Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place to Go," John Lee Hooker's "New Boogie Chillun," soulful ballads like Jimmy Reed's "It's a Sin" and Albert King's "As the Years Go Passing By," and most surprisingly, a restrained and almost thoughtful version of Bob Dylan's ballad "Wanted Man." The originals are good, too, with suitably raw rocker "Back to Wentzille" leading things off and the huge, timeless hit "Bad to the Bone" providing the albums' highlight. Next to Move It on Over, this is Thorogood's finest work and established him as one of the unsung heroes of the age of AOR.

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