Nils Lofgren “Nils Lofgren”

I picked up this record for some reason (must have been the Rolling Stone review) around 1975 when it came out, and I’ve continued to listen to it from time to time ever since.  It’s uneven, though all listenable– but there are some really great songs on it. I also liked the ridiculous picture on the cover– Nils in extreme 1970s rock get-up– and I took similar pictures of myself at the time, with sunglasses, scarves– carelessly holding a bottle of Drambuie.

It’s a very stripped down rock record– Wornell Jones playing bass, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, and Nils Lofgren singing, guitars, piano. The best songs are “Back It Up,” “Keith Don’t Go,” “Can’t Buy A Break,” “Rock’n’roll Crook,” “Duty,” and “If I Say It It’s So.” I can guarantee that you’ll like “Duty”– it’s so ridiculous, completely excessive in every way– yet there is still an amazing amount of space. If I was professor at Rock’n’Roll University, I would TEACH this song! “If I Say It It’s So” is even more amazing– particularly for the drums, which are almost like the lead instrument. Aynsley Dunbar played with EVERYBODY– kind of like the Scott Pickering from an earlier generation. He’s the drummer you’d want with you going into battle, or stuck on a desert island. This song is the best example I can think of (besides Keith Moon) of acceptable drummer excess– he’s totally overplaying, yet it’s still tight– and most of all fun and exciting.

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February 2008
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