Humble Pie

Hot 'n' Nasty: The Anthology

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Hot 'N' Nasty takes 31 tracks and spreads them across two discs, competently representing Humble Pie's blues boogie sound through the span of nine albums. Not only does this set compile the most worthy material from the band, but it also demonstrates how their sound changed slightly as the 1970s progressed. The first 11 tracks are taken from the band's first three albums, with the rare but worthwhile single "Big Black Dog" sandwiched in between. "Natural Born Woman," along with the brown-dirt gruffness of both "Buttermilk Boy" and "I'll Go Alone," are the best examples of Humble Pie in their early stages, while their self-titled album from a year later hands over the shaky "One-Eyed Trouser-Snake Rumba" and the rolly-polly enthusiasm of "Red Light Mama, Red Hot." Out of all the earlier material, 1971's Rock On was the weakest, although "Stone Cold Fever" and a shortened version of Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone" appears here as a couple of wise selections. Humble Pie's best song, the overly-energetic "I Don't Need No Doctor" from the Rockin' the Fillmore album is an obvious and welcomed insertion, with "Four Day Creep" and "I'm Ready" rounding out that album's input. Peter Frampton departed after the Fillmore release, and 1972's Smokin' introduced his replacement with Dave "Clem" Clempson. "Hot 'N' Nasty," "You're So Good for Me," and the nine-minute "I Wonder" are all taken from Smokin', which became their most successful album, gaining a number six spot on the album charts. The last eight cuts speak for Humble Pie's most disappointing albums, as the band somehow lost their homespun grittiness and their talent for producing abrasive, gut-heavy rock & roll. Only "Ninety-Nine Pounds" and "Road Hog" seem to carve any interest, with the latter coming from rather dismal Street Rats album, the group's last before they were reformed in 1981 by Steve Marriot and Jerry Shirley. An informative ramble through the band's career is also included in the form of a 20-page booklet, along with photos and detailed credits of each track. While a box-set may prove heartier, Hot 'N' Nasty provides a just-right assembly of Humble Pie's most essential morsels.

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