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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£35.49+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 11 May 2015
An outstanding and value for money collection. The nice box makes up for the fact that this is pretty much a no frills set - no booklet with essays or pictures. And, of course, the music. Housed in nice miniaturised cardboard recreations of the original LP covers, the 13 discs contain all the original albums released by Little Feat from its debut up to 1990, with the first two albums of the post-Lowell George era included, a nice idea although some may fret or quibble over whether any line up without founder member, lead vocalist and main songwriter George is worth calling Little Feat. True, the last two albums in this set are not in the same class as the 70s classics but they are better than you might expect and Craig Fuller, who took over as lead vocalist, had already been compared favourably with Lowell George in the past. Regarding the meat of the set - those classic 70s albums sound great. Whether it's my crappy little CD player or through the ripped lossless files on my Macbook, the albums positively boom out of the speakers (and if they sound good on my speakers/headphones then they'll even satisfy most audiophiles). This is worth investing in to replace early CD versions though if you have any recent remasters then hang on to them. This collection also makes a handy alternative to LPs. But anyone who is new to Little Feat definitely ought to start here. I'd heard their music years ago thanks to my university tutor and had relied on copies until I found this set going for under £32. It's been joyous playing each album back to back during the weekends and it sits very nicely with a similar box set by Joni Mitchell (albeit one which only covers her studio albums up to the end of the 70s). Other reviews have also highlighted what makes this no frills collection truly special - the 13th disc collects all the rarities and unreleased music from the Hot Cookies box set which is no longer available. It's fitting really to have all of Little Feat's music anthologised like this. All the albums plus the rarities.
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Taking its title from a New Orleans bopper on 1990's "Representing The Mambo" - "Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971 to 1990" is a 13CD Mini Box Set that many fans will say has been a long-time coming. As usual it's a mixture of highs and lows (with way more ups than downs thankfully). Here's the weed, whites and wine...

UK released Monday 24 February 2014 (4 March 2014 in the USA) - Rhino/Warner Brothers 8122796057 breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 "Little Feat" - 1971 (33:16 minutes):
1. Snakes On Everything
2. Strawberry Flats
3. Truck Stop Girl
4. Brides Of Jesus
5. Willing
6. Hamburger Midnight
7. Forty-Four Blues/How Many More Years [Side 2]
8. Crack In Your Door
9. I've Been The One
10. Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie

Disc 2 "Sailin' Shoes" - 1972 (37:56 minutes):
1. Easy To Slip
2. Cold, Cold, Cold
3. Trouble
4. Tripe Face Boogie
5. Willin'
6. A Apolitcal Blues
7. Sailin' Shoes [Side 2]
8. Teenage Nervous Breakdown
9. Got No Shadow
10. Cat Fever
11. Texas Rose Café

Disc 3 "Dixie Chicken" - 1973 (36:46 minutes):
1. Dixie Chicken
2. Two Trains
3. Roll Um Easy
4. On Your Way Down
5. Kiss It Off
6. Fool Yourself [Side 2]
7. Walkin' All Night
8. Fat Man In The Bathtub
9. Juliette
10. Lafayette Railroad

Disc 4 "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" -1974 (34:24 minutes):
1. Rock And Roll Doctor
2. Oh Atlanta
3. Skin It Back
4. Down The Road
5. Spanish Moon
6. Feats Don't Fail Me Now [Side 2]
7. The Fan
8. Cold Cold Cold/Tripe Face Boogie (Medley)

Disc 5 "The Last Record Album" -1975 (34:35 minutes):
1. Romance Dance
2. All That You Dream
3. Long Distance Love
4. Day Or Night
5. One Love Stand [Side 2]
6. Down Below The Borderline
7. Somebody's Leavin'
8. Mercenary Territory

Disc 6 "Time Loves A Hero" - 1977 (35:36 minutes):
1. Time Loves A Hero
2. Hi Roller
3. New Delhi Freight Train
4. Old Folks Boogie
5. Red Streamliner [Side 2]
6. Keepin' Up With The Joneses
7. Rocket In My Pocket
8. Missin' You
9. Day At The Dog Races

