Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nitzinger - 1976 - Live Better Electrically

Live Better Electrically

01. Control
02. Are You With Me
03. Live Better Electrically
04. Around
05. Gimme A Wink
06. Yellow Dog
07. Tell Texas
08. Vagabond
09. No Way Around You
10. The Writing On The Wall
11. Ticklelick (Bonus)
12. Fingers In The Fan (Bonus)
13. Rap Is Crap (Bonus)
14. Louisiana Cok Fight (Bonus)
15. Jellyroll Blues (Bonus)
16. Control (Bonus)
17. L.A. Texas Boy (Bonus)
18. Little Bitty Girl (Bonus)

David Alley Vocals (Background)
The Austin Singers Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Layton DePenning Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Jerry Harris Bass
Paul Leim Drums
Marianne Lindsey Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Phyllis Lindsey Vocals, Vocals (Background)
John Nitzinger  Guitar, Vocals
Darrell Norris Drums
Randy Reede Drums
Whitney Thomas Keyboards
Larry White Guitar (Steel)
Kenneth Whitfield Keyboards, Organ

Arriving all of four years after Nitzinger's closely stacked first two albums -- 1971's hit-bearing eponymous debut and 1973's nearly as good sophomore effort, One Foot in History -- 1976's Live Better Electrically brought an unexpected resurrection of a band name that many fans had probably given up for dead. But namesake vocalist/guitarist John Nitzinger was apparently only hibernating all that time, and even though he didn't see fit to bring his onetime bandmates back with him (replacing them with now long forgotten henchmen), his talents for creating blues-inflected hard rock and boogie remained commendably undiminished, even as his curiosity for occasional stylistic diversions had grown exponentially. In fact, the differences between some songs were so stark at times that the only thing connecting them was a certainty that Nitzinger was very well aware of modern musical trends -- as evidenced, on the one hand, by the tough Midwestern groove of rocking opener "Control," which was obviously inspired by rising star Ted Nugent; and, on the other, the head-turning funk disco of "Are You with Me," which shockingly emulated the Commodores' "Machine Gun." Spread somewhere betwixt this odd couple were several additional heavy rock nuggets like the bluntly aggressive title track and the geographically confrontational "Tell Texas," as well as more far-fetched forays like the somnolent blues ballad "Around" and string-laden soft country-rock (with nifty pedal steel) of "Vagabond." And then, rounding out the set came some hybrid offerings that forged a nervous truce between both camps: namely the part acoustic, part progressive, soul sister singer backed-up "Gimme a Wink" and the deliciously funky rocker "Yellow Dog," featuring both a space rock midsection and one of the best guitar licks of Nitzinger's entire career. All told, Live Better Electrically boasted the same compelling mixture of expected hard rock fervor and unexpected distractions, only slightly more confusing than those earlier works; whether fans would be able to take it in stride or as an offense was really utterly subjective. Unfortunately, such opinions would become moot when Nitzinger promptly lapsed back into obscurity following the album's release, and the next time he was heard from would be as a member of Carl Palmer's and Alice Cooper's early-'80s bands.

1 comment:

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