- An amazing Triple Plus side two and a Double Plus side one
- This is the Big Rock Sound we love, huge and punchy with tons of space and a big bottom end
- Knockout Demo Disc Rock and Roll sound and then some
It may contain only a handful of tracks from the Hoy Hoy album, but folks, stunning sound doesn’t begin to do justice to this EP. I would state categorically that there is not a single rock record on the TAS List that can hold a candle to it in terms of live-rock-in-your-living room blasting power. This is one of the most AMAZING DEMO DISCS of All Time. If it were an album I would put it on a Top Ten Best Sounding Rock and Pop List (if we had such a thing).
It’s really not fair to judge the Harry’s List by records like this, which have never been the man’s forte. We, on the other hand, know these kinds of records about as well as anyone, and to prove it we would love to send you this copy.
And do you know how we discovered it? We had a couple of these promos lying around, and after shooting out the Hot Stamper Hoy-Hoys, we figured what the hell, throw one of them on just for fun. To our shock and dismay, it blew the doors off our BEST Hot Stamper pressings song for song. As good as those album sides sound, the EP took the same material to an ENTIRELY NEW LEVEL of sonic splendor.
This EP may only hold four songs, but each is a Demo Disc Track of the highest order: Gringo (edited version) and Over The Edge for side one; Teenage Nervous Breakdown and Rock and Roll Doctor for side two.
Little Feat, 1970
Sailin’ Shoes, 1972
Dixie Chicken, 1973
Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, 1974
The Last Record Album, 1975
Time Loves a Hero, 1977
Waiting for Columbus, 1978
AMG on Little Feat
Little Feat is an enormously versatile rock band with an ever-growing cult following in the United States and Europe. Detroit Free Press contributor Gary Graff describes Little Feat as “one of those groups that baffled record company executives and radio station program directors [with] a Cuisinart blend of rock, country, jazz, soul, blues and gospel, chopped and mixed into a dish that defied categorization.” In fact, the band probably owes its current existence to the popularity of album-rock and classic-rock radio stations. Many Little Feat albums from the 1970s are still selling today thanks to the enduring allure of Feat hits such as “Dixie Chicken” and “Oh Atlanta,” and the group’s new work is finding enthusiasts as well.
Little Feat’s down-and-dirty blues-rock was primarily the invention of Feat founder Lowell George. George and bass guitarist Roy Estrada were veterans of the Frank Zappa band Mothers of Invention before they formed their own group in 1970. The original incarnation of Little Feat also included keyboardist Bill Payne and drummer Richard Hayward, both of whom had spent years establishing themselves in the California rock scene. Much of the early Little Feat material was composed and sung by George, a talented songwriter and producer. The group’s first live gigs were performed under the dubious name Country Zeke and the Freaks, but George eventually hit upon the name Little Feat when he recalled how former band companions had teased him about his feet.
George was so well-connected in the music business that he had little trouble persuading Warner Brothers to sign his new band. Their debut album, Little Feat, was released in 1970. A “fine set of post-psychedelic country-influenced rock,” to quote the Rolling Stone Record Guide, Little Feat sold steadily behind the group’s spirited concert performances. A second album, Sailin’ Shoes (1972), was hailed by critics for its ground-breaking fusion of widely varied musical elements and for its catchy lyrics, most of them provided by Lowell George. Unfortunately, the band’s eclectic sound defied easy categorization, so pop stations were not quick to play Little Feat cuts. As a result the band sold more albums in Europe than it did in America, although concert attendance was hefty on both sides of the Atlantic.
Roy Estrada left Little Feat in 1972, and George recruited several new members to fill the gap. That year bass guitarist Ken Gradney, guitarist-vocalist Paul Barrere, and conga player Sam Clayton joined the group. These performers form the nucleus of the current version of Little Feat, and in the early 1970s they proved to be valuable members of a promising band. The first album produced by the expanded Little Feat band was Dixie Chicken, released in 1973. The title song from this release is probably the best-known Little Feat number, a swinging, good-natured rocker with elements of gospel in its sound. A 1974 album, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, also sold well and produced another popular single, “Oh Atlanta.”
A rock band’s success is measured in increments of one million, and under those criteria Little Feat did not seem so successful. Album sales in the United States averaged a half-million per title or less, despite critical acclaim. Still, the band was prosperous enough to continue recording and performing, with Payne and Barrere contributing more and more material to the albums as the decade wore on. George gradually diminished his role in the group as he sought a solo career, but he was still a member of Little Feat and can be heard singing on the 1979 album Down on the Farm, which was released after his death from a heart attack.
George’s untimely death proved to be the undoing of Little Feat. For several years the band suffered caustic reviews that suggested its reputation rested solely on George’s talent. Rather than put that hypothesis to the test, the group disbanded in 1979. Then a curious thing happened. Little Feat actually gained popularity. Copies of the classic Little Feat albums continued to sell, much to the delight of Warner Brothers executives. The group’s best numbers began to be featured on classic-rock radio stations. Like other hard-rocking bands of the early 1970s, Little Feat got a second wind from the music public’s taste for vintage recordings.
Little Feat re-formed in 1988 with a fine representation of original members—Payne, Hayward, Gradney, Barrere, and Clayton—and with new associates Fred Tackett and Craig Fuller. In little more than two years the group released two albums of new material, Let It Roll and Representing the Mambo, which both sold more initial copies than any of the classic Little Feat works. The group’s music was also used in the soundtracks of two feature films, Pink Cadillac and Twins. On tour once again, Little Feat played to appreciative audiences in smaller arenas, drawing the kind of devoted followers usually associated with cult bands like the Grateful Dead.
The comparison between Little Feat and the Grateful Dead is not an idle one. Both groups are at their most brilliant in live settings—a fact not lost on Little Feat’s critics over the years. Little Feat’s virtuoso instrumentation plays extremely well in mid-size theatres. The band’s current audiences are as eclectic in make-up as is the music itself—young rockers who list the group as an influence on their work, middle-aged business people with a fondness for real rock, and vintage hippies rejoicing over the rediscovery of an old friend. In the Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul, Irwin Stambler describes Little Feat as “a premier concert band, one able to involve the crowd passionately in its constantly changing mixture of vocal and instrumental sounds.”
Needless to say, Little Feat’s original aim was to ascend to the highest pinnacles of rock music fame. That ambition has been denied the group, but more satisfying accomplishments have come in droves—praise from critics, influence, and most importantly, lasting music. “What we do is rather special,” Bill Payne told the Detroit Free Press. “Basically, what we’re trying to do is develop this thing into a nice, long run. It takes work to bring that growth, and we’re willing to do it.”