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NRBQ ‎– NRBQ (1969/2018)

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NRBQ ‎– NRBQ (1969/2018)

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A1 	C'mon Everybody 	
A2 	Rocket Number 9 	
A3 	Kentucky Slop Song 	
A4 	Ida 	
A5 	C'mon If You're Comin' 	
A6 	You Can't Hide 	
A7 	I Didn't Know Myself 	
B1 	Stomp 	
B2 	Fergie's Prayer 	
B3 	Mama Get Down Those Rock And Roll Shoes 	
B4 	Hymn Number 5 	
B5 	Hey! Baby 	
B6 	Liza Jane 	
B7 	Stay With Me

Bass, Vocals – Jody St. Nicholas
Guitar, Vocals – Steve Ferguson
Keyboards, Harmonica, Recorder, Vocals – Terry Adams
Percussion – G. T. Staley
Trombone – Don Adams (tracks: A2, A3, A6)
Vocals, Percussion [Auxiliary] – Frank Gadler 

 

NRBQ have evolved considerably over the course of a career that's lasted over 50 years and isn't done just yet. But the band's self-titled debut album, originally released in 1969, is joyous evidence that their originality and spark were there right from the very start. Cut several years before NRBQ settled into their "classic" lineup, here founders Terry Adams (keyboards and vocals) and Joey Spampinato (bass and vocals) are joined by lead singer Frank Gadler, guitarist Steve Ferguson, and drummer Tom Staley. Gadler and Ferguson's musical personalities put a different spin on this music than NRBQ would generate a few years down the line, when Al Anderson's guitar work and songwriting would become a key part of their recipe. Here, they sound more like a boogie band than they did when they hit their stride, albeit one with a very individual approach. But the group's trademark eclecticism and sense of fun are very much in evidence. The album's opening one-two punch of Q-approved reworkings of Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody" and Sun Ra's "Rocket #9" demonstrate both their musical reach and the depth of their influences, Adams' crazy-quilt melodic ideas and inspired keyboard work are featured on "Kentucky Slop Song" and "Stay with We," Spampinato contributes a first-class rocker in "You Can't Hide" (NRBQ would revisit the song on 1980's Tiddlywinks), and Steve Ferguson's estimable guitar work and songwriting bona fides ("I Didn't Know Myself," "Stomp," and "Fergie's Prayer") are a reminder of what a potent force he was in the band's early days. NRBQ is the work of a band that sometimes sounds like it's still finding its way in the recording studio, and Eddie Kramer's production sometimes lacks the punch the musicians needed. But even though NRBQ would make better albums in the future, their debut is the work of a group that already had a sound all its own and a love of music that was wildly infectious, and this is an often overlooked gem in the Q's catalog. ---Mark Deming, AllMusic Review

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