Monday, March 23, 2015

I feel so bad, I feel like leaving the country (Streettalk) #390-391

Streettalk Leaving The Country/ Falling To Pieces (Asylum, Z 10007, 1978)
Streettalk She's Done It Again/ Long Night Blues (WEA, Z 10021, 1980)

I first heard Streettalk on Radio Hauraki in the mid seventies. Barry Jenkins, a.k.a. Dr Rock, played a recording of Hammond Gamble and the boys playing a wonderful live in Albert Park version of Crossroads. A new guitar hero had arrived.

American whiz kids Chris Hillman (yes - that Chris Hillman) and then Kim Fowley (okay - no longer kids) knew quality when they heard it. They got involved - Chris did the first single - Leaving The CountryKim produced the first album, and then finally a sympatico Nu Zilder, Bruce Lynch, gave the boys a more honest sound on the second album - Battleground Of Fun.

Unfortunately, early on, that wonderful raw guitar sound of Hammonds never quite made it to vinyl as producers produced and knocked the edges off the band. Having said that I still love these singles (and Battleground Of Fun).

Leaving The Country rips into things in a patented Streettalk way with guitars to the fore.

Mike Caen's She's Done It Again is at the poppy end of the Streettalk spectrum. It's a better production - more in yer face and it drives onwards but not a kiwi classic by any stretch.

Both A sides were single only releases, although Leaving The Country eventually found a home in a rerecorded version on BOF.

Hidden gems: Both B sides are rarities in that they never made any of the albums, Hammond later included Long Night Blues on a live album.

Falling To Pieces is okay but 'gem' would be stretching things.

Long Night Blues is much better - Hammond gives it some welly and the song is much better for it.

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