Saturday, 11 June 2016

"Be Seeing You" LP by Dr. FEELGOOD [feat Gypie Mayo] (Inside the 2012 EMI 'Taking No Prisoners' 4CD/1DVD Box Set Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...Fine Looking Figure..."

I know fan affection lies firmly with the original Wilko Johnson line-up of the mighty Dr. FEELGOOD (Britain's best Pub Rock and R 'n' B band) - but for me the JOHN 'GYPIE' MAYO line-up was even more mind-blowing than its superlative predecessor. And 1977's "Be Seeing You" by Dr. FEELGOOD only hammers this home in spades.

You can acquire it individually for about nine quid - but I'd suggest you take the warm hand-shandy plunge and fork out a few extra quid on the truly fantastic and jam-packed 5-disc EMI reissue "Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981)". 

A 4CD/1DVD hardback book-shaped Box Set issued July 2013 in the UK on EMI 5099901954029 (Barcode 5099901954029) - it contains the "Be Seeing You" LP in stonking Remastered form and a whole lot more besides. Here's the soiled beer mats...

Disc 1 - STUDIO (77:45 minutes):
1. Ninety Nine And A Half Just Won't Do
2. She's A Wind Up
3. I Thought I Had It Made
4. I Don't Wanna Know
5. That's It, I Quit
6. As Long As The Price Is Right
7. Hi-Rise
8. My Buddy-Buddy Friends
9. Baby Jane
10. The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'n' Roll
11. Looking Back
12. 60 Minutes Of Your Love
Tracks 1 to 12 are their 5th album "Be Seeing You" - UK released in September 1977 on United Artists UAS 30123.

Tracks 23 and 24 on Disc 1 are the non-album single "As Long As The Price Is Right" and "Down At The (Other) Doctors". The A is a 'Second Version' and was issued as a UK 7" single in April 1979 on United Artists UP 36506 (the original mix is on the "Be Seeing You" LP – Track 6).

BBC Sight And Sound Concert Recorded and Broadcast December 1977
Of the 11 tracks - six from the "Be Seeing You" album are featured
"Looking Back", "Baby Jane", "The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'n' Roll", "That's It, I Quit" and "She's A Windup"
Top Of The Pops Broadcasts - 5 songs from 1977 to 1979
6 Video Clips for 6 songs
Tyne Tees Television clip from "Alright Now" Program July 1980
The South Bank Show recorded June 1981 - Interviews etc

PETER MEW has done the peerless remasters - a man I've raved about on many occasions and an engineer whose handled hundreds of reissue projects. The sound quality here is FABULOUS - punchy, great power and never too amped up to be over trebled. And the full colour 72-page booklet is incredible - full of adverts, single sleeves, live shots, memorabilia, outtakes from album covers - even the 4 discs ape the band-member Toby Jugs on the front cover of "Let It Roll". The 'Discography' section has photos for the 7" singles "She's A Windup" (September 1977 on United Artists UP 36304) and "Baby Jane" (November 1977 on United Artists UP 36332). They even picture the titled plain card sleeve for the "Baby Jane" 12" single. One whole page in the booklet is given over to a trade advert (LP and Cassette) for the "Be Seeing You" album with its 'Prisoner' penny farthing bicycle in the background. Continuing on the Patrick McGoohan 'Prisoner' TV Show Theme – the album is produced by 'No. 6' which turns out to be English musical hero NICK LOWE.

We get the beers in with a choppy Feelgood version of "Ninety Nine And A Half (Won't Do)" – a cover of Wilson Pickett's May 1966 Atlantic Records hit. Things continue at a typically frantic pace – the fantastic band-written "She’s A Windup" where this girl wears low cut dresses but when the action starts that's as low as she goes (lyrics above). We then get a brilliant groove in the shapely "I Thought I Had It Made" – a witty Brilleaux and Mayo tale of a sure-fire night of passion (swinging to The Moody Blues) until the joint gets raided. Another potential single was the chugger "I Don't Want To Know” – a fantastic Feelgood groove with Mayo going all Jeff Beck in the guitar solo.

Sleazy and just the right side of hotel-room hilarious - you can so hear why they chose the witty Larry Wallis song "As Long As The Price Is Right" as a single and why the 'second version' had an oomph the LP cut somehow lacked. "...If you got no cash...then I gotta dash..." - Lee Brilleaux sings with a Soho weariness that smells of stale perfume and overfilled ashtrays. The cool instrumental "Hi-Rise" featured on the British 12" single of that other LP winner "Baby Jane" – a frantic Harmonica-driven cover of an obscure Otis Clay 45 from 1969 on Dakar Records. "I'm gonna tell you all a that's never been told..." - Brilleaux growls at the beginning of a ridiculously good cover of the old Muddy Waters showstopper "The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'n' Roll". It ends on the neck-jerking "Looking Back" – a great Johnny Watson song about looking back at her while she was looking back at him (and on it goes).

As Number 2 said to Number 6 in "The Prisoner" TV Series - "Be Seeing You". You're too damn right.

DR. FEELGOOD in the 70ts were the absolute business. Flash the cash on this one boys...make with the green...if you know what I mean...

PS: I've also reviewed the 'Wilko Johnson' period of Dr. FEELGOOD on the EMI Box Set called "All Through The City" and the Japanese SHM-CD reissue of "Private Practice" from 1978 (same band line-up)

PPS: There's an obituary in the Christmas 2013 issue of The Record Collector Magazine for John Mayo who sadly died (aged 62) in October 2013. RIP you rockin' genius.

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