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As you've no doubt already guessed from the avalanche of five-star reviews this Dr. Feelgood retrospective has already received - "All Through The City" is frankly a bit of a box set barnstormer. Covering the Wilko Johnson/Lee Brilleaux/John Sparks/Big Figure years - it features 4 full album's worth and a large haul of previously unreleased studio outtakes and live cuts from the time. There's even a lengthy DVD that in itself would make a superb stand-alone release. And it's just dropped in price too. Here are the finite details...

Released 16 April 2012 in the UK - and taking its title from a track on their debut LP - "All Through The City (With Wilko 1974-1977)" is a 3CD + 1DVD box set on EMI 5099955980524 and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (79:11 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are their debut album "Down By The Jetty" - released in the UK in January 1975 on United Artists UAS 29717
Tracks 14 to 24 are their 2nd album "Malpractice" - released in the UK in October 1975 on United Artists UAS 29880

Disc 2 (73:27 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are their 3rd album - the live set "Stupidity" - released in the UK in September 1976 on United Artists UAS 29990
Tracks 14 to 23 are their 4th album "Sneakin' Suspicion" (and last with original guitarist Wilko Johnson) - released in the UK in May 1977 on United Artists UAS 30075

Disc 3 (72:41 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 and 18 to 20 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Track 14 is "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" and is the non-album B-side of their 1st UK 7" single "Roxette" released November 1974 on United Artists UP 35760
Tracks 15, 16 and 17 are "I'm A Hog For You Baby", "Stupidity" and "She Said Alright" and are all album outakes from the "Down By The Jetty" sessions.
They were first issued on the May 2006 2CD 'Collector's Edition' of "Down By The Jetty"
Track 21 is "Keep It Out Of Sight (Live)" and is a non-album B-side of their 4th UK 7" single "Roxette (Live)" released October 1976 on United Artists UP 36171
Original copies of the live set "Stupidity" came with a free collector's 7" single [FEEL 1] - two extra live tracks - "Riot In Cell Block No.9" b/w "Johnny B. Goode".
They are Tracks 22 and 23 on Disc 3.

Even though the catalogue number for "Down By The Jetty" uses the UA code for Stereo (UAS) - the album was famously recorded and released in MONO - and that MONO remaster is what's included on this box set (the 2006 version). The 'STEREO' mix is on the 2CD "Down By The Jetty - Collector's Edition" released in June 2006 - both versions remastered like this box set by PETER MEW at Abbey Road Studios.

Track 13 on Disc 1 is a duo of cover versions "Bonie Moronie/Tequila" and was recorded live in London's Dingwalls in July 1974. Six more tracks from that concert are on Disc 2 of the 'Collector's Edition' of "Down By The Jetty" and are NOT on this box set.

"Malpractice", "Stupidity" and "Sneakin' Suspicion" have all been available before on CD on Grand Records in the Nineties - but this 2012 box set offers properly remastered versions of them for the first time.

Wilko Johnson had always adored Johnny Kidd & The Pirates and especially their guitar player Mick Green - and tucked away on the B-side of their 1964 hit "Always & Forever" on HMV Records POP 1269 was an obscure cover version of a Piano Red song from 1962 on Okeh Records called "Doctor Feelgood" (Red's group was actually called Dr. Feelgood & The Interns). Wilko chose this apt name for his new rockin' band from Canvey Island in Essex - and a kick ass British Rhythm 'n' Blues legend was born. I mention all of this because the single is pictured on Page 3 of the superb booklet centred in the hardback pack - along with interviews with Wilko (December 2011), liner notes by HUGO WILLIAMS, discography details that picture the albums, comic book strips, trade adverts, 7" singles on United Artists, NME and Melody Maker reviews and all the usual memorabilia associated with a retrospective like this.

A very, very smart move is the inclusion of a non-region-coded 23-track DVD (22 songs and 1 interview). Recorded in England (20 cuts from 1974) and Finland (2 cuts from 1975) - the Concert/TV appearances show the full-on thrill of a Dr. Feelgood live show in their prime. They were little short of sensational and regularly annihilated most other bands in their path. Their manic no-nonsense fast and furious songs were also beloved by Rock 'n' Rollers and even pre-dated Punk by two years. I can't stress enough how the DVD adds so much to the 3CDs of rocking mania - remastered to perfection by PETER MEW at Abbey Road.

I know people rave about the debut with "She Does It Right", "Roxette" and so many more (and quite rightly so) - but for me the follow-up "Malpractice" is the absolute balls too. I wore out the 2nd track "Going Back Home" on my original vinyl copy. Co-written with Wilko's guitar hero and mentor Mick Green - it has the most fantastic Lee Brilleaux harmonica solo. I also love the Bo Diddley cover "I Can Tell" and their menacing version of Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step". Original gems include "Another Man", the sleazy "Don't Let Your Daddy Know" and the chugging "Because You're Mine" (co-written with Big Figure and Nick Lowe). The remastered sound too - what a punch. Love it...

It all came to a frenzied head on the live "Stupidity" set when the British public feel completely for their charms and put it on the Number 1 spot in October 1976. Again - I'd forgotten how good it is - frantic - urgent - "Walking The Dog" and "I'm A Hog For You Baby" sounding so exciting and huge. Following that pinnacle was always going to be difficult and I remember at the time 1977's "Sneakin' Suspicion" was met with disappointment - like the band was threading water - and their sound was now limiting instead of being fresh. But relistening to the cracking title track (the only single off the album), "Walking On The Edge" and especially what should have been the follow up single "Paradise" (all Wilko originals) - they're fantastic (lyrics above). I also so dig their take on the Eddie Fontaine hit "Nothing Shaking (But The Leaves On The Trees)" with Lee's harmonica tearing through your speakers. The Lew Lewis cover "Lucky Seven" and the Willie Dixon/Howlin' Wolf take on "You'll Be Mine" are great fun too.

I had expected the unreleased stuff on Disc 3 to be workmanlike - and some of it is - but there are shockingly good studio outtakes that will get fans animated in the trouser area. It opens with a rough and ready take on Piano Red's "Dr. Feelgood" which is very good - but it ups a whole different notch with "Everybody's Carrying A Gun", "I'm A Hog For You Baby" and "Time And The Devil" studio recordings from January and August 1976. They're brill. Less successful is a weedy demo of "Sneakin' Suspicion" and a limp instrumental called "Malamut" which features Mick Green on guitar. Better by far is a cover of Alvin Johnson's "Casting My Spell On You" which is pure Wilko Feelgoods - it's brilliant. The crudely recorded cover of Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You" is good too with a great chucking beat and again they hit you with another nugget - a properly rocking version of "My Girl Josephine" by Fats Domino. The live stuff is very much in the vein of "Stupidity". Very tasty indeed...

To sum up - I've loved working through this sonic blast - this memory fest - and now at a bargain price of twenty-eight pounds new - it's time to don the sharp suit music lovers and do the leg-splits boogie. In fact mention Dr. Feelgood to those who saw the band in their prime and a manic grin will fill their wrinkled visage that no cigarette-smoking scalpel-wielding surgeon will be able to remove.

On a more personal note - I once glimpsed Lee Brilleaux in 1989 clacking his way down Berwick Street in his steel-heeled leather shoes - looking like a cross between Arthur Daley and a man ready to blow a demonically possessed harmonica no matter what the cost. I wished I'd stopped him, shook his hand and just said thanks. Well this is for you Lee - Wilko - and all the boys in the band.

Bootiful my son...

PSL see also my review of "Taking No Prisoners - The Gypie Mayo Years" 5CD/1DVD Dr. Feelgood box set
55 comments|94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 April 2013
Dear all DrFEELGOOD aficionados,
i can confirm that on the new (2013) set there is the following number on all printed discs :
50999-958040-2-6, so although looking quite the same, it is a different (new) release.
But MOST important, i have just listened again (with headphones) to both discs 2, and , DEFINITELY, on the new one,
the volume is decent/correct/fine, and no more defects, not a single one.
Okay we have to buy it again, but now you can buy with CONFIDENCE !
Thanx but no thanx to EMI, but at least we can indulge in aural orgasm while listening to 'Stupidity' live.
Take care,
44 comments|29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 2013
Just played disc 2 from the "new" version of this box set and it's fine. The graphics on all 4 discs are exactly the same and state copyright 2012 but it's definitely a better sound with no obvious scratches, clicks or glitches now. Play it loud to get the best sound!
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on 18 April 2012
EMI (and the Feelgoods) have done an outstanding job in presenting this box/booklet. Hadn't heard the 2006 digital remaster of "Down by the Jetty" before (digital remaster of mono product - loving it!) and this sounds just absolutely perfect. The 2012 jobs and the bonus material are equally well done.

The DVD is an absolute treasure and brought back happy memories (especially the Kursaal gig which was my first live recording as an audience member). The interview sequence really underlines the link between the band and punk with Wilko especially providing a pretty good J Lydon before we'd heard of him.

Invest, invest, invest!
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This is a no brain essential buy for anyone who has even the vaguest interest in Dr Feelgood during Wilkos tenure with them.

The audio part collects all of the essential album and single material together in superb quality remastered sound, along with a good dose of live stuff that really captures the raw essence and sweat of a Feelgood gig.

The DVD is just pure gold. Seeing the band in action is an unalloyed pleasure. Lee Brilleaux looks like he is ready to explode, menacing and strutting around giving 110%. Wilko looks like he is possessed with a manic energy that dare not be interfered with.

