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Dr Feelgood - Greatest Hits

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 8 / 3 / 2021



Dr Feelgood - Greatest Hits
Label: Grand Records
Format: CD

intro

Electrifying double CD compilation which spans nearly fifty years of music from Canvey Island’s Dr Feelgood


One evening in the late 1960s, Lee Brilleaux travelled from his home in Canvey Island to a pub in Romford, where he saw a performance by American bluesman Howlin’ Wolf. For Lee, this was a life-changing event. From then on he was determined to form his own band in a similar vein, but with a British rocky edge. A few years later that band, Dr Feelgood, were the darlings of the UK music press. Playing storming R&B, or ‘Thames Delta Blues’ as they called it, Lee, along with main songwriter Wilko Johnson on guitar, John B.‘Sparko’ Sparks on bass and John Martin ‘The Big Figure’ on drums, took the late 1970s post-punk and NWOBHM live music scene by storm. 'Dr Feelgood - Greatest Hits' is a comprehensive double CD collection charting the band from their earliest days to the present, completely new line-up. Disc 1 opens with the rocking boogie of ‘She Does It Right’, notable for deftly worked drums. This and the next four tracks, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘All Through the City, ‘Keep It Out of Sight’ and ‘Roxette’ were all penned by Wilko Johnson. ‘Roxette’, with its snappy groove, barked vocals and Lee’s harmonica is a particular favourite of fans. ‘Back In The Night’, complete with slide guitar, and ‘Going Back Home’, two more songs by Wilko and, like ‘Roxette’ taken from the Feelgood’s chart-topping live album 'Stupidity', are glorious reminders of how thrilling they were live. An almost punky ‘She’s a Wind Up’ has a rockier edge, and their most famous track ‘Milk and Alcohol’, with its deadpan vocal delivery (“Night club, I paid in/I got a stamp on my skin”) was written by Nick Lowe and the late John Mayo, the guitarist who replaced Wilko after an acrimonious split at the height of their fame. Disc 2 opens with ‘Dangerous’, (“I ain’t no chancer/I don’t mess around”) which sets the scene for two John Lee Hooker covers, ‘Mad Man Blues’ and ‘Dimples’, executed with reverence and aplomb. Some kind of alchemy transforms Lee’s Essex accent into a deep Southern Blues growl; it is quite spine-tingling. ‘King for a Day’ is another slice of frenetic rock; ‘Down by the Jetty Blues’ is a breathtaking, almost six-minute cocktail of slide guitar and wailing harmonica. ‘Wolfman Callin’ (“He’s callin’ out my name”) is wonderfully atmospheric. Later members including Kevin Morris, Pete Gage and Robert Kane feature on the remaining tracks. Canvey, it seems, must have a Dr Feelgood; and, to his credit, manager and ‘5th member’ Chris Fenwick has kept the band going, still running the show from an office on the Island. Sadly, Lee Brilleaux died of lymphoma in 1994, at the tragically early age of 41. A 15-minute clip of Dr Feelgood live in Southend exists online. Wilko jerks around the stage, zigzagging and aiming his guitar at the audience. Sparko gets into a groove and keeps it going, marching back and forth with a swing and a swagger. The Big Figure sets down a tidy beat and keeps it all together. And Lee, in his ubiquitous white suit, is totally in the moment, snarling and commanding. This is the band at the height of their powers. 'Dr Feelgood - Greatest Hits' is an essential addition to any music collection; this is a fabulous compilation from one of the greatest British blues bands.



Track Listing:-
1 She does it right
2 I don't mind
3 All through the city
4 Keep it out of sight
5 Roxette
6 I can tell
7 Sneakin suspicion
8 Back in the night
9 Going back home
10 Riot in cell block no 9
11 She's a wind up
12 That's it, i quit
13 Night time
14 Milk & alcohol
15 Put him out of your mind
16 Shotgun blues
17 No mo do yakamo
18 Jumping from love tolove
19 Violent love
20 Rat race
21 Crazy bout girls
22 Dangerous
23 Mad man blues
24 Dimples
25 Hunting shooting fishing
26 See you later alligator
27 King for a day
28 Baby jane
29 Sugar turns to alcohol
30 Down by the jetty blues
31 Wolfman callin '
32 Road runner
33 Down at the doctors
34 Heart of the city
35 Instinct to survive
36 Going out west
37 You Got Me
38 Who do you love
39 You gotta help me
40 Gimme one more shot
41 You can't judge a book by looking at the cover


Band Links:-
https://www.facebook.com/TheFeelgoods
http://www.drfeelgood.org/
https://www.facebook.com/Dr.Feelgood.Official



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