Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flamin' Groovies - Jumpin' in the Night

Jumpin' in the Night (1979) ***

More of the same, with a grand total of six originals and seven covers this time.  The tunes flowing from the pen of Jordan/Wilson are still fine, if no all-time great knockouts.  It starts off strongly with the jittery title track, which segues into the bruisingly Lennon-ish "Next One Crying."  The homesick "First Plane Home," and the joyously patriotic "In the U.S.A." flow well into each other thematically - got those London homesick blues, eh boys?  "Yes I Am," and "Tell Me Again," are again fine British Invasion originals, but there's not a lot of territory the Groovies have not well-mined on the previous two LPs.  The covers are particularly weak this time out.  Three Byrds covers are two too many, and while the band seems to have based their entire late '70s career on rewriting "Please Please Me," it's not one of their best stabs at the Fabs.  And "Absolutely Sweet Marie"?  What business do the Groovies have of covering Dylan?  Totally out of their comfort zone.  Speaking of which, most bizarre of all is Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London".  Idiosyncratic novelty tunes often verge on the uncoverable, and Zevon's fluke hit of the previous year was no exception - especially minus the swinging ragtime piano that was the musical bedrock of the original.  Rather pointless if you ask me, but so have the Groovies been since 1976.  Ouch - that was a mite too harsh.  Look, these are pretty groovy little rock'n'roll albums if you're looking for nothing other than a lightweight mix of oldies and like-minded originals.  I enjoy'em.  But that doesn't mean I have to take them seriously.

Completing this third and weakest installment of the late '70s trilogy, the Groovies wisely called it a day.  Well, for the most part - rockers still gotta earn their bread with reunion shows, and who's gonna begrudge'em?

No comments:

Post a Comment