The sound on this record is so punchy and dynamic, the rest of your rock records should seem positively anemic in comparison. Most of it sounds live in the studio, and live in the studio is how you get a bunch of guys to play with this kind of enthusiasm and energy.
Engineered in 1981 by Greg Ladanyi, the very next year he would take home the Best Engineering Grammy for Toto IV (one helluva good sounding album and a former member of our Top 100).
Fortunately for us audiophiles, this album catches him before the overly-processed, digital drums and digital echo “sound of the ’80s” had gotten into his blood. (Just play any of the awful Don Henley records he made to hear what we mean.)
This record still sounds ANALOG, and even though it may be 1981 and mostly transistorized, the better copies display strong evidence of TUBES in the recording chain.
She Took off My Romeos
Bye Bye Love
Quarter of a Man
Ain’t No Way
Twist and Shout
El Rayo X
Your Old Lady
Don’t Look Back
Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues
Pay the Man
By the time David Lindley made his move to a solo career, he was already a legend. Having toured and recorded with such names as Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and Crosby & Nash, his reputation as a multi-instrumentalist (on almost any stringed instrument) was awesome… his debut album is an absolute joy. Lindley’s version of “Mercury Blues” became an FM radio staple, and his slide guitar performances on this track alone are easily some of the finest of the decade. There are some wonderfully skewed originals on the record as well, making El Rayo-X one of the greatest rock music albums of its time. Fabulous.