A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This kind of recording quality was abandoned decades ago, but there was a time — I’m old, I remember it — when engineers actually tried to produce recordings with this kind of rich, sweet, thoroughly analog sound. 1979, the year of this album’s release, is right at the tail end of it. Why do you think so much of our Hot Stamper output covers the decade that stretched from the late ’60s to the late ’70s? Only one reason — that’s where some of the best sound can be found. (It’s a bit like Willie Sutton’s famous answer to why he robbed banks: “because that’s where the money is.”)
Which is taking the long way round in saying that this recording has a healthy dose of analog Tubey Magic, in places maybe even a bit too much, as the sound can sometimes get too thick and overly rich, like a cake with too much frosting.
The best copies keep that wonderful analog smoothness and freedom from artificiality, adding to it the life and energy of classic rock and roll. Yes, you can have it all — rich analog sound that jumps out of the speakers! Just listen to those horns on Honest Man — that is the sound we are looking for on an album like this.
What Do You Want the Girl to Do?
Bonnie Raitt had a go at this one, which is a personal favorite of mine from Home Plate. I give Lowell’s version high marks here as well, slowed down and more in the groove.
A top track, very Little Feat circa Waiting for Columbus with that fabulous horn arrangement.
I Can’t Stand the Rain
Cheek to Cheek
A certain Miss Rickie Lee Jones debuted with this one, but I think Lowell puts her to shame with his slinky take on a two-bit con. (The bit about loosening a shoulder strap is a bit odd coming from The Fat Man in a Bathtub but I got past it. It even adds a certain charm to the song when you stop to think about it.)
20 Million Things
Find a River
AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review!
Thanks I’ll Eat it Here is strikingly different from the fusion-leanings of Little Feat’s last studio album, Time Loves a Hero. Lowell George never cared for jazz-fusion, so it should be little surprise that there’s none to be heard on Thanks. Instead, he picks up where Dixie Chicken left off (he even reworks that album’s standout “Two Trains”), turning in a laid-back, organic collection of tunes equal parts New Orleans R&B, country, sophisticated blues, and pop…
Lowell’s style is so distinctive and his performances so soulful, it’s hard not to like this record if you’ve ever had a fondness for Little Feat. After all, it’s earthier and more satisfying than any Feat album since Feats Don’t Fail Me Now and it has the absolutely gorgeous “20 Million Things,” the last great song George ever wrote.”