Wednesday, 20 August 2008

- Jo Jo Gunne by JO JO GUNNE (2008 Asylum/Rhino 'Encore Series' CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...



JO JO GUNNE and bands like them are part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00LQKMC6I

"…Run Run Run…"

Like most people I was drawn to the American boogie rock of JO JO GUNNE by their fantastic debut single "Run Run Run" in early 1972 - it was a huge radio hit on both sides of the pond and has remained so ever since - Mark Andes' zippy guitar work up and down the frets thrilling to this day. 

1. Run Run Run
2. Shake That Fat 
3. Babylon 
4. I Make Love 
5. Barstow Blue Eyes
6. 99 Days [Side 2]
7. Academy Award 
8. Take It Easy 
9. Flying Home 
Tracks 1 to 9 are their debut LP "Jo Jo Gunne" – released February 1972 in the USA on Asylum Records SD 5053 and April 1972 in the UK on Asylum SYLA 8752. 

The album produced two 45s:
"Run Run Run" b/w "Take It Easy"  
March 1972 USA 7" single on Asylum AS-11003
March 1972 UK 7" single on Asylum AYM 501 with "Shake That Fat" as the B-side

"Shake That Fat" b/w "I Make Love" 
September 1972 USA 7” single on Asylum AS-11007 
September 1972 UK 7” single on Asylum AYM 507

JO JO GUNNE were:
JAY FERGUSON on Keyboards and Vocals [ex SPIRIT, later went Solo]
MARK ANDES on Guitars [ex SPIRIT, later in FIREFALL and HEART]
MATTHEW ANDES on Bass [Mark's Brother]
CURLY SMITH on Drums

Taking their name from a 1958 Chuck Berry song on Chess Records - all 10 of the songs were written by either FERGUSON or FERGUSON and ANDES combined. "Run Run Run" made number 5 on the UK singles charts in March 1972 (Asylum AYM 501), while "Shake That Fat" b/w "I Make Love" was issued on Asylum AYM 507 as a follow-up, but it did no business. 

Musically you'd describe JO JO GUNNE as early LYNYRD SKYNYRD meets mid 70's LITTLE FEAT and THE OUTLAWS with the drivin' boogie blues of early 70's FOGHAT somewhere in between - a very tasty combination indeed. But despite making 3 other albums for Asylum "Bite Down Hard" (1973), "Jumpin' The Gun" (1974) and "So...Where's The Show" (1974) - they remained something of a one-hit wonder here in the UK and the British pressings of the last 3 albums are not that easy to find.  

The packaging on this August 2008 CD of "Jo Jo Gunne" by JO JO GUNNE is all but non-existent (Asylum/Rhino 8122-79905-09 - Barcode 081227990596) . Rhino have re-issued this album on their new “Encore Series" label imprint (see below) and while the remastered sound is great - the trade off for the £5 price tag is a gatefold inlay which lists only the tracks and no other info of any kind - not even who played on what. A bit of a shame that. The label on the disc, however, reflects its US vinyl original - the Asylum ‘Cage In The Sky' logo. 

Their debut still has most people’s hearts - opening as it does with that killer song “Run Run Run” which still sounds amazing to this day. “Shake That Fat” was originally the B-side in the UK-only to “Run Run Run” (they used “Take It Easy” in the USA – it’s not an Eagles song but a Ferguson/Andes original) – but “Shake That Fats” was good rather than being great and tanked as second 45. “Babylon” is a great melodic Rock tune and might have been a better choice for 2nd single - or even the rocking “I Make Love” with its cool Joe Walsh’s James Gang feel to the guitars. Barroom boogie comes in the shape of “Barstow Blue Eyes” - a song about a tired waitress living for the freedom of the weekend after work. Side 2 opens with the piano and guitar “99 Days” followed by naughty ladies in the rather menacing “Academy Award”. Things slow down and get slightly Bluesy with “Take It Easy” while it ends on the almost Skynyrd “Flying Home” – a Rock ballad Jay Ferguson should be proud of. 

Still - I've loved this album across the years and it's a blast to hear it again -especially sounding this good. Hopefully the excellent introductory price will entice others to buy - recommended…

PS: The RHINO ENCORE SERIES: 
For info purposes, this CD is part of Rhino's "ENCORE" series - reissues of classic albums from the huge WEA catalogue. All 37 titles listed below were issued Monday 11 August 2008 and are based on the US versions of the albums; there's more promised in the forthcoming months. The label on each CD reflects the original American LP release, the Warner Brothers Tan label design for Curved Air in 1970, while the Burbank Avenue Of Trees label is on the McGarrigle disc of 1975, the pink Bearsville on Bobby Charles and so on. I've provided year of release and label for reference - and as you can see, some are re-releases, but there's also plenty of great titles seeing the light of day for the first time...

1.   Solid Bond by GRAHAM BOND [1970 on Warner Brothers, a 2LP set on 1CD) 
2.   Byrds by BYRDS (1973 on Asylum)
3.   Bobby Charles by BOBBY CHARLES (1972 debut on Bearsville)
4.   3614 Jackson Highway by CHER (1969 on Atco)
5.   Pretties For You by ALICE COOPER (1969 debut on Straight)
6.   Easy Action by ALICE COOPER (1970 on Straight)
7.   Air Conditioning by CURVED AIR (1970 debut on Warner Brothers)
8.   Second Album by CURVED AIR (1971 on Warner Brothers)
9.   Hand It Over by DINOSAUR JR. (1997 on Blanco Y Negro)
10. A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die by THE FLESH EATERS (1981 on Initial)
11. Aretha Arrives by ARETHA FRANKLIN (1967 on Atlantic)
12  Let Me In Your Life by ARETHA FRANKLIN (1974 on Atlantic)
13. The J. Geils Band by THE J. GEILS BAND (1971 debut on Atlantic)
14. All To Bring You Morning by JOHNNY HARRIS (1973 on Warner Brothers)
15. The Living End by HUSKER DU (Live, 1994 on Warner Brothers)
16. Jobriath by JOBRIATH (1973 debut on Elektra)
17. Jo Jo Gunne by JO JO GUNNE (1972 debut on Asylum)
18. Glorious Fool by JOHN MARTYN (1981 on WEA)
19. Well Kept Secret by JOHN MARTYN (1982 on WEA)
20. Kate & Anna McGarrigle by KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE (1975 on Warner Brothers)
21. Graham Nash and David Crosby by GRAHAM NASH & DAVID CROSBY (1972 on Atlantic)
22. Innocent Eyes by GRAHAM NASH (1986 on Atlantic)
23. GP by GRAM PARSONS (1973 solo debut on Reprise)
24. Grievous Angel by GRAM PARSONS (1974 on Reprise)
25. Third Eye by REDD KROSS (1990 on Atlantic)
26. Love Man by OTIS REDDING (1969 on Atlantic)
27. Doug Sahm And Band by DOUG SAHM and BAND (1973 on Atlantic)
28. Tarzana Kid by JOHN SEBASTIAN [of The Lovin' Spoonful] (1974 on Reprise)
29. John David Souther by JOHN DAVID SOUTHER (1972 debut on Asylum) [See REVIEW]
30. Sparks by SPARKS 
(This is their 1971 "Halfnelson" debut album - re-issued as "Sparks" in 1972 on Bearsville under their new name, Sparks)
31. A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing by SPARKS (1973 2nd LP on Bearsville)
32. God Bless Tiny Tim by TINY TIM (1968 on Reprise)
33. Zero Time by TONTO'S EXPANDING HEAD BAND (1971 on Atlantic)
34. Orange Crate Art by BRIAN WILSON and VAN DYKE PARKS (1995 on Warner Bros)
35. I've Got My Own Album To Do by RONNIE WOOD [Faces & The Rolling Stones]
(1974 on Warner Brothers)
36. Now Look by RONNIE WOOD (1975 on Warner Brothers)

37. Mr. Bad Example by WARREN ZEVON (1991 on Giant)

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc