Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Edgar Winter Group - They Only Come Out At Night (1972)

( U.S 1970 - Present)
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By the time Edgar Winter left his hometown of Beaumont, Texas in the 1960's, he was already technically proficient in every aspect of music. A child prodigy who achieved international success early on, Edgar has found an audience in every major entertainment medium--music, film and television. A prolific writer, Edgar's music encompasses many different genres, including rock, jazz, blues, and pop.
Edgar Winter is the younger brother of blues singer Johnny Winter and an accomplished musician and writer in his own rite. From his critically acclaimed 1970 debut album release 'Entrance', he has demonstrated his unique style and ability to cross the genre lines and do the unexpected. His early recording of "Tobacco Road" is a powerful, emotionally devastating masterpiece that propelled him into the national spotlight. Edgar followed Entrance with two hit albums backed by his group White Trash, a group originally comprised of musicians from Texas and Louisiana. White Trash enjoyed huge success, both with the 1971 release of the studio album, 'Edgar Winter's White Trash', and with 1972's follow-up live gold album, 'Roadwork'.
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In late 1972 Edgar brought together Dan Hartman, Ronnie Montrose and Chuck Ruff to form The Edgar Winter Group, the legendary band that created such hits as the number one "Frankenstein" and the ever popular "Free Ride". Released in late 1972, 'They Only Come Out at Night' peaked at the number 3 position on the Billboard Hot 200 and stayed on the charts for an impressive 80 weeks. It was certified gold in April 1973 and double platinum in November 1986. The album was produced by Rick Derringer, who would eventually take over the guitar role from Ronnie Montrose.
Edgar invented the keyboard body strap early in his career, an innovation that allows him the freedom to move around on stage during his multi-instrument high-energy performances. He was also the first artist to feature a synthesizer as the main instrument in a song. "Frankenstein" revolutionized rock and roll and opened up a whole new world of possibilities with experimentation and sound.
After 'They Only Come Out At Night', Edgar released 'Shock Treatment', featuring guitarist Rick Derringer in place of Ronnie Montrose. Later albums included Jasmine Nightdreams, The Edgar Winter Group with Rick Derringer, a live album, Together Live With Johnny Winter, Recycled, a reunion with White Trash, Standing On Rock, Mission Earth, Live In Japan, Not A Kid Anymore, The Real Deal, and Winter Blues.
Edgar Winter's live shows consistently receive rave reviews. His music is always evolving and he is a master at stretching his skill and imagination to produce amazing results. He continues to thrill audiences with his live performances, always remaining on the cutting edge of music and style. [extract from Winter's Website ]
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The Edgar Winter Group was quite the band. Many of the names were or became quite well known. Rick Derringer and Ronnie Montrose were on guitar. Dan Hartman was one of the main vocalists.
Rick Derringer had a well known solo career punctuated by the hit, "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo". Hoochie Koo hit #1 the next year and featured Edgar on keyboards. (Not to mention it also had Joe Walsh on guitar and Joe Vitale on drums.)
Ronnie Montrose would of course, start the band Montrose with then named, Sam Hagar as his front man. He then would start performing under his name Ronnie Montrose. This is where we first saw drummer Steve Smith.
Dan Hartman was quite the different story. He went into the disco world and did quite well for him self. He had a big hit in 1978 with a song called Instant Replay. (It sucked)
But his biggest hit would be in 1984 song called "I Can Dream About You". It hit to #6 on the Billboard Singles Chart. It was featured in the film Streets of Fire.
They Only Come Out at Night was produced by Rick Derringer and also was featured a young up and coming technical director named Bill Szymczyk. He went on to produce such acts like The Eagles, James Gang and The Who.
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Album Review
The production is full of cute flourishes like shattering glasses and electronic sounds that float from one speaker to the other. The material includes a splendid country song, "Round and Round," a Crosby, Stills and Nash type ditty, "Alta Mira," an unbearably sweet "Autumn," several hard driving rockers and a couple of personal statements from Edgar. As to the latter, he is no Van Morrison, but his lyrics show great sensitivity at times, communicating loneliness, frustration and struggle as well as exuberance and joyous boogie. "My Time Has Come" is a very likeable hard ballad that could probably be a hit single. "Frankenstein" is a crowd-pleasing five minute instrumental, marred by a worthless drum solo. These elements could have added up to pretension but Edgar delivers the multi-leveled album with an attractive flair. Like a Stones album, you know it took hours of rehearsal and planning, yet it really does sound like it might have been produced in a single drunken evening of inspiration. Like Joe DiMaggio, Edgar likes to make the difficult seem easy.
"Undercover Man" is the best track, a nifty hard rocker that transforms Edgar's elusiveness into a seductive asset. It's the only track that really achieves a rock orgasm. Edgar is at his best when appearing slightly contemptuous of his audience, a time-honored pose. If he lacks the undefinable greatness of Jagger or Mitch Ryder, Edgar certainly knows how to entertain better than Mountain or Humble Pie. If rock & roll is still part of your blood and not part of your past, I can assure you this record will bring you hours of joy [Danny Goldberg, Rolling Stone, 1/18/73]
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Rip was taken from my Vinyl copy at 320kps and have also included full artwork for both LP (Australian Release) and CD. I have also included a rip of my single version of Frankenstein - which is an edited version of the album release minus Ruff's short drum solo.
It was this single (and the equally good B-side "Undercover Man") that drew me to Edgar Winter's music in the first place. I can still remember the first time I heard Frankenstein on the radio (3XY Melbourne) and rushing down to my local record store to get
a hold of this extraordinary single. The stereo effects on Frankenstein were simply amazing and listening to this song some 40 years later still gives me the same buzz that it did when I first heard it.
Of course, it wasn't long before I also acquired the LP (with its different cover to US releases). My album cover is shown at the top of this post, and the U.S cover is shown below.

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Track Listing
1. “Hangin’ Around” (Edgar Winter,
Dan Hartman) – 3:02
2. “When It Comes” (Winter, Hartman) – 3:16

3. “Alta Mira” (Winter, Hartman) – 3:18

4. “Free Ride” (Hartman) – 3:08
5. “Undercover Man” (Winter, Hartman) – 3:49

6. “Round & Round” (Winter) – 4:00

7. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Boogie Woogie Blues” (Winter, Barbara Winter, Ronnie Montrose) – 3:25

8. “Autumn” (Hartman) – 3:00

9. “We All Had A Real Good Time” (Winter, Hartman) – 3:05

10. “Frankenstein” (Winter) – 4:44

11. “Frankenstein” (Bonus Single Version) – 3:31

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Band Members:
Edgar Winter (Vocals, Keyboards, Saxophone, Clarinet, Timbales)

Ronnie Montrose (Guitar, Mandolin)

Dan Hartman (Bass, Vocals, Guitar, Maracas)

Chuck Ruff (Drums,Vocals)

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Edgar Winter Link (88Mb) New Link 01/10/2013
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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this LP great album always one of my favs. :)

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  2. very good record, doesn't the singer on "We All Had Real Good Time" sound like Joe Walsh! I wonder why the Australian cover was different? Probably the transexual like appearance of the US cover.

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  3. Hey elwrongo - thanks for dropping by.
    I suspect you are right about the U.S cover sending out the wrong signals and the Aust cover was more appropriate for the Glam Rock era that was just hitting our shores at the time.
    Happy hunting - cheers from Down Under.
    AussieRock

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  4. Thanks a lot for this fine 70s flashback.
    I too have the vinyl but appreciate the chance to move into the digital age!
    Check out Edgar Winter's White Trash album. You won't be disappointed.

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  5. Thanks for dropping by Jamie - I've heