Flamin' Groovies

Bust Out at Full Speed: The Sire Years

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When the Flamin' Groovies started out in 1967, they were a glorious anomaly -- a San Francisco rock band that, in the midst of the era of peace and flowers, adopted the philosophy "Uh, yeah, that psychedelic stuff's all right, I suppose, but what about some rock AND ROLL?" By 1976, after a number of significant personnel changes and busted record deals, the Flamin' Groovies signed a new contract with Sire Records and debuted a new and more modern musical approach -- instead of sounding as if their influences stopped at 1961, the Groovies now sounded like the newest British hitmakers to follow the Beatles onto the American record charts in 1965. Between 1976 and 1979, the Brit-influenced edition of the Flamin' Groovies led by Cyril Jordan recorded three albums for Sire that became their best-known work in the United States, and Bust Out at Full Speed: The Sire Years collects remastered versions of all three in a single box set. Released in 1976, Shake Some Action was the first and best of the three discs; Jordan's originals (including the classic title track) meshed seamlessly with the covers, and Dave Edmunds' production gave the performances the right period feel without forcing the issue. Flamin' Groovies Now followed in 1978, and while the group sounded better than ever in the studio, the shortage of exceptional original tunes made it feel more like an EP that was filled out to full length. The final album for Sire, Jumpin' in the Night, showcased some of Jordan's best rockers (including the grand stomp of the title track), but the problem with covers that dogged Now was only exacerbated here, with no less than three Byrds classics reinterpreted on side two. While the Flamin' Groovies always had trouble making an album that fired on all cylinders from beginning to end, they rarely made a record that wasn't at least a kick to hear, and all three of the albums on Bust Out at Full Speed are great fun for anyone who digs rock with a retro touch. DBK Works have given all three LPs superb remastering by Gary Hobbish that's a major improvement over their previous incarnations, as well as glossy graphics and good liner notes (Alec Palao penned solid historical essays for Shake Some Action and Now, while Jumpin' in the Night features an appreciation from loyal fan Steve Wynn). All three discs are available individually from DBK Works, but Groovies fans of the "in for a penny, in for a pound" persuasion will find this a great way to fill out their collections.

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