Mungo Jerry

Boot Power

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Mungo Jerry's first album following the departure of Paul King (already onto his second album by the time this was released), Boot Power's imposing skinhead cartoon cover is an exact match for the music within. Fears that the recent departures (keyboard player Colin Earl departed alongside King) might disrupt the band altogether were dashed when "Open Up" emerged to give them their fourth undisputed classic hit single; indeed, with his control over Mungo Jerry's creative output now complete, Ray Dorset was finally free to expand the group in the directions he saw fit, a lusty, lucid, but most of all good-time party band whose folky jug roots were intact only till the beer ran out. After that, anything could happen -- and usually did. The five-plus-minute "Demon," the revisited "Lady Rose," and the plaintive, wrecked "Looking for My Girl" all trail "Open Up" to the album's peak, but in truth, the group barely put a foot wrong all album, turning in a set that didn't simply please the fans, it absolutely astonished the critics. Sales were low, however, and morale in the band turned out to be lower. It would be four long years, just a couple more hits, and a near-fatal deluge of obituary-writing best-ofs before another Mungo Jerry album finally appeared, by which time Boot Power's brilliance was ancient history -- and its artwork seemed even more archaic. The album was worth a lot more than that.

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