Review: Dr Feelgood – Get Rhythm: The Best of Dr Feelgood 1984-1987

Posted on: Sunday, Apr 6, 2014

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Dr Feelgood – Get Rhythm: The Best of Dr Feelgood 1984-1987

(Salvo: SALVOMDCD38)

By 1984 the kings of punky, Canvey Island R&B had a very different line-up from their original incarnation. Frontman Lee Brilleaux was still there of course, but he was backed by Gordon Russell on guitar, Phil Mitchell on bass (now there’s a good sarf-east name), and Kevin Morris on drums. The sound did not change that much from the original approach though – there are still lots of those trademark gritty, rocking blues, short and to the point – but by this time other elements were beginning to creep in, particularly by the time span of the second CD of this double set.

I could live happily without the overly pop inflected, Dave Edmunds-produced ‘See You Later Alligator’ (was he trying for the Shakin’ Stevens market?), and neither would I miss ‘Break These Chains’ and ‘Hurricane’ with their strong 80s pop-rock sound (though ‘Heartbeat’ does work well). The first 11 tracks come from the 14 track album “Doctor’s Orders”, and include such treasures as ‘Hit Git And Split’ (the song’s writer Young Jessie was big on the blues revival scene at that time) and a wonderful version of Muddy Waters’ ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ that should quieten the doubters – these guys can play!

The “Brilleaux”and “Classic” albums provide the bulk of the rest of the material, with singles, ‘B’ sides and the “Mad Man Blues” EP fleshing out the playing time for this set to just short of two and a half hours – as well as presenting some great music. If you don’t have much of this material already, do consider this if you like your blues lively and fun. The packaging is rather nice too…

NORMAN DARWEN

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