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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...
1212 comments| 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 February 2014
Pre ordered and looked forward to this. Already have the original vinyl(s) and most CD's but the sound quality of the original Cd's ranges from bad to just about acceptable. Straight on with 'The Last Record Album', a favourite, and doom and despondency set in. Same poor mastering, very disappointed, considered sending the box back - and then - a few days later, started to play some of the other albums and just as has already been said, most of the albums sound wonderful and MUCH better than the Original Series or previous single CD's. But Rhino please, why didn't you remaster 'The Last Record Album' and 'Dixie Chicken'? Shame on you! And personally I would have paid more for a better box and a decent booklet with the original liner notes. Still, this is progress. It's cheap, it's wonderful music, and most of it is in very good sound quality.
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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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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 5 May 2014
This really is a magnificent box set. All the great albums are here and they still sound fresh and captivating.
Little Feat are one of the great bands of the last few decades. Their music is quite eclectic in the way that the Grateful Dead were and is all the better for it. Unmissable - and also a great price for seminal music of the period.
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on 9 March 2014
I returned to listening regularly to Little Feat about three years ago and now rarely have them off my car CD player or desktop MP3 player.

Yes, I had most of these wonderful albums on vinyl, but I don't see the point of indulging a nostalgia fetish (like one of the recent reviewers) when it is the music that matters. Little Feat sound fresh and alive in any sound system.

I bought this new collection because it has a few out-take tracks I've never heard previously (so that was a big treat) and because it's wonderful listening to this big set at a four or five hour stretch as a continuous MP3. The remastering is excellent to my ears. I'm never going to tire of this band. If anything, I think these classic recordings grow with each passing decade.
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on 26 February 2014
The music is as good as it gets, the band is awesome, the sound of these discs is bright but not overly so and compared to the separate CD versions of each disc I'd have to recommend this boxed set on sonic grounds and also as the best bang for your buck. Not as good as the original vinyl - will anything ever be? Highly recommended. If you only ever owned 1 or 2 of Little Feats back catalogue (shame on you) treat yourself to a bargain - over 600 minutes from one of the best and most consistent bands ever. Two degrees in Bebop? You bet!!!
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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 3 March 2014
I was looking Foward to this release, but was so Disappointed. this release is misleading. The sound was not that great, Little Feat don't sit well when it comes to CD.

The short answer is that the term "digitally remastered" means nothing. All CDs are digital, so when applied to a CD release the term is nonsense without a detailed explanation of just what remastering was actually done. Even the term "master" can and does have several different meanings, as there are several different stages where a different "master" copy exists.

What it should mean is that original analog studio master tapes were used to create a new digital multi-track master from which all mixing and processing is done.

The last two albums sound pretty good, but the rest just does not cut it for me at all. The Outakes from Hotcakes CD is not too bad, but nothing special. The standout tracks are Rat Faced Dog, Doriville, Eldorado Slim, Brickyard Blues. these tracks sound fine, They should have included Mercenary Jam, (mercenary territory, from The Last Record Album) now that would have been something else. There are some bootlegs out there that have far better material. I also feel that the whole package looks cheap. and where are the original Lyric inserts for Time Loves A Hero, Down On The Farm, Let It Roll, Representing The Mambo? this is another lazy way of reproducing a package and getting it badly wrong. The original card reproduction sleeves from Japan have the lyric inserts, as well as the protective inner sleeve. The way the CD's have been placed in the cardboard sleeves is not good at all. (this is equivalent to placing a vinyl record in a LP sleeve without the inner sleeve) they could have at least placed the Discs in a proper protective sleeve. the whole thing has not been done properly, it just looks dull.

All of my Led Zeppelin CD card sleeves have the inserts in them. Atlantic Records even went to the trouble to include the spinning wheel for Led Zeppelin 3 on the cardboard sleeve! I find the whole package cumbersome, and not well thought out. Even the XTC CD's that came out a few years ago seem to be better represented than this Box Set.

What Rhino should have done is release each one of the albums in a separate edition, with a booklet, to detail each albums recording history. and include all the artwork and inserts, that would have been a much better way to represent the band. I have all the Vinyl of Little Feat, (including repressings) and that is far better than this sorry affair.

The Edsel/Rhino CD of Time Loves A Hero/Down On The Farm, included the Lyrics, so why not on this release? lets see a Vinyl Repressing of all their albums, like the 180 gram Sailin' Shoes, and Dixie Chicken, which alone, puts this Box set to shame. Lets hope in the future that Rhino releases something far more worthwhile, this is not it. The whole Package has been dressed up to be some sort of definitive collection, when in fact it is just another rehash from previous releases over the years. this is typical of Warner/Rhino.

I still feel that this band has not been given the proper care and attention that it deserves. Little Feat fans have yet again been given short shrift. this Box set is not worth the money. Thank Heavens for Vinyl.
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on 25 October 2014
Others will - rightly - lament the untimely death of the late and very great Lowell George. If you have heard anything by The Feat that you like, this is pretty much it. Is it uneven? Yes. Are there great moments to savour? Yes. I just need to spend more time with the albums I know less well to give a definitive answer. Try me again in 2016.
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