Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Feat Rad Gumbo The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990.

If Steely Dan played rock and roll it might sound something like this...
Brent Black /
The best unknown band in America? Pretty much! There is a musical irony here both sad and somewhat typical of bands like Little Feat. If you ever saw them live you knew you were seeing and hearing something far better than what they ever put down in the studio. Waiting For Columbus is the standard by which virtually all live albums recorded since are measured. The studio recordings seem more like three minute and thirty second handcuffs put on a band that was capable of far more. Critics loved them, the record buying public tolerated them despite having what is widely considered as a cult following. To see them live was to see magic!
Can there really be too much of a good thing? In this case yes...
While there are previously unreleased tunes from Waiting For Columbus, we have remastered studio releases and a reissue of the out of print Outtakes from Hotcakes...This is where the release doesn't really live up to it's promise. After the band reformed in the late 80's and then when female vocalist Shaun Murphy took over as front person the band seemed to nose dive into a flat line of mediocrity with live collections going no where and studio releases that were selling less and less. Once Lowell George split, game over. 
Rock and Roll is a fickle bitch...
The downside is this...Little Feat simply does not have 11 discs worth of quality material to justify a package such as this. Even the die hard fan would agree that the bang for the enormous buck on this box set simply is not worth it. Hopefully the label will rethink this and soon offer up something sensible but this is much ado about nothing. I still love Little Feat but even for me this is overkill.
2.5 Stars.