7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2010
Blackfoot were from the same area as Lynyrd Skynyrd (in fact Rickey Medlocke grew up with Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd and even was a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd briefly in the early 70s before the first Skynyrd album). So as with other great Southern Rock bands from Jacksonville, Florida (like Molly Hatchet; 38 Special; Doc Holliday etc) they of course sounded similar. Some critics have wrongly assumed this to be plagiarism without understanding the musical background that all these bands came from. Blackfoot were at their peak the hardest rocking, most energetic and arguably most exciting Southern Rock band of all of them. In fact I can remember that Sounds weekly music paper (the paper that spawned 'Kerrang') had 'The Highway Song - Live' Blackfoot's 1982 live offering as the critics' album of the year for 1982. Just when it seemed that Blackfoot could justifiably lay claim to the title of 'greatest rock band on earth' they blew it with 2 dreadful albums of AOR in the mid 80's. This it transpires according to Rickey Medlocke was the band giving in to 'commercial pressure' from their label Atco who summised that Southern Rock was 'old fashioned' and Blackfoot should become 'trendy' and play more 'radio-friendly' stuff. Again a once great band slipped into obscurity because of a short-sighted record company. Abortive attempts later on were made to 'resuscitate' the band but without success, the damage had been done to both sales AND their reputation. It is therefore not surprising that most of this collection (16 of the 18 tracks) comes from Blackfoot's 'golden age' (pre 1982). Most of the classics are here including the bluesy Train, Train; the rock and roll of Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and Rattlesnake Rock 'N' Roller; the folksy 'Diary of a Workingman' as well as live tracks from the afore mentioned 'Highway Song - Live' and their own trademark standard (a la 'Freebird') Highway Song. Sound quality is excellent throughout - they've really done a good job of remastering these tracks and compared to my original cd versions of Highway Song - Live and Marauder they sound clearer and more 'punchy'. Only one gripe though. The opening track 'Feelin Good' is a weak early track while 'Wishing Well' is a perfunctory cover of the Free song. Why no Dry County? or even Searching?. The omission of Dry County in particular raised my eyebrows. Still, the rest on offer is excellent so cannot stop this collection being a worthy 5 stars.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For a small period of time in the early 80's it looked like Blackfoot would rule supreme,stunning albums,excellent tours,rave reviews all came their way,then as quickly as they had arrived they disappeared.
This cd takes in the best of the classic era,4 tracks apiece from 'Strikes' (1979),'Tomcattin' (1980) and 'Marauder' (1981) with 3 from 'Highway Song Live' (1982).
Ignoring the debut album 'No Reservations'(1975) we open with a fantastic little track 'Feelin Good' from 'Flyin High' (1976),immediately you get the picture Southern rock in the heavy lane,more Hatchet than Skynyrd,in all honesty even heavier at times than Hatchet!.
The next four tracks all appeared on the Strikes album and hinted at what was around the corner,including a stunning cover of Free's 'Wishing Well',the rockin 'Train Train' and in typical southern fashion the lengthy 'Highway Song' Blackfoots contribution to the ranks of 'Southern Guitar Epics'
By the bands 4th album Tomcattin,they were now on a roll and getting rave reviews,its easy to see why,the following 4 tracks are superb,Blackfoot had moved up a gear and were pretty much top of their game,highlights being 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' & 'Every Man Should Know Queenie',more metal than southern at this point.
5th album 'Marauder is arguably the best and in truth could have had all its tracks contained here,we have to make do with the stunning 'Diary Of A Workin Man','Too Hot To Handle',the commercial 'Fly Away'(should have been a hit) and the self explantory 'Rattle Snake Rock n Roller'.
The band's peak arrived with the classic live album,incredibly not released in America at the time,recorded in the UK,the disc is a whirlwind of heavy rock from a band that knew no equals at the time,a superb rythmn section of Spires and Walker with Hagret on lead and the incredible Medlocke as frontman,this band should have went all the way,the live cuts here including the marvelous 'Good Morning' only reinforce this and your left wondering where it all went wrong.Several average albums later(with Ken Hensley on board) came and went before the band fell apart,later on Medlocke returned with the name but with a series of session? players recording several albums including 'Medicine Man' (1990) which is represented here by the final two tracks ,'Doin My Job & 'Guitar slingers....',truth be told they are both excellent,but you do miss the rest of the boys,one more album i believe was recorded,not represented here before it all petered out,Medlocke joined Skynyrd and remaining members Walker,Hagret and Spires formed a version of Blackfoot,it would never be the same,sadly death has robbed us of Spires,so we'll never have a classic reunion,buy this disc and relive the bands short but glorious time at the top.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2011
The band Blackfoot is a new discovery to me, and if your a fan of Sothern Rock then this band is well worth checking out.
Founded by former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Rick Medlocke (who now assumes vocal & guitar duties), Jacksonville, Florida-based quartet Blackfoot became the first rockband of note comprised of all Native Americans. While originally following the same blues-inspired Southern rock trail blazed by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot soon developed its own distinctive, harder-hitting sound, earning a huge and loyal audience of fans.
Taking its name from the Native American tribe to which Medlocke's ancestors belonged, the band was rounded out by drummer Jakson Spires, bassist Greg T. Walker (another Skynyrd alum) and guitarist Charlie Hargrett.
