Wednesday, November 12, 2014

James Williamson - Re-Licked

 I have always loved The Stooges and let's face it, almost all of the bands that we post here on Shiny Grey Monotone have been influenced by them in some way. I was super excited to hear that James Williamson was going to record all of the songs that The Stooges wrote before they broke up. Re-Licked" features all of the songs that were never recorded for what would have been a fourth Stooges record around 1974 .These songs were never recorded in a studio and the only way they have ever been heard over the years is either rehearsal tapes or live bootlegs. Sounds like a good idea on paper.. right?

.Musically this record is great and  at times it sounds more like a lost Rolling Stones from the early 70's record than a Stooges lp. Check out "Highway Child " by The Stones and you'll see what I mean.

 "Re-Licked" is worth a listen (especially if you are a Stooges fanatic like I am) and some of the tracks on here were done the justice they so rightfully deserved. The biggest problem with Re-Licked is some of the choices made as to who was going to be on the record and the songs they sang on. I will never understand why Mark Arm or especially Handsome Dick Manitoba weren't on this record. Shit, for that matter Blag Dahlia or Dave Win-dork, of Monster Magnet would have been a good choice. I get that he wanted to give these songs a new life, approach some of these songs a little different and maybe even make them sound more modern.   The main problem is that some of the female performances just didn't fully meet my expectations, to the point it sounds like a contestant from "The Voice" trying to pull off a Stooges tune in hopes to make it the finals. Carolyn Wonderland being the prime culprit, over doing it to the point of cringe. I have no issues with female singers, but everything has it's place. These songs were originally sung by Iggy and I'm not aware of many female (as well as male) vocalist's who can pull the vocals off on these songs. Hard shoes to fill, and I think a lot of Stooges fan's are not going to be very forgiving for some of the choices made here.

 So for those who are interested in hearing the record in it's entirety, Album Streams has it available as a soundcloud stream. Am I wrong or am I spot on about this record? Please share your comments below.

  Below is a list of tracks and vocalist who sang on them. Honorable mentions are Jello Biafra, Gary Floyd, and J.G. Thirlwell aka Clint Foetus ( I have added links to downloads of these tracks).

01. Head On The Curve (w/ Jello Biafra)
02. Open Up And Bleed (w/ Carolyn Wonderland)
03. Scene Of The Crime (w/ Bobby Gillespie from
Primal Scream)
04. She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills (w/ Ariel Pink)
05. Til The End Of The Night (w/ Alison Mosshart from
The Kills, Dead Weather)
06. I Gotta Right (w/ Lisa Kekaula from The BellRays)
07. Pinpoint Eyes (w/ Joe Cardamone from
The Icarus Line)
08. Wild Love (w/ Mark Lanegan & Alison Mosshart)
09. Rubber Leg (w/ Ron Young from Little Caesar)
10. I’m Sick Of You (w/ Mario Cuomo from The Orwells)
Bonus Tracks:
11. Gimme Some Skin (w/ Caroline Wonderland)
12. Cock In My Pocket (w/ Nicke Andersson from
The Hellacopters)
13. Heavy Liquid (w/ Lisa Kekaula)
14. Wet My Bed (w/ The Richmond Sluts)
15. Cock In My Pocket (w/ Gary Floyd from The Dicks)
16. Rubber Leg (w/ J.G. Thirlwell aka Clint Ruin, Foetus)

(I'll keep this post up as long the stream is available)


jonder said...

I agree, it's a great concept but an imperfect record. The project reminds me of an excellent Dennis Coffey album from a few years ago, where the veteran Detroit session guitarist got some young players and singers (including Lisa Kekaula) to re-introduce him to a younger generation. I have no problem with the female singers on Re-Licked; for me, Kekaula's "I Got a Right" (the only Iggy Pop composition) is the highlight of the record. The weakest link to me is not the singers but the songs themselves -- James Williamson is a great guitarist but not so hot as a songwriter. That may not be a popular opinion among fans of Kill City. The package itself is definitely worth buying, with the bonus DVD, the booklet and photos. And I'm glad for James that he finally got to enjoy the respect that he deserves, and that he redid these songs to his own satisfaction.

Slander Bob said...

Gonna have to check that Dennis Coffey thing out (love his stuff).. I hear you, it really has nothing to with gender as much as it has to do with the style of the singing, some of it was fine, some of it was just overdone. I have all the respect in the world for James Williamson, it just would have been a much better record with more of the legendary vocalist I mentioned. (and it is a bit clean sounding.. not as raw as it should be)

Slander Bob said...

I don't hate the record, just can't really see myself buying, and probably the only time I will play it will be for friends who come over and haven't heard it yet.

jonder said...

Yeah, I bought Re-Licked more out of admiration for James Williamson (and the strength of the I Got a Right single) than the expectation that it would be very good, as few tribute albums are consistent in quality. Dennis Coffey's self-titled record is definitely a keeper. About half the tracks are instrumentals, and the duet by Mick Collins and Rachel Nagy (Detroit Cobras) on the Parliament song "I Bet You" is a classic.

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