I picked up "Scraps" at my local library. I'd read mentions of NRBQ in several publications over the years, and always thought I should check them out. On first listen, I was underwhelmed. Repeated listenings snowballed into what has become an addiction for me. Not since The Beatles' Revolver have I been so blown away by the inventiveness, musicianship, and songwriting on a record.
And the sheer good feeling of it all. Track 12, the Mercer-Arlen classic "Accentuate the Positive", sums up the entire record for me. NRBQ are obviously people who wring as much joy out of life as they can, laughing at it and themselves at the same time.
The album builds, "like the Supremes", as Zappa once said, from the punchy opener "Howard Johnson" to what to me is the best song, the Beatlesque "It's Not So Hard". The ballads are classic - "Only You" is a gem, complete with a toy piano solo.
There is no filler here. Imagine the best of The Band, the Grateful Dead, the Fab 4, Harry Nilsson, and Hoagy Carmichael rolled into one and you'll get an idea of what these guys were about when they made this record. Five emphatic stars.