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In 2011 Edsel of the UK acquired some of the ‘WEA Catalogue’ and began releasing value-for-money 1CD and 2CD album sets from that vast repertoire. So far I've reviewed Hall & Oates, Greenslade and 4 of their Doobie Brothers releases – and they’ve been great on all fronts. This 2CD Little Feat set is part of that reissue campaign. Here are the farmyard details…

UK released 26 March 2012 (12 April in the USA) – "Time Loves A Hero/Down On The Farm" by LITTLE FEAT on Edsel EDSD 2113 (Barcode 740155211332) offers 2 straightforward LP transfers onto 2CDs and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (35:29 minutes):
1. Hi Roller
2. Time Loves A Hero
3. Rocket In My Pocket
4. Old Folks Boogie [Side 2]
5. Day At The Dog Races
6. Red Streamliner
7. New Delhi Freight Train
8. Keepin' up With The Joneses
9. Missin' You
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Time Loves A Hero" - released May 1977 in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 3015 and in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56349

Disc 2 (37:32 minutes):
1. Down On The Farm
2. Six feet Of Snow
3. Perfect Imperfection
4. Kokomo
5. Be One Now
6. Straight From The Heart [Side 2]
7. Front Page News
8. Wake Up Dreaming
9. Feel The Groove
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Down On The Farm" - released November 1979 in the USA on Warner Brothers HS 3345 and in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56667

The 20-page booklet is substantial – it features the front and rear artwork for each album, the lyrics, reproductions of the original LP labels, colour photos of the band and a new essay by ALAN ROBINSON. The mastering was done by PHIL KINRADE at Alchemy Studios in London (it doesn’t say it’s been remastered) – and the sound on both discs is excellent – punchy, clear and to my ears improved on what went before. Also – they’re pitched at less than mid-price – so this release offers a lot of music for very little lay out.

Fans will instantly recognise that these are the last two Little Feat studio albums featuring founder member LOWELL GEORGE. "Time Loves A Hero" was released amidst major band acrimony about direction and suffers the most from lack of decent songs and George's wit and voice. Completed after Lowell's untimely death in June 1979 aged only 34 - "Down At The Farm" came out in late 1979 and is a surprisingly good set – especially re-listening to it in retrospect.

"Time Loves A Hero" features only two George songs – the fabulous funk of "Rocket In My Pocket" and a co-write with Paul Barrere on "Keepin' Up With The Joneses". The other seven are a very mixed bag. Although derided at the time as a step too far – the fusion-rock instrumental "Day At The Dog Races" comes across like mid-Seventies Weather Report meets Todd Rundgren's Utopia – but I’ve always liked it. And it's a blast to finally hear it receive some muscle on the audio front. The backing vocals of Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald from The Doobie Brothers lift "Red Streamliner" considerably and former Steely Dan guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (and fellow Doobie) contributes subtle Dobro playing to the largely-acoustic album finisher "Missin' You" – a very pretty Paul Barrere song.

"Down On The Farm" again features cover artwork by painter Neon Park and this time has five of the nine tracks with contributions from Lowell – "Six Feet Of Snow", "Kokomo", "Be One Now", "Straight From The Heart" and "Front Page News". The album features guest guitarists Robben Ford and Fred Tackett (Tackett would later join Little Feat) as well as Bonnie Raitt on backing vocals. Highlights for me include the witty "Shut Up!" frog beginning of the excellent return to form song "Down On The Farm" – the band suddenly sounding like the glory of old. "Six Feet Of Snow" isn't great but "Perfect Imperfection" is a lovely slow melody written by Paul Barrere with Tom Snow. It has a great guitar solo – and overall sounds like smooth-as-silk Boz Scaggs. "Kokomo" is a Lowell George winner with that sly guitar/keyboard funk and those lady-of-the-night "...Miss Demeanor..." lyrics. Their follows probably the album's highlight – the forlorn swing of "Be One Now" – a really lovely melody about friendship (lyrics above). "Straight From The Heart" is good too with great clarity in the mastering - while I so dig "Front Page News" which sounds like a Steely Dan "Aja" outtake (not a bad thing in any man's language). "Wake Up Dreaming" rocks it up a beat - while "Feel The Groove" is like a different band on a funky/disco tip. It's nice in places - but it's possibly not the best way to end that phase of the band's illustrious history…

To sum up – this is a five-star reissue of two-to-four star material. For me "Time Loves A Hero" is a bit of a dog frankly – but very much in this release's favour is "Down On The Farm". I was shocked at how good it stands up - a full 30+ years after the event – especially given the difficult circumstances in which it was made.

