Edgar Winter

Extended Versions

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This album, one of a series under the Extended Versions rubric, is misleadingly named. The implication is that the material on this set of Winter-Derringer hits and bits has been re-recorded in the studio, but actually everything comes from a live performance in Tokyo, Japan. Even "extended" is something of a euphemism: "dragged out" would be more like it. The classic example is the closer, "Frankenstein," Winter's number one hit from 1973. Clocking in at 14:18, this once-mighty instrumental is all but strangled with irksome filler, including one of the most ordinary drum solos in the history of recorded music, and a bunch of synth blipping that goes nowhere. Virtually all of the material on the disc suffers from a similar fate. Originally, the McCoys' (Rick Derringer's first band) 1965 hit "Hang on Sloopy" and Derringer's solo breakthrough hit "Rock & Roll, Hootchie Koo" were pretty flashy songs. Here they're overplayed and, consequently, their original pop allure is severely diluted. Even Derringer's guitar work, while at times crisp and sharp, often devolves into directionless noodling. Likewise, "Keep Playin' That Rock & Roll," "Free Ride," and "Teenage Love Affair" were all good songs in their day. But these renditions do nothing for them. Factor in that this concert recording is so completely devoid of atmosphere that it comes off sounding like there are 20 people in the room and, well, it's just egg on the floor. Fans of these accomplished artists would be far better served by purchasing one of their best-of collections or heyday albums. No, Extended Versions isn't a horrible record, just pretty bland and completely pointless.

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