Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon Story

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Hmm, The Robert Gordon Story -- it sounds like the name of a movie they should have made.... Okay, this CD has four fewer songs than Razor & Tie's Red Hot 1977-1981, released two years earlier, and the only studio cut here that's not on the that disc is "Summertime Blues," which, if you're a Robert Gordon fan at all, you must own because it's on his debut album. But -- and this is a big qualifier -- Robert Gordon Story also contains the three live renditions of "Fire," "Red Hot," and "Black Slacks" off of the promotional-only Live at DJ Paradise Boston, bookending the back end of these 12 tracks while their studio equivalents brace the front end. Although this selection of tracks isn't remotely a comprehensive look at Gordon's career or recording history, it is a killer showcase for his talent and, particularly, the range and richness of his singing, from "Rock Billy Boogie" to the smoother but no less bracing "Someday, Someway" and "It's Only Make Believe," and also the raw power of his band. The mix of sounds and songs is spellbinding, and the live tracks make this worthwhile owning even if you already have every domestic album Gordon ever issued, on LP or CD. There are flaws, such as the absence of any real notes, or even credits indicating who's playing and from which sessions in what year, but none of that detracts from the sheer fun and enjoyment of this collection, which rivals the best work of the Flamin' Groovies or the Ramones for the joy of its music making. The sound is killer, the price is right, and from the record label's point-of-view there would be only one flaw here, that this is the kind of record that, had it been done as an LP, almost certainly would have sold an ever-growing percentage of copies to people who'd worn out their old ones.

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