Discs 7 and 8 are the 1978 live double "Waiting For Columbus" (the 2CD Expanded Edition). Tracks 1 to 12 on Disc 1 and Tracks 1 to 5 on Disc 2 make up the original 2LP set - 6 to 12 are previously unreleased outtakes - 13 to 15 are outtakes first issued on the "Hoy Hoy" double album
Disc 1 (60:19 minutes):
1. Join The Band [Side 1]
2. Fat Man In The Bathtub
3. All That You Dream
4. Oh Atlanta
5. Old Folk's Boogie
6. Dixie Chicken [Side 3]
7. Tripe Face Boogie
8. Rocket In My Pocket
9. Time Loves A Hero [Side 2]
10. Day Or Night
11. Mercenary Territory
12. Spanish Moon

Disc 2 (78:02 minutes):
1. Willin' [Side 4]
2. Don't Bogart That Joint
3. A Apolitical Blues
4. Sailin' Shoes
5. Feats Don't Fail Me Now
6. One Love Stand
7. Rock And Roll Doctor
8. Skin It Back
9. On Your Way Down
10. Walkin' All Night
11. Cold, Cold, Cold
12. Day At The Dog Races
13. Skin It Back
14. Red Streamliner
15. Teenage Nervous Breakdown

Disc 9 "Down On The Farm" - 1979 (37:42 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

Disc 10 "Hoy-Hoy!" - 1981 2LP Outtakes Set on 1CD (69:45 minutes):
1. Rocket In My Pocket
2. Rock And Roll Doctor
3. Skin It Back
4. Easy To Slip
5. Red Streamliner
6. Lonesome Whistle [Side 2]
7. Front Page News
8. The Fan
9. Forty-Four Blues
10. Teenage Nervous Breakdown [Side 3]
11. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (Live)
12. Framed
13. Strawberry Flats
14. Gringo
15. Over The Edge [Side 4]
16. Two Trains
17. China White
18. All That You Dream
19. Feets Don't Fail Me Now

Disc 11 "Let It Roll" - 1988 (50:16 minutes):
1. Hate To Lose Your Lovin'
2. One Clear Moment
3. Cajun Girl
4. Listen To Your Heart
5. Let It Roll [Side 2]
6. Long Time Till I Get Over You
7. Business As Usual
8. Changin' Luck
9. Voices On The Wind

Disc 12 "Representing The Mambo" - 1990 (50:59 minutes):
1. Texas Twister
2. Daily Grind
3. Representing The Mambo
4. Woman In Love
5. Rad Gumbo
6. Teenage Warrior
7. That's Her, She's Mine [Side 2]
8. Feelin's All Gone
9. Those Feat'll Steer Ya Wrong Sometimes
10. The Ingénue
11. Silver Screen

Disc 13 is a 24-Track BONUS DISC entitled "Outtakes From Hotcakes" which features all the previously unreleased versions from the much-loved and long deleted 4CD Rhino Box Set "Hotcakes & Outtakes..." issued in 2000 (78:29 minutes):
1. Jazz Thing In 10
2. Rat Faced Dog ("Little Feat" Outtake)
3. Doglines (as per 2)
4. Wait Till The S*** Hits The Fan (as per 2)
5. Easy To Fall (Easy To Slip) (Demo Made For The Doobie Brothers)
6. Texas Rose Café (as per 5)
7. Doriville ("Salin' Shoes" Outtake)
8. Boogie (became "Tripe Face Boogie") (as per 7)
9. Two Trains (Lowell George Demo)
10. Roto/Tone (as per 7)
11. Ace In The Hole (later became "Hi Roller") ("Dixie Chicken" Outtake)
12. Eldorado Slim (as per 11)
13. Feats Don't Fail Me Now ("Feat Don't Fail Me Now" Outtake)
14. Brickyard Blues (as per 13)
15. All That You Dream [Outtake featuring Linda Ronstadt]
16. Spanish Moon (7" Single Version)
17. Down Below The Borderline (Lowell George Demo)
18. Rockin' Shoes I & II (Lowell George Demo)
19. Front Page News ("The Last Record Album" Outtake)
20. High Roller (as per 19)
21. All That You Dream [with Linda Ronstadt] - 7" Single Version
22. Roll 'Em Easy ("Thanks I'll Eat It Here" Lowell George Solo LP Outtake)
23. Boogie Wigwam (Short Jazz Piece) ("PZM" Pressure Mic Demo)
24. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (Previously Unreleased Live Version)

Fans will know that the Expanded Edition of "Waiting For Columbus" and the "Hotcakes & Outtakes..." tracks are remasters from the 00's and the last two "Let It Roll" and "Representing The Mambo" were well recorded anyway. It's the Seventies output that has need upgrading for years and the Big News is that although there's no mention of mastering anywhere on the box or on the discs - some of these are REMASTERS and they sound glorious. Fans should also notice the subtle timing differences between these CDs and the ones in the disappointing "Original Album Classics" 5CD set from 2010 which simply repackaged crap Eighties sounding CDs. They're all different.

The first two albums are fantastic remasters - full of power and presence - every track filled with a muscle fans have waited years to hear. The remaster on "Cold, Cold, Cold" and "Trouble" from "Sailin' Shoes" for instance are absolutely incredible - wonderful clarity. If I were to be truthful - I'd say "Dixie Chicken" is a teensy weensy bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong - it does sound clean and clear and all (the truly beautiful "Roll Um Easy" and the dainty piano lead into "Juliette" both sound lovely) - but again it just lacks that tiny bit of muscle that would have thrilled rather than pleased.

When you play the opening duo of "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" and "Oh Atlanta" from "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" - you're back to the sonic power of the first two albums - wow! "The Last Record Album" sees the three live tracks tagged onto the Eighties CD removed at last but the same 'good' rather-than-great sound afflicts that album too. "Last..." is clean but lacks that remaster punch. Back to fabulous sonic wallop with both "Time Loves A Hero" and the posthumous Lowell George album "Down On The Farm" - sounds like Rhino have used the Edsel remaster I reviewed. And how good is it to hear "Hoy-Hoy!" rocking at last - I love that gatefold card repro (even if the booklet's not there). And for the uninitiated the mixed bag that is Disc 13 will be an eye-opener - even their outtakes had magic in them.

There's no booklet (mores the pity) and zero credits apart from the track listings on the rear of the box. The gatefold sleeves for "Sailin' Shoes", "Waiting For Columbus" and "Hoy-Hoy!" are all superbly reproduced as are the original Tan Warner Brothers labels for 1, 2 and 3 with Burbank Labels for 4 to 9, cream Warners for 10 and so on (a nice attention to detail that). It's also lovely to see Rhino use the original American Back covers (they changed across the years over here in Blighty with reissues). But a let down is that Inner Sleeves don't appear at all and "Hoy-Hoy!" hasn't got its gorgeous and info jam-packed 12-page booklet.

You could look at this box set in two ways - it's exploitive of fans who already have this stuff - and Rhino knows that once they hear that remasters are available of those beloved Seventies gems - they'll have to own it. And it's disappointing that both "Dixie Chicken" and "The Last Record Album" seem to be in some sort of permanent sonic limbo. But as a newcomer to the band - or someone who maybe only owns one or two of the older CDs - there's a truckload of goodies on here for not a lot of your greenbacks. And most of it sounds as enticing as a Dixie waitress with a great singing voice and a knack for marrying punters...

Overall I'm pleased. I say dig in people and enjoy. And God Bless you Lowell George wherever you are...
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thank you so much
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on 3 June 2016
If you don't already have these albums on CD this is the perfect opportunity to get them at a great price - this is great music!

Reading,other comments/reviews I find it frustrating when individuals knock collections like this for remastering / sound quality, packaging etc. Yes it would be nice if there were definitive liner notes etc but this is a competitively priced set in a decent box and at least the covers are faithfully reproduced. The sound is good and I'm not sure that the constant remastering that has taken place with other bands music has added that much to enjoyment of the music (with the possible exception of the Steven Wilson Work on Yes albums). When all's said and done this is simply sublime music for the most part and I for one am not complaining when I can get it at this bargain price.
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on 2 April 2014
Although have some early Little Feat cd's it is great to have themk all. mI can now select my prefered choices and create my own cd.
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on 6 April 2014
This is a very reasonably priced collection, a superb introduction to one of the USA's great bands. Personally, the earlier albums, with the contribution of the legendary Lowell George are the best, but there's plenty great listening beyond those.
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on 5 May 2014
A fine collection by a fine band. Perfect music for a warm summer evening with a few cold beer and friends.
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on 29 January 2015
One of my most favourite bands from the 70s.........aside from Bob Seger....
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on 9 June 2015
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on 27 March 2017
Bought as a present and recipient pleased.
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