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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Life, Love And Leaving
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 27 June 2007
The Detroit Cobras have a healthy disregard for musical fashion and play almost exclusively brilliant, scorching covers of favourites from their vinyl collections from the fifties onwards, paying welcome particular attention to artists with a Detroit connection. There have been a number of line-up changes over the years but always with Rachel Nagy's vocals backed up with Maribel Restrepo on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and on this record with Dante Aliano (guitar), Eddie Hawrsh (that's how it is spelled on this record)(bass and keyboards) and Damian Lang (drums).

Although fourteen songs are thoroughly dealt with, the whole album is over in half an hour because when a song is done, it's done, and sometimes this only takes a minute and a half. If only more bands would adopt this policy!

Hey Sailor is actually Mickey Lee Lane's Hey Sah-Lo-Ney, which he cut for Swan back in 1965. The Ronettes are an obvious source of inspiration and for He Did It the Cobras reach back to their pre-Spector days at Colpix, and a song co-written by Jackie DeShannon (now a Cobras' fan after hearing their versions of He Did it and Breakaway). Find Me A Home is more properly known as Home In Your Heart when first recorded by Solomon Burke, who also had the original of the much-covered Stupidity. Oh My Lover may be known to you if you ever turned over your copy of the Chiffons' He's So Fine and played the other side. Cry On is a cover of an early Irma Thomas hit written by Allen Toussaint (contrary to other reviews it has nothing to do with Ronnie Mack). Mary Wells wrote Bye Bye Baby for Jackie Wilson but when Berry Gordy heard it, he had Mary Wells record it herself at United Sound in Detroit for his new Motown label, her first single in 1960, making her sing it in a hoarse voiced style which makes it a natural for Rachel's naturally throaty vocals.

Boss Lady is the band's re-interpration of local band's Davis Jones and the Fenders' Boss With The Hot Sauce. Laughing At You takes us back to the Gardenias (not the Guardinias as printed in the booklet), who wrote and recorded it for Detroit's Fortune label in 1957 as I'm Laughing At You. Bob Dylan played it on his Theme Time Radio Hour special on laughter. Ike and Tina Turner had a regional R&B hit with You Can't Miss Nothing That You Never Had (disguised here as Can't Miss Nothing) in 1963. That leaves Right Around The Corner originally by the Five Royales in 1956, written by Charlie Singleton and Rose Marie McCoy; Won't You Dance With Me was by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels when they were still known as Billy Lee and the Rivieras; Let's Forget About The Past was on the flipside of Clyde Mcphatter's huge 1962 single Lover, Please; and finally Shout Bama Lama, possibly the definitive version of this song, was by Johnny Jenkins' Pinetoppers in 1961, featuring a novice singer called Otis Redding.

This is a great album, over too soon, but short enough to play all over again straight away, even louder, which I recommend you do.
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on 9 October 2016
Around the same time everybody discovered The White Stripes this band were around too doing a similar punked up old music style. (As were The Dirtbombs check them out too.) The songs on this album are old soul & rthymn and blues covers. The first song here "Hello Sailor" I'm reliably informed was a massive Northern soul crowd pleaser in its original incarnation. The Detroit Cobras really breathe soul & with the punk edge really liven up old classics.
I'm slightly annoyed most of their albums are being re-released in 2016 with in most cases just 1 extra track. For me & fans of theirs that feels like a rip off (why not single b-sides or better yet live recordings & demo tracks.... then again a lot of the bands recorded 1 take straight to 4 track a lot of times - usually done at Jack Whites house often.)
But if you've not got these albums yet or you're new to the Detroit Cobras buy these cds asap. A much needed injection of fuel into the music landscape of 2016 where bland pop & Edm are popular.
I really hope the 'Cobras come back & release new stuff now.
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on 12 July 2002
.....then I suspect you're six foot under. Bought this on the strength of hearing "Hey Sailor" and it hasn't left the car stereo since. If ever a band made you shake your ass and smile like a demented cheshire cat then the DC's are it. Garage Soul just about sums it up but there's so much richness, warmth and melody in amongst the fuzz and grit it's just a heavenly combination, and in many respects very, very hard to pigeonhole.
In a nutshell if you like good soul/dance music (in the 50's/60's sense), and stuff that'll make you smile, give the Cobras some earspace, I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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on 22 July 2002
There's no way in hell I can possibly describe this without use of "strengthening" words, so....it's REALLY difficult to pin down just what it is that makes this album soooo ...brilliant. There's never been another album like this. I bought it on the strength of hearing one song on the radio (managed to find it fairly cheap by some miracle) and I've never been so chuffed in my life. If you like garage rock, soul, gospel, 50's pop.....nah, screw it, you'll like it whatever kind of thing you're into. Rachael Nagy's voice will make you stop and listen. 'Shout Bama Lama' (the last track, what a way to end an album) WILL make you repeat it over and over and over and over etc (31 times is my highest, it won't take long it's less than 2 minutes). I have no objection to short albums, in fact quite the opposite, I don't like long albums that outstay their welcome. This 14-track album is over in 29 minutes 49 seconds (according to my stereo) but don't let this put you off, it IS an astonishing album with not a single weak track, just PLEASE go and buy it.
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on 18 April 2010
i must confess to being dissappointed after 'mink'. the pure garage power seems lost in a more proffessional production job.
I think the song choices are rather too much soul and not enough rock'n'roll.
By no means a bad album but not the same feel as the first.
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on 7 June 2016
Had not heard much of this group before but now love them ,great vocals
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on 10 May 2002
Like your favourite garage punk band playing your favourite rock'n'roll and soul songs. Rachel Nagy has a belter of a voice and the rest of the band fuzz it up a treat. Go Cobras, go!
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on 10 August 2015
Everything ok
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on 31 May 2004
Just...just buy this. One of the finest and most fun albums I have ever bought.
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