George Thorogood
  Nadine (also known as Better Than The Rest) [recorded 1974]
Nadine - My Way - You're Gonna Miss Me - Worried About My Baby - Night-Time - I'm Ready - My Weakness - Goodbye Baby - Huckle up Baby - Howlin' for My Darlin'

The worst thing that can happen to a musician is to slowly fall into a routine and loose the excitement of the beginning. It’s been quite a while now that I’ve flipped over a George Thorogood album. “Nadine”, first published on vinyl as “Better Than The Rest” is here to remind us how exciting George once was. This compilation is a collection of demos recorded in 1974 for MCA when the band was still looking for a contract. The band never got the contract but this recordings were published by MCA by the time the Delaware Destroyers began to draw attention with their second Rounder release “Move It On Mover”.
Though it’s close to the first album the sound is even rawer. Thorogood’s music has always been synonymous of sweat and beer, and it’s never been so true. The vocal is raspy (a good exemple is his version of Hwolin Wolf’s “Howlin’ For My Darlin’”, the band is tight and nervous and you can feel they definitely have something to prove. Of course it’s not flawless, but it’s lively and this is what this music should always be, right?
As usual with George Thorogood (and the Delaware Destroyers) the program is made of Chuck Berry / Elmore James / Hound Dog Taylor influenced brand of boogie blues and some good rockers to make you bop and stomp your feet. Two acoustic songs bring some rest to the listeners after this flood of electricity : “Gonna Miss Me”, a variation around Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Be Satisfied” and John Lee Hooker’s “Huckle Up Baby”. Some of the songs will resurface on later recordings in newer versions but for the most part you can find George’s versions of this covers only only on this selection.
There’s no musical revolution here, but who cares, this is just music to please your hear and drink a cold beer with. Fans of heavy produced blues will disdain (which is what the band did when these recordings appeared) but true fans of authentic electric blues and early Thorogood’s album will like this one.
James T. Chance

  George Thorogood & The Destroyers [1977]
You Got To Lose - Madison Blues - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer - Kind Hearted Woman - Can't Stop Lovin' - Ride On Josephine - Homesick Boy - John Hardy - I'll Change My Style - Delaware Slide

Thorogood's debut album, simply called "George Thorogood & The Destroyers" and released on the bluegrass oriented label Rounder sets the (winning) recipe that'll stay unchanged for many years. Thorogood is backed by the solid rhythm section of Jeff Simon and Billy Blough and Ron Smith on "some tracks". I remember having read somewhere that this album was first recorded with just Thorogood and Simon but the label didn't want to release it without a proper bass on it, so Bill Blough overdubbed his part. lt's a deluge of slide guitar with Elmore James tunes (Madison Blues, Can't Stop Loving), nods to Hound Dog Taylor, John Lee Hooker's boogie (One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer) and Diddley beat (Ride On Josephine) and two Thorogood's originals : Homesick Boy and Delaware Slide (that almost hits the 8' mark). The whole thing is played with a youthfull exuberance and a rock'n'roll attitude that are very refreshing and contribute to the success of this release. Add a couple of acoustic numbers to calm down the pace (a convincing Robert Johnson's Kindhearted Woman and the traditionnal John Hardy) and you'll get the perfect album to drink a cold beer with your buddies.
James T. Chance

  More [1980]
I'm Wanted - Kids From Philly - One Way Ticket - Bottom Of The Sea - Night Time - Tip On In - Goodbye Baby - House Of Blue Lights - Just Can't Make it - Restless

Released in 1980, "More George Thorogood and The Destroyers", the band's 3rd album finds George Thorogood at the dawn of breaking into the charts with the multi platinum "bad to The Bone". And the sound reflects this slight evolution. It's not yet the production you'll find on Bad to The Bone, but since his first album and Move it on over, the sound has polished a bit, and a sax player, Hank Carter, has joined the Destroyers. This exception made, the program is not very different from the previous albums, a good and solid mix of boogie blues inspired by John Lee Hooker (One Way Ticket), Elmore James (Goodbye baby), Muddy Waters (an excellent rendition of Bottom Of The Sea where the rhythm section shines) and Hound Dog taylor (Just Can Make It) with some detour by rockabilly (Carl Perkins' Restless), a cover of Freddie Slack's House of Blue Light and a powerful rendition of The Strangeloves'Night Time. And as usual tons of slide guitar. Before playing in front of thousand in giant arenas, the Destroyers proved with their first three albums, they were one of the best bar band on the planet, able to make the audiance laugh, cry, dance and sweat.
James T. Chance

Boogie People [1991]
If you don't Start Drinking (I'm going to leave) - Long Distance Lover - Mad Man Blues - Boogie People - Can't Be Satisfied - No Place To Go - Six Days On The Road - Born In Chicago - Oklahoma Sweetheart - Hello Little Girl

Released three years after "Born To Be Bad" and with the same line-up, "Boogie People" is in a similar vein but with a fuller production that serves Thorogood's brand of blues better. As usual, he pays tribute to his heroes with covers of Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker (a mean version of Mad Man Blues) and Muddy Waters (an acoustic rendition of Can't be Satisfied).
Lonesome George has also a couple of very good self penned numbers. The opener, the humorous and not politically correct "If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)" on which he complains about his sober girlfriend (Don't give me no lectures / 'Bout stress and strife / So-ber-i-ety / Just ain't my way of life / You better change / Yes, I'm begging you please / Cuz if you don't start drinkin' / I'm gonna leave.) is a solid rocker; "Long Distance Lover" carries on the Elmore James/Hound Dog Taylor torch, "Boogie People" is a strong boogie-blues and "Oklahoma Sweetheart" a very convincing country ballad. Talking about country music, they also cover Dave Dudley's Six Days On The Road and turn it into a slide guitar festival. A very good album, as good as any of his Rounder albums.
James T. Chance