Willie "Loco" Alexander

Willie Loco Boom Boom Ga Ga, 1975-1991

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Released a year after the French label New Rose issued Fifteen Years of Rock & Roll With Willie Alexander, this is pretty much the same album with different cover art and some track discrepancies. It, of course, being a year older is Willie "Loco" presenting 16 years of his solo work. None of the material from the Bagatelle on ABC Dunhill, the Lost on Capitol, or his Boom Boom Band work released on MCA appears here, with the exception of "Dirty Eddie," the song considered "too dirty" to put out on either MCA release, it stands as a testament to what could have been had producer Craid Leon just let Willie be Willie. Boom Boom Ga Ga, references to some of Alexander's scat remarks and his wonderfully juvenile promotional scribblings -- "ga ga rock" -- taking this musical form back to its primal stages, is vindication for Alexander in the same way that Didi Stewart's One True Heart (not coincidentally, on the same record company) made her statement away from the politics of her major group and difficult business relationships. Both Alexander and Didi Stewart are true artists, and prime examples of how the business can stand in the way of important art. The art is here, from his regional hit single with Erik Lindgren which opens both the European and American versions of this disc, "In the Pink," to "Kerouac" and "Mass. Ave., his two Stephan Lovelace-produced local singles. The late Stephan Baerenwald, brother to Robin Lane & the Chartbuster's Scott Baerenwald, was the perfect producer for El Loco. His works of genius, the "You Looked So Pretty When" and "Hit Her Wid De Axe" singles included on the American release, but not the French. The two Garage Records 45's which were the demos that landed him his MCA contract, and the single "Gin," which got him the New Rose/RCA deal, are picture perfect moments in Willie Alexander's career. The fans of Loco may take this album for granted, having heard the songs so many times live and on previous releases, but for the world at large, Boom Boom Ga Ga is important history of a man with incredible musical depth and insight. It exists through sheer hard work and years of relentless performing. The live versions of "Pup Tune" and "At the Rat" from the Live at the Rat album are two other key moments in the career, as is "In the Pink." This is actually an extension of 1985's Willie Alexander's Greatest Hits which came out on Fan Club/New Rose in Paris, and because his catalog is so extensive, the 22 tracks make it more accurate than the single LP, but far from comprehensive. Some day Willie "Loco" Alexander will have the six-CD boxed set that he deserves, one of America's great underground heroes who has a catalog so vast and so musical that it is scary.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:47
2 2:36
3 4:07
4 3:07
5 2:39
6 2:50
7 2:43
8 4:15
9 3:17
10
3:10
11
2:51
12 3:11
13 3:05
14
3:41
15 3:16
16 3:51
17 4:01
18 2:39
19 3:39
20 3:52
21 3:39
22 4:03
blue highlight denotes track pick