Robert Gordon

Bad Boy

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Robert Gordon did here what rockabilly artists weren't supposed to do (at least not and survive with their talent intact): he grew. With a slightly more restrained approach, a reach to some U.K.-spawned rockabilly-style classics like "Bad Boy" and "A Picture of You," and the surprisingly subtle addition of a dozen more players to his usual sound, he generated one of the best mature rockabilly albums ever done. Not everything comes off perfectly, particularly John D. Loudermilk's "Torture," which seems a little too cute for its own good and can't sustain itself for its length, but everything else works beautifully, with highlights including the title cut, "A Picture of You," "Uptown," and "Crazy Man Crazy." Guitarist Chris Spedding's virtuosity is also showcased to great effect, offering several different and highly potent rock & roll voices in the space of these 11 cuts.

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