Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Epic (1974)

This is a label I'm always happy to see. It's not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my favorite label designs, but it's a really nice one. That much orange is a bold choice for anything, and the white circles and Epic logo work really well for me. Plus, one of my all-time favorite soul records has this label, Shuggie Otis's Inspiration Information.

This King Biscuit Boy record is not one of my favorite albums. It's one of my least-favorite kinds of music, "white blues," with wailing harmonica and disco flourishes. I picked it up because a couple of credits caught my eye on the back of the sleeve: accompaniment by The Meters and Dr. John, and produced by Allen Toussaint. However, this was back when I was still a naive young kid, before I learned that I usually can't stand The Meters and Dr. John after about 1972.

Don't get me wrong: the first few records by both Dr. John and The Meters individually are just solid gold. Untouchable. Out of this world. But, truth be told, both Dr. John and The Meters are responsible for a lot of pretty stupid garbage in the middle and later parts of their careers. And most of their collaborations take a bad turn pretty quickly. Maybe it's just a question of taste in production; I really don't like the type of sound they turned out together. Pretty unremarkable, middle-of-the-road stuff that doesn't have much of the fun that each had individually - The Meters with their hard-hitting, unapologetic funk, and Dr. John with his smoked-out bayou haze.

OK, I'll walk that back a little. There's one fantastic album that The Meters show up on a little later, The Wild Tchoupitoulas record. Groovy mardi gras indian flavored tunes, check it out.

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