Back a ways there was one album that just about every 14 year old wanted – not for the music, they used to steal the cover alone from the local record shop. The image of Zelda Plum on the cover clad only in fruits was more than most teenagers could stand. If they had released the cover as a poster it would probably have been a million seller but as it was the album still made the top forty.
So the question is, inevitably, does this re-issue cut the mustard? Well the cover isn’t quite as raunchy as I remembered but the music – well that is another thing entirely; what a belter!
Juicy Lucy were formed after garage band The Misunderstood broke up and they brought a combination of Blues, Garage/punk and straight out Raunch together and it is simply brilliant even by today’s standards.
‘Mississippi Woman’ is a Louisiana swamp groove with some wicked slide and raw vocals but it is only a taster for the monstrous version of Bo Diddley’s ‘Who Do You Love’ which was a single hit but sounds ten times better as an album track with original vocalist Ray Owen’s gravel and sneer and Glen-Ross Campbell’s screaming slide producing a mesmerising morass of sound. ‘Just One Time’ is very deep and dense, very Gris Gris and ‘Train’ is simply a brilliant and mature jazz/Blues while ‘Nadine’ harks right back to the garage credentials of The Misunderstood. A real vintage album and well worthy of reissue.
The band’s second album, ‘Lay Back And Enjoy It’ featured a very different line-up: Paul Williams had joined from Zoot Money’s band along with guitarist Mickey Moody (Campbell now just playing slide guitar) and Rod Coombes on drums and the sound is noticeably less dark and more inclined to the jazz/Rock than swamp Blues.
For all of that though it features a stunning version of Zappa’s ‘Willie The Pimp’ and their take on ‘Whisky In My Jar’ – not the Thin Lizzy number but the old Blues shouter.Frankly, if you can only handle one album then ‘Juicy Lucy’ is a stunner but they both have their moments and ‘Willie The Pimp’ is simply brilliant.
by Andy Snipper
1. Mississippi Woman (Campbell, Dobson, Mercer) - 3:45
2. Who Do You Love? (McDaniel) - 3:01
3. She's Mine/She's Yours (Ellis, Thomas) - 5:45
4. Just One Time (Campbell, Hubbard) - 1:39
5. Chicago North-Western (Campbell, Hubbard) - 4:04
6. Train Miles (Richards) - 5:51
7. Nadine (Berry) - 2:47
8. Are You Satisfied (Dobson, Mercer, Thomas) - 6:15
9. Thinking of My Life (Williams) - 4:31
10.Built for Comfort (Dixon) - 6:03
11.Pretty Woman (Williams) - 3:15
12.Whisky in My Jar (Ellis, Moody, Williams) - 4:01
13.Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham (Bramlett, Davis) - 4:13
14.Changed My Mind (Campbell, Hubbard) - 3:07
15.That Woman's Got Something (Campbell, Moody, Williams) - 2:55
16.Willie the Pimp (Zappa) - 5:37
17.Lie Back and Enjoy It (Williams) - 1:30
1969 Juicy Lucy
*Glen "Ross" Campbell - Steel Guitar
*Ray Owen - Vocals
*Chris Mercer - Sax
*Neil Hubbard - Guitar
*Keith Ellis - Bass
*Pete Dobson - Drums
1970 Lie Back and Enjoy It
*Glenn "Ross" Campbell - Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
*Rod Coombes - Drums, Percussion
*Keith Ellis - Bass
*Chris Mercer - Keyboards, Saxophone
*Micky Moody - Guitar
*Paul Williams - Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals