Friday, 15 April 2016

"Private Practice" by DR. FEELGOOD (2014 Japan-Only SHM-CD 5" Mini LP Artwork with 11 Bonus Tracks) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...Doctor's Orders..."

In 2012 and 2013 – EMI finally got round to doing the Dr. FEELGOOD catalogue of albums on United Artists between 1975 and 1981 – all contained in two tasty Book Sets. The April 2012 "All Through The City" 3CD/1DVD Book Set gave us the WILKO JOHNSON years from 1974 to 1977 - while July 2013's 4CD/1DVD Book Set "Taking No Prisoners" followed through with the GYPIE MAYO years from 1977 to 1981. All contained superlative PETER MEW CD Remasters done at Abbey Road from original master tapes. And that's where this gorgeous Japan-Only repro SHM-CD comes in...

In late March 2014 - Warner Brothers Japan (under the Parlophone label) reissued all 9 of their albums (7 studio and 2 live) on their exclusive SHM-CD format – most with generous amounts of Bonus Tracks (see list below). Super High Materials CDs don't require any special equipment on which to play them – they're just a better variant of the CD format put out by Toshiba Japan in the late 2000s (superior retrieval and sound). Each release comes with fully detailed 5" Mini LP Repro artwork (inner sleeves, booklets etc), a Japanese OBI strip and plastic protective. Here are the details for one the best Gypie Mayo contributions to the mighty Feelgood catalogue...

Released 26 March 2014 in Japan-Only – "Private Practice" by Dr. FEELGOOD on Warner Brothers/Parlophone WPCR-15508 (Barcode 4943674166787) is an 'Extended Edition' SHM-CD in 5” Mini LP Repro Artwork with 11 Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (74:20 minutes):

1. Down At The Doctors
2. Every Kind Of Vice
3. Things Get Better
4. Milk And Alcohol
5. Night Time
6. Let's Have A Party [Side 2]
7. Take A Tip
8. It Wasn't Me
9. Greaseball
10. Sugar Shaker
Tracks 1 to 10 are their 5th studio album "Private Practice" – released September 1978 in the UK on United Artists UAS 30184 (it peaked at No. 41 on the UK LP charts).

11. Down At The (Other) Doctors
non-album B-side to "As Long As The Price is Right" – a UK 7” single released April 1979 on United Artists UP 36506
12. Cheque Book – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
13. Back In The Night – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
14. Lucky Seven – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
15. Lights Out – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
16. Sneakin' Suspicion – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
17. Great Balls Of Fire – live at The Paddocks, Canvey Island, 10 June 1977
Tracks 12 to 17 first appeared as Previously Unreleased on the July 2013 "Taking No Prisoners (with Gypie 1977-1981)" 4CD/1DVD Book Set
18. Don't Take But A Few Minutes
19. Blues Jam
Tracks 18 and 19 are Dr. Feelgood as THE OILY CITY SHEIKS. Both tracks were non-album A&B-sides of a UK-only 7” single released June 1979 on United Artists UP 36514. The A is a Chuck Berry cover - the B-side is a Dr. Feelgood instrumental
20. Milk And Alcohol (New Recipe)
21. She’s Got Eyes On You
Tracks 20 and 21 are the non-album A&B-sides of an April 1989 UK 7" single on EMI Records EMI 89
NOTES: Tracks 11, 18, 19, 20 and 21 first appeared on the September 2001 “Singled Out: U.A//Liberty A’s B’s & Rarities” 3CD set – all tracks Remastered by DENIS BLACKHAM. To my knowledge – outside of that 3CD EMI sweep – this is the only other place The Oil City Sheiks tracks have appeared.

The 5" card artwork is immaculate right down to the colour inner sleeve with the boys loitering with intent on Harley Street with some decidedly dodgy nursing assistant. The 24-page white booklet is the usual thing with these Japanese SHMs – the lyrics in Japanese and English and little else. The CD label is Parlophone in silver so doesn't ape the United Artists original album (shame). But the great news is that the album and most of the extras use the PETER MEW Remasters from 2013 (5 are 2001 DENIS BLACKHAM Remasters). The Audio on this baby is jumping – full of power and clarity. What a hugely enjoyable listen...

Feelgood albums could be patchy (especially later on) but after the "Be Seeing You" album of 1977 – Gypie Mayo had settled in by 1978's "Private Practice" and truly made himself as much a part of that classic Dr. Feelgood sound as their founder Wilko Johnson had between 1975 and 1977. The whole "Private Practice" album works – opening with the hugely enjoyable Mickey Jupp number "Down At The Doctors" (charted at No. 48 in September 1978). That's followed by one of my faves "Every Kind Of Vice" – a fantastically hooky guitar riff leaping out of your speakers courtesy of a kicking Martin Rushent production (Richard Gotteher handled the rest of the album). Their cover of Eddie Floyd's "Thing Get Better" is good rather than great - but you can't say the same of the brilliant "Milk And Alcohol". A genius rocker co-written between Gypie Mayo and that other great pub-rocker of the day – Nick Lowe - it's probably the song their most remembered for. Side 1 ends with the wickedly catchy "Night Time" – a hooky guitar with "...jump in the shower...wash the world off my back...I'm gonna get you baby...that's a natural fact..." lyrics. Look out ladies Lee's on the prowl...

Side 2 opens with the joyous "Let's Have A Party" – an old Phil Baxter tune from the Forties than Wanda Jackson had a hit with in 1960 on Capitol. The Feelgoods keep it handclapping and fun – a perfect start to Side two. Both Mayo and singer Lee Brilleaux trumped up the goods with "Take A Tip" – a fantastic speeding rocker about "Nosebleed Sam" down at the racetrack gritting his teeth as pushes his luck just a little bit more. More wit and fun come with the love-rat-denial song "It Wasn't Me" penned by Mayo and the mighty Nick Lowe. "Greaseball" is a hip instrumental care of guitar man Mayo - but the record and side end on another winner "Sugar Shaker" – a chugger that will give you neck spasms as you boogie along to its charms.

Five of the bonus tracks are from a Previously Unreleased Dr. Feelgood concert from 10 June 1977 with the Gypie Mayo line-up in Canvey Island. Southend boy Mickey Jupp gave them "Cheque Book" - while Wilko's "Back In The Night"whips the crowd into riotous form (raw and gutsy stuff). "Lucky Seven" is a Lew Lewis song and has fantastic audio (Bass, Drums and Guitar) as Brilleaux growls through the microphone. A muscular "Sneakin' Suspicion" and rollicking cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire" leave the crowd panting. The non-album single sides only add cream to an already tasty bit of Canvey Island pie.

Dr. Feelgood is etched in my heart and this album along with them. As Lee would say to us punters of Pub Rock - "...Take a little tip from Mister Race Track Tony...stick it on the nose and ride your pony..."

Amen to that baby...

PS: The nine Dr. FEELGOOD March 2014 Japan-only Warner Brothers/Parlophone SHM-CD Reissues are:
1. Down At The Jetty (January 1975) – WPCR-15503 (Barcode 4943674166718) + 11 Bonus Tracks
2. Malpractice (October 1975) – WPCR-15504 (Barcode 4943674166732) + 9 Bonus Tracks
3. Stupidity (Live) (September 1976) – WPCR-15505 (Barcode 4943674166749) + 11 Bonus Tracks
4. Sneakin’ Suspicion (May 1977) – WPCR-15506 (Barcode 4943674166756) + 12 Bonus Tracks
5. Be Seeing You (September 1977) – WPCR-15507 (Barcode 4943674166763) + 3 Bonus Tracks
6. Private Practice (September 1978) – WPCR-15508 (Barcode 4943674166787) + 11 Bonus Tracks
7. As It Happens (Live) (May 1979) – WPCR-15509 (Barcode 4943674166794) + 11 Bonus Tracks
8. Let It Roll (September 1979) – WPCR-15510 (Barcode 4943674166800) + 2 Bonus Tracks
9. A Case Of The Shakes (September 1980) – WPCR-15511 (Barcode 4943674166817) + 2 Bonus Tracks
Note: 1 to 4 feature Wilko Johnson on Guitar - 5 to 9 feature Gypie Mayo

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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