Bottom line - well laid out, great sound and a cheap price. Perfect imperfection indeed…
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I love both of these albums, so to see them both in onebox at the price I paid for it was a no brainer. I never owned Down on the Farm on cd before, so at least it was not buying twice for the sake of it. The other big attraction here was the remastering. None of Little Feats studio albums have got a stand alone remastering, sure a load of tracks were done for the Hotcakes and Outtakes box set, but no stand alone albums, thereby missing out some great songs.

The sound here is superb, best I have heard either of these albums, even on vinyl.

First class!
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on 17 April 2012
Both CDs in this package have been sonically improved with remastering.

Down On The Farm in particular has benefited greatly from this process and now sounds better than it ever did, and all the tracks have stood the test of time remarkably well. Only three tracks from this album were previously available as remasters, (on Hotcakes & Outtakes) and one of those three tracks was the Hoy- Hoy! version of 'Front Page News', which is a completely different take/version to the one originally on Down On The Farm.

Up until now only five of the nine tracks on Time Loves A Hero were available as remasters (on Hotcakes & Outtakes), so it's great to hear this entire album as well with a complimentary up-to-date remastering.

This Euro double CD is very well put together, includes an attractive, colourful booklet.

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on 21 February 2014
Time Loves A Hero/Down On The Farm, great package, but I don't think the quality is as good as my Vinyl versions. Down On The Farm in particular, does not sound that great to me. I feel that these two releases have been sidelined, or forgotten in some way. Down On The Farm I think is the better one, because Lowell George has more songs on this album. Front Page News I think is the standout track. Kokomo, Be One Now, Perfect Imperfection, Straight From The Heart, Six Feet Of Snow are all wonderful songs. the rest however are not as good, sort of filler material. Little Feat made fantastic music. I really do feel that Down On The Farm needs to be reappraised by music critics, because it is not the turkey that people think it is. Time Loves A Hero is good, but not in the same league as their earlier work. The Production is too Glossy, typical of the late seventies, this does not sit well with the band in my opinion. I also think they could have included some outtake material, I have some great versions of Rocket In My Pocket. A proper Box Set is something that needs to be addressed. Bill Payne and Paul Barrere were taking most of the lions share where the writing credits were concerned, therefore, the material suffered as a result. they went in a direction that Lowell was not happy with. A Day At The Dog Races was one of those tracks. Lowell thought it sounded like the band Weather Report, although that is no bad thing, considering that Little Feat always tried to come up with new ways of Recording and Arranging. lets hope that Little Feat get inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it is long overdue. they have influenced so many bands over the years. all their music needs to be repressed on Vinyl. Sailin' Shoes and Dixie Chicken have been re released on 180 gram Vinyl a few years ago. The whole lot needs to be given a new lease of life. Lets see a Little Feat Box Set of all the Albums on Vinyl, now that would be worth waiting for. the Neon Park artwork does not stand out on the CD versions. come on Rhino, give Little Feat a complete overhaul of their timeless work. I am sure it will happen one day.
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I snapped this up when I saw it was a two-in-one. isn`t exactly. It`s an excellently packaged 2-CD reissue of Little Feat`s last two albums, but the shame is that they are both on the short side, and would therefore have fitted onto one disc. Why do companies do this? Who wouldn`t rather put on a 75-minute CD and relax without needing to get up and replace the disc after about half an hour?
The booklet, with its well-chosen pics and better than usual notes by Alan Robinson,
is a bonus, and it`s certainly good to have these two albums together, though there is so much that is less than their best here that perhaps a single-CD compilation taken from them both would have been the better option.
I love Lowell George - cried when I heard he`d died, back in 1979 - and to me he was Little Feat. His singing, guitar playing and songwriting were almost peerless in that decade, and on a song like Rock and Roll Doctor (from Feats Don`t Fail Me Now, one of their finest albums) or Cold, Cold, Cold (from the equally great Sailin` Shoes) all three came together in miraculous accord. He could outsing and outplay the very best, because he was just that. I place him up there with Paul Rodgers, John Fogerty, and The Band`s Richard Manuel.
These two valedictory records are a mixed bag. Lowell was absent some of the time, or simply didn`t have his heart in it anymore. He was supposedly going to reform the band without key members Bill Payne and Paul Barrere, which would have restored the rootsier sound of their earlier and best music - one can hear the rot setting in here, with AOR workouts that are listenable but as far from the heyday of the Feat as some of the Stones` later stuff is from Out Of Our Heads or Exile On Main Street.
Highlights are few. On Time Loves A Hero, the tracks Rocket In My Pocket, Old Folks Boogie and New Delhi Freight Train sound fine, while Barrere`s Missin` You is excellent, a brief, touching ballad.
Down On The Farm starts well, as though they had managed to recapture some of their old spirit. The title track is witty - L Feat were always full of an insinuating drollery - while Six Feet Of Snow is an organ-led uptempo number that eschews gutsiness for an almost novelty feel, but at least Lowell sounds good. Perfect Imperfection is an undistinguished song by Barrere & Tom Snow which Lowell sings nicely. Kokomo is almost like old times, but Lowell sounds tired on most of these songs.
It`s followed by the best song of all the 18 on these two discs. The simple and lovely Be One Now is a mid-tempo ballad that grows in intensity as it progresses. Lowell sings it with all the soulfulness of which he was abundantly capable. There is still something missing, but it`s by far the standout track here. He was a rare songwriter, with a sensibility that could be delicate or raunchy, sometimes both at the same time. Despite the drug problems that finally did for him, I can`t imagine he was anything but a lovely man.
Front Page News is, again, saved by a superb vocal by LG, but, as with so many of these tracks, it`s compromised by Bill Payne`s resolutely naff keyboards. The last two tracks are best left without comment.
In certain moods, this last hurrah (only two cheers, alas) sounds pretty good, as we`re talking about one of the funkiest rock bands of the last forty years, who could play anybody off the stage. But too often it`s a sad farewell to the great heart that was the inimitable Lowell George. Our man made one solo album just before he died, the terrific Thanks, I`ll Eat It Here. It puts these comparatively
pale efforts in the shade. Three stars is about right. Little Feat/Lowell George fans will want this, but don`t expect another Sailin` Shoes or Dixie Chicken.

"They all ask about you
Down on the farm..."
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on 6 February 2013
Little Feat are one of the essential American bands of the 70's and this is a very good value collection of the last two albums made by the best known line-up, with Lowell George as front man. 'Time Loves a Hero' has tended to be under-valued, as it contains fewer LG contributions than previous albums, but I have always liked it. The rest of the band pulled together and contributed some good songs, in particular the title track, Red Streamliner, New Delhi Freight Train and Missin' You.
'Down on the Farm' is the one Feat album I didn't get round to buying first time around and I'm really pleased I did now. It features several songs written or co-written by Lowell George, who sadly died before the album was released in 1979. I particularly like Six Feet of Snow, Kokomo and Straight From the Heart and the whole album is really good, with the possible exception of the final track.
Overall, highly recommended. I suggest fans and music lovers generally also seek out the first five Little Feat albums (available as a box set Original Album Series: Little Feat / Sailin' Shoes / Dixie Chicken / Feats Don't Fail Me Now / The Last Record Album), the double live album Waiting For Columbus and George's only solo album Thanks I'll Eat It Here.
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on 15 December 2012
I am getting rid of my vinyl records of which I have over a thousand LP's (My grandson has never seen a record being played!)and I have been carefully selecting those I want to keep on CD. These two LP's represent the very last of the old Little Feat albums being replaced. I would say to people who don't know little feat that any album by them is better than most else and the old ones are the best of those.
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on 25 May 2012
Thanks for sending this so quickly! Amazed at the excellent service, considering I live all the way across the pond in North Dakota.
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on 15 April 2014
Fantastic priced cd with 2 very groovy albums from Little Feat. A lot of good tracks on both albums. Great buy
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