After spendng much of the '70s toiling in relative obscurity , Blackfoot debuted its new, harder-edged rock sound on the 1979 effort Strikes-and 'strike' they did. All of a sudden everything just seem to click.
The wistfull and epic "Highway Song" was the first single released from Strikes. It quickly zoomed to #26 on the Pop chart, and two decades later, history finds it settled alongside Skynyrds "Free Bird" as one of rock 'n' roll's most enduring classic tunes. Medlocke and company had at last, found their voice. Follow-up "Train Train" (penned by Rick's grandfather, blues musician Shorty Medlocke, who also plays on the track) proved itself a worthy successor, also hitting the Top 40.
The album Tomcattin' found blackfoot continuing its roll down the rock highway, spawning crowd-pleasers like the raucous "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" and the rowdy (and randy!) "Fox Chase," the latter of which featured another appearance by grandad Shorty. While failing to provide any hit singles, these tracks and others garnered significant airplay on the album-orientated FM dial, enough to keep the band's devoted fan base loyal and strong.
In addition to the now-expected hard-rocking numbers, 1981's Marauder found the band experimenting with new sounds and instrumentation. As a lead-off single, Medlocke chose the aching ballad "Diary Of A Workingman." While not a major hit Stateside, the song made a splash overseas. Marauder also sported the U.S. hit "Fly Away" (#42) and another triumphant Shorty Medlocke appearance on the energetic "Rattlesnake Rock 'N' Roller." However, the band's increasingly versatile sound (in adition to ballads, Maurader found Blackfoot experimenting with new instrumentation, including keyboards and horn sections) failed to resonate with its core fans. The downright dancey "Too Hard Too handle" proved sadly prophetic, and the album marked the end of Blackfoot's heyday.
The band officially broke up amid declining fortunes in the mid-'80s, though Medlocke resumed recording and performing with a new band under the name Blackfoot a few years later.
Here's another tremendous Southern rock band. I've become very fond of the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allmans, the Marshall Tucker Band, and the Outlaws, and the very fine Blackfoot are to be spoken of in that illustrious company.
The excellent booklet notes tell this now rather neglected band's story, one of popular success back in the 1970s/80s, the inevitable break-ups and acrimony, with
singer-guitarist Rickey Medlocke the one constant throughout - and what a superb singer and what a terrific guitarist he is. Most of the tracks are from their first few albums, with one of the tightest bands I've ever heard: fellow guitarist Charlie Hagrett, potent bass player Greg Walker, and drumming wizard Jakson Spires. They all came from Florida, made a name for themselves in New York, and became an in-demand draw in Europe.
There isn't a dud track here, partly because the band play so damn well together! On some songs they sound like a hot, cheerfully heavy rock band, on others there's a little more going on, but on all tracks the excitement and commitment are at a high level.
They also do a version of Wishing Well which, while not banishing memories of the peerless Paul Rodgers and Free, is stirring in its own right. Lets face it, it would be a difficult number for any rock band worth the name to mess up.
Towards the end of the disc there are three live tracks, all of which rock like crazy. Now that's one live album I'd like to hear...
There's a good mix of uptempo rockers, the occasional slightly more reflective number, and bluesy workouts. I've become a big fan of Southern rock lately - there seems to be an expansiveness about a lot of the bands I mentioned, added to the fact that down south they do seem to have a limitless supply of excellent musicians and sturdily emotive singers. Ronnie Van Zant, Duane & Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Billy Gibbons, Doug Gray and Toy Caldwell from Marshall Tucker, Outlaws Billy Jones & Henry Paul, as well as people like Doug Sahm...and these guys. Something in the water perhaps.
My copy of this beautifully packaged, great-value 70-plus-minute compilation came in a slip-case. I'd say that if you like Southern rock, then it's a 'no-brainer' and if you are simply a fan of really good, superbly played and sung rock, you'll love this lot.
The other thing that sets them apart from many bands - and seems to be something of a Southern trait - is the twin guitars of Medlocke & Hagrett, which meld so well in tandem. After all, these were guys who'd pretty much grown up together back in Florida. Lucky for us, they kept playing together long enough to give us some wild and wonderful, rambunctious and raunchy rock music.
on 17 August 2013
If you like your rock with a Southern flavour, you'll like this album. A great intro to a great band. You could certainly hear their influences over the years the album covers - from the Allman brothers through Free and Skynyrd to Deep Purple, but it certainly doesn't come across as derivative and the singer has a great voice, unique and powerful, especially on the live tracks. I have it in the car. Great stuff for barrelling up the motorway to.
on 22 June 2014
I do so this is great. Fourteen more words required ????? it's great great great. I am not giving it a musical review because there are more than enough critics on here without me putting in 2 pence worth.
on 19 May 2014
I only really knew the track Diary of a Working Man but there are some great songs including a brillaint cover of Free's 'Wishing Well'. It is well packaged and a great price, what more can you need....
on 28 July 2015
Missed these guy's in the southern rock era but this cd is a must have every tune rock's like crazy so if you like southern rock give this a try.
on 13 June 2015
Very much like another Florida band with the funny name but good in their own right
on 27 May 2015
just about the best of every blackfoot song ever,,im loving listening