An absolute essential purchase.
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2012
Five stars for the music, particularly the disc of unreleased tracks which is worth the purchase price alone. Every Dr. Feelgood fan should hear the original version of Roxette, before the trademark riff was added.

On my copy purchased from Amazon however, disc 2 seems to suffer from lots of crackle. Listen to the intro to Sneakin' Suspicion or Paradise, although the crackle is evident throughout the whole disc.

The other discs seem fine, has anyone else noticed this problem or do I have a faulty copy?
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on 15 March 2014
As previous reviews have eloquently described this CD/DVD box set as something truly special, I can only endorse and wholeheartedly agree. The CDs cover the Wilko years with excellent sound quality and to capture the first 4 albums together makes for the definitive collection. The bonus CD 3 is full of studio out takes, live recordings not on Stupidity and rarities.
However, for me as a lucky and obsessed fan who saw Dr Feelgood at the 1975 Reading Festival and numerous subsequent tours from 1975 through to 1978 the DVD is the main reason for buying this collection. The Going Back Home live concert extracts from the Southend Kursaal perfectly recapture the band at their very best. Lee is menacing, snarling and spitting out the lyrics and playing a mean mouth harp. The rhythm section of the Big Figure and Sparko is solid and very underrated. As for the main man, Wilko is on fire as he effortlessly creates quite unbelievable sounds from his guitar whilst manically strutting his Wilko walk across the full stage as far as his guitar lead will allow. The audience play their part going bananas jumping about with sheer joy getting caught up in the moment. When Wilko plays the repeated intro to Riot In Cell Block #9, I vividly remember shouting out uncontrollably, "shoot me Wilko!"
I highly recommend this well priced collection for long time fans and indeed anybody who wants to experience what the mid 1970s pub rock scene was all about. You will not be disappointed.
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on 4 September 2013
Ah, those were the days, my friend! Hastings Pier Ballroom's bouncy floor giving that vital extra spring to our heels as we boogied on down to the electrifying sound of Dr. Feelgood. Lee Brilleaux growled into the microphone, occasionally slashing a barbed harmonica across it, cutting through the thundering rhythm of bass and drums. And then there was Wilko, taking Chuck Berry's duck-walk and turning it into an armed assault course as he rocketed across the stage, one arm flailing wildly but purposefully at the strings of a guitar that seemed to be welded to his other arm, part of his angular, jerky body. They made a style out of having no style. Charity shop suits and boots ... cheap'n'sharp. The music was similarly unfussy, two-minute R'n'B anthems, some cover versions, many written by Wilko, with no way the uninitiated could tell one from the other. Simple, uncluttered by excessive solos, explanations or other muckin' about. They came onstage, got their heads down and, armed with no more than drums, bass, guitar and vocals, made us all feel five times more alive! I miss 'em. They were great.
The Feelgoods themselves were reputedly never too happy with the sound that made it onto their albums. The rest of us wonder why not, since they still sound amazingly good. 'I Don't Mind,' 'Back in the Night,' 'All Through the City,' 'Hog for you Baby'... they're all here and lots more besides. All the studio albums with Wilko, plus the live stuff, plus the extras and out-takes. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. You can keep your rap, your boy bands and your prog rockers. Gimme the Feelgoods any day.
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The only reason I have given this 5 stars is because I can't give it six!

A superb set and great value for money. You get the first four Feelgood albums in their entirety, plus a CD full of demos and live tracks, including the original doo-wop version of Roxette which I had never heard before. On top of that there is a DVD with clips from TV shows and the same 1975 footage of their Kursaal concert that is on the Going Back Home DVD. Some of the clips have been seen before many times on music documentaries, but usually they are cut short or have loads of captions all over them, and it is always the same couple of clips. Here you also get the ones that are not usually shown.

On top of all that there is a booklet with the usual photos and track listings, plus a lot of words from Wilko himself about the history of the band and the story behind a lot of the extra tracks. It really helps to be able to read about a particular session and then listen to the results of the session.

I already have the Going Back Home DVD and a couple of the LPs on CD and this is still good value for me.
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on 6 July 2012
Not written by my wife but bought for me

This was a gift for fathers day, which meant more to me than my wife and son could imagine. It took me back to playing in a rock / blues band in the late 70's, old friends most of whom still play and meeting the Feelgoods at a gig in Edinburgh when my band met the lads after the gig where we shared a can of beer and Brilleaux gave me his harmonica from the set.
If you were into this type of music, when others were strutting to disco and chanting about anarchy in the UK, these guys simply gave what chaps like me wanted.
The book that forms the CD /DVD case is excellent too and has loads of interesting facts,stories and pictures.
A very emotional gift that rekindled such great memories and has all the classics,cataloged in their entirety, and if you are a real fan, have an interest in the band or simply want to experience the way that it was done in the old days... treat yourself to this set of Cd's and DVD.
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