THE LONG PLAY

 

”The Long Play with Al Neff" is a continuing Sunday evening Feature on The GOAT. This year, Every Sunday Evening, Album Rock WXYG, The GOAT will feature a full album at 8:00 PM from the halcyon musical days of 1971.

1971 was Quite an amazing year in Album Rock history. Gonna be a tough choice every week. So many great ones to choose from.

We hope you’ll tune next Sunday evening, January 24, 2021 at 8:00 PM for the self titled “Little Feat”, the first studio album by the rock band Little Feat. It was released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Records.

The album was recorded mostly during sessions between August and September 1970. Its sound is in a similar vein as the band's more widely known later recordings, such as 1973's Dixie Chicken and 1978's Waiting For Columbus. The record features Little Feat's Mk. 1 line-up, with Roy Estrada on bass. It was the first of eight albums by the band before its initial 1979 break-up. The cover shows a mural, "Venice in the Snow", painted by the L. A. Fine Arts Squad in 1970 in Venice, Los Angeles. In 2007, the album was released as a gold CD through the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.

It sold poorly (around 11,000 copies) and the band never cut anything like it again, but Little Feat's eponymous debut isn't just one of their finest records, it's one of the great lost rock & roll albums. Even dedicated fans tend to overlook the album, largely because it's the polar opposite of the subtly intricate, funky rhythm & roll that made their reputation during the mid-'70s. Little Feat is a raw, hard-driving, funny and affectionate celebration of American weirdness, equal parts garage rock, roadhouse blues, post-Zappa bizarreness, post-Parsons country rock and slightly bent folk storytelling. Since it's grounded in roots rock, it feels familiar enough, but the vision of chief songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Lowell George is wholly unique and slightly off-center. He sees everything with a gently surreal sense of humor that remains affectionate, whether it's on an ode to a "Truck Stop Girl," the weary trucker's anthem "Willin'," or the goofy character sketch of the crusty old salt "Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie." That affection is balanced by gutsy slices of Americana like the careening travelogue "Strawberry Flats," the darkly humorous "Hamburger Midnight" and a jaw-dropping Howlin' Wolf medley guest-starring Ry Cooder, plus keyboardist Bill Payne's terrific opener "Snakes on Everything." The songwriting itself is remarkable enough, but the band is its equal -- they're as loose, vibrant and alive as the Stones at their best. In most respects, this album has more in common with George's earlier band the Factory than the rest of the Little Feat catalog, but there's a deftness in the writing and performance that distinguishes it from either band's work, which makes it all the more remarkable. It's a pity that more people haven't heard the record, but that just means that anyone who owns it feels like they're in on a secret only they and a handful of others know.

Tune In and Turn On, next Sunday evening, January 24, 2021, and every Sunday evening at 8:00 PM for The GOAT'S "The Long Play with Al Neff.”

Don’t forget, right after the “Long Play”, we do a “Replay” of this week’s GOAT GUEST DJ SHOW.


 

 

 

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