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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Good!,
There is some astonishing guitar playing on this album. And the sound quality is excellent. It's hard to focus on the fact that this album was released in 1975, when there was nothing "digital" about anything and people still had to "plug in" their guitars to the amps, using cables. Because its sounds so good, that if the Outlaws were a new band starting out today in 2010 they'd still make it. Big time.
The sheer exuberance, and swaggering, strutting self confidence of the guitar playing isn't the full story though. The vocals are excellent too. ALL the songs are strong. Although they are undeniably "Southern Rock" , the Outlaws ploughed their own unique furrow with a sound that was all their own. And some of the guitar "set pieces" , or solos, are masterpieces. In fact I believe that the iconic "Green grass and High Tides" is one of the tunes which can be "played" on the appalling "guitar hero" computer game which is currently in vogue, and it is one of the hardest pieces in the whole game, from what I hear.
To be honest, I spend so much time listening to rubbish on Youtube nowadays that I forgot how good an electric guitar could sound , in the right hands. This album will make you feel good. If you are one of "seventies" generation it's a feast of nostalgia. But really, it's hard to imagine anyone NOT enjoying this album.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like the Eagles? Then you'll love this,
I'll keep this review simple and to the point. This is country rock at its best. This is the band Hughie Thomason was in before joining the current lie-up of Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is simply brilliant and brilliantly simple. Rootsy, downhome and real all are words which describe this album well. If you like music like the Eagles with great harmonies and melodic guitar playing then this is the album for you. If you want the commercial, join the dots, country by numbers modern rubbish then a) see a good therapist and b) do not buy this. A great band who never got the acclaim they deserved.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This includes the GREATEST...,
This includes the GREATEST guitar-driven rock track that I've ever heard. This remastered album is very definitely worth buying for this track alone - I've simply never heard co-ordinated, high-power lead guitar work to match it.
The track in question is, of course,'Green Grass and High Tides', in which the band delivers a taut, tight, driven, fast-paced, perfectly synchronised, note-perfect multi-guitar epic. To enjoy this stunning track at its best, you need a good (and loud) hi fi, tolerant neighbours, and friends interested in discovering high-power rock.
The rest of the CD is middling-good, with some memorable songs, but the preceding tracks are inevitably wholly overshadowed by 'Green Grass....' The other tracks can't compete with this one, but then, can anything?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Rock at it's finest !,
This album has always been the yardstick against which I judge all country rock recordings. As far as I'm concerned the sound The Outlaws created on this album defines the genre. The Florida-based outfit, through line-up changes, moved more directly into the Southern Rock arena with later releases, but their first 3 recordings are unlike anything else that was ever released by Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section or ZZ Top. It was with utter delight that I discovered the groups back catalogue had been re-mastered for digital release
The original record came out in 1975 on the Arista label (you'll be surprised to hear that their 2 most successful stable mates at the time were Barry Manilow and the Bay City Rollers!) The Outlaws had 3 lead vocalists with corresponding outstanding harmony, but more importantly had 2 superb guitarists in Hughie Thomasson on Stratocaster and Billy Jones who favoured Les Pauls. Their guitar sound was like a country rock version of Wishbone Ash at their best, with the choice of either swapping solos or playing twin harmonies. The music was optimistic, playful and carefree and totally self-composed. Songs were very much upbeat, with high harmonies and sparkling solos evident throughout the 40-plus minutes of the recording.
The CD's opener "There goes another Love Song" was a sizeable hit single, and gave the Tampa group their initial breakthrough. Apart from the very lively instrumental "Waterhole" vocals were shared out evenly, and "chicken-pickin" guitar fitted seamlessly in and out of more classic blues-rock tones. Harmonies were outstanding as both lead guitarists had high tenor voices which complemented the lower country twang of Henry Paul (later to front the very successful Blackhawk).
As if great vocals, guitar and harmonies weren't enough these boys wrote extremely catchy choruses - I still can't avoid singing along after nearly 37 years! "It Follows from Your Heart" bucked the trend when displaying Billy Jones prowess at writing softer, slower tunes. Probably the albums most important song was the epic guitar workout "Green Grass and High Tides" which was definitely more rock than country, and was the Outlaws answer to "Free Bird" ("Green Grass" stretched to over 20 minutes on their later Live Double release) I'm not going to compare these 2 songs but what is most entertaining is hearing the contrast between the styles (and sounds) of both Outlaw soloists.
The 3 vocalists were also the main songwriters and had quite distinctive song-writing styles. Paul penned the most country sounding tracks ("Knoxville Girl" & "Song in the Breeze"), Jones was arguably the more melodic composer, and Thomasson wrote more hard edged rocking country and also proved to be The Outlaws most recognisable voice (as well as longest surviving member).
This album doesn't have a weak track in sight, and is high up in my list of Desert Island Discs! The music has never aged and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Perhaps your best option is to search out the pairing of the first two Outlaws albums on a single disc which was released over 10 years ago and was re-released around 2004, which is sensational value as "Lady in Waiting" was almost equally brilliant! Most definitely this is an all-time classic !
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wild west rock and roll,
A breathtaking combination of close harmonies and fast rock and roll characterises The Outlaws' 1975 debut album. Comparisons with The Eagles are obvious given the harmonies but are misleading. The Eagles have a glossier, but more laid-back approach. A more suitable comparison are fellow Southern rockers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, who also employ three guitarists to great effect. Even then, The Outlaws play faster, more fluid riffs, whereas Skynyrd sacrifice some of that in favour of higher drama. Where The Outlaws lag behind both bands is in the quality of their material. The first four tracks are superb. 'There Goes Another Love Song' and 'Song In The Breeze' represent the band at their best: well-crafted, uptempo material featuring impeccable harmonies and slick guitars riffing in and out of each other. 'Song For You' is a little heavier and 'It Follows From Your Heart' softer.
Thereafter the performances are as good, but, with the exception of 'Stay With Me', the songs are not quite up to the same mark. 'Knoxville Girl' is the one concession to country music while 'Waterhole' is a short instrumental that comes over like the soundtrack to a comic passage from 'The Dukes Of Hazzard'. A separate mention has to be made of the epic closer, 'Green Grass and High Tides'. This is to The Outlaws what 'Freebird' is to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Despite the tempo changes it's generally faster with a great opening and an astonishing finish. Even so, it isn't quite as good as Skynyrd's classic.
For me, 'The Outlaws' is a near classic album. The band's breathless brand of rock is built on a seemingly telepathic understanding between band members who played together for seven years' prior to this.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best technically brilliant rock sound,
One of the best technically brilliant rock sound...duelling guitar solos..choppy rythms..soulful songs..put the headphones on n drift..away....far far a.w. a. yyyyy
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREATEST GUITAR TRACK ????,
It's a tough call but what else have we? Freebird, Eagles, Akkerman, Santana Hendrix, Clapton ......et al. Green Grass & High Tides is such a powerfull track and can sometimes be heard on Planet Rock when they're not being told to play more mundane rock. I still rate this album very highly even without GG&HT, a sort of more country Eagles, maybe mid Byrds style. But Green Grass is THE one, when I listen to that after Freebird I'd say GG&HT has the edge with that grating Fender power. I was lucky to see them at Charlton with the Who in 1976 but I can't recall how good they were (probably too much booze)but they were taken on Skynyrd's tour the year before so must have impressed.
I've known this album since '76 and have the vinyl as well as the CD (also the GG&HT titled sampler when you could only get GG&HT on a CD in the US). Buy this album and impress everyone with that track then ask have you heard better?
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