Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Robert Gordon with Link Wray + Fresh Fish Special

Robert Gordon came to prominence in NYC as the lead singer of the 70's punk band, Tuff Darts, but split due to musical differences before they recorded their album. He wanted to move into a rockabilly style, and boy, did he do it right! He managed to corral none other than the fabulous Link Wray, then somewhat obscure, but still at the top of his guitar-slinging game, and put out a couple of terrific albums.

Doing mostly covers, they burst out of the gate and onto the scene with a swinging "Red Hot", and tear into "Summertime Blues", "Bopping the Blues", "I Sure Miss You", and "Flying Saucers Rock'n'Roll" among others. Nothing particularly obscure, but damn refreshing at the time and fitting for the then-new punk movement.

Now, after decades of psychobilly and various mixtures of punk and 50's r'n'r, this sounds a bit tame, but is still great and Link's playing alone makes it worth the price! Check it out!

Their follow up was the oddly named Fresh Fish Special, which opens with their take on "The Way I Walk", beating out the Cramps for first 70's reissue of this classic tune. Again, this is mostly covers, including "Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache", "Five Days, Five Days", "Twenty Flight Rock", "Sea Cruise", "Lonesome Train" and the first version of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire", long before the Pointer Sisters got a hold of it. While I dig their version, this is definitely the superior take, and actually fitting for this style.

This is a continuation of the first record - essentially the same sound and, as I recall, the same line-up and Wray bites and stings and swings and shows why he is known as one of the first r'n'r guitar heroes. More good stuff!