1. You Got Me Singing
2. Concept World
3. I Got The Feelin'
4. Shout Bamalama
5. Get Off In It
6. Brand New Man
7. Shoot The Moon
8. We Got It
9. Yeah Man
10. I Want It All
Eddie Hinton's voice is part Otis Redding part Bobby Womack part Frankie Miller - and as you can imagine with credentials 'that' good - his guttural singing style is considered to be a thing of wonder among soul aficionados.
Recorded in November 1977 at the Muscle Shoals Sound Recording Studio in Sheffield, Alabama and released in March 1978 on Capricorn CPN-0204 in the USA only, this obscure and criminally forgotten LP received good reviews at the time of release, but produced poor sales. And it's been the very definition of ‘lost masterpiece' ever since.
Sporting what has to be one of the worst titles for an LP ever and an album cover that wasn't much better, "Very Extremely Dangerous" is a soul-rock album on a label more associated with the southern boogie of The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band and Elvin Bishop. This 1997 remaster by FRED MEYER was part of Polygram's "Capricorn Classics" CD series - but now deleted - it too is equally rare (42:05 minutes).
The session players for the album were:
EDDIE HINTON - Guitar, Piano & Vocals
BARRY BECKETT - Piano, Organ and Moog Synthesizer (also Produced)
JIMMY JOHNSON - Guitar
DAVID HOOD - Bass
ROGER HAWKINS - Drums
HARRISON CALOWAY - Trumpet
HARVEY THOMPSON - Tenor Saxophone
DENNIS GOOD - Trombone
RONNIE EADES - Baritone Saxophone
"You Got Me Singing", "I Got The Feeling", "We Got It" and "Yeah Man" are solo Hinton songs with ALVIN HOWARD co-writing on "Concept World", "Get Off In It", "Brand New Man" and "I Want It All". DAN PENN of the legendary Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham song-writing team co-wrote "Shoot The Moon" while "Shout Bamalama" is not surprising an Otis Redding cover version.
Barry Beckett's production is typically accomplished and lovely (he was one of the founders of the Muscle Shoals Studios). His history in music is extraordinary - and apart from being on so many legendary sessions as to be ridiculous - he was also at the production helm of umpteen great albums - "Communiqué” by Dire Straits (their underrated 2nd album) and Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" to name but a few (with Jerry Wexler). Which brings me to Meyer's remaster combined with Beckett's top production values - it's produced a delicious finish on this CD - a lovely warm sound that's full and sweet.
The songs have a distinctly Southern feel - they range from mellow to funky and are most effective when they slow right down. The majestic soulful build of "I Got The Feeling" is typical - a slow soulful groove is found, licking guitar then backs it up and is sided by the legendary Muscle Shoals brass - all the while Eddie is wailing like Otis is in the room and he has to impress his mentor. The boppin' "Shout Bamalama" sounds Little Richard in party mode with the boys in the band having a ball. “Yeah Man” is fabulous too – a slinky little number that goes down like honey. But the album's gem for me is "Get Off Of It" which is almost Van Morrison in its mystical soulful vibe - it's just beautiful. It contains the album's title in its lyrics and is as successful a fusion of rock and southern soul as I've ever heard.
The downside is of course acquiring this peach. Most will baulk at the extortionate prices now being asked for this rare deletion (time for a re-issue Hip-O Select), but when you hear it - you'll understand why it's worth the wallet-full required... Hinton died in 1995 at the age of 51 and this - his debut LP after years of session work - is a powerful legacy.
Lovely stuff - and recommended big time.
PS: this review is dedicated with affection to the memory of Barry Beckett who passed away in June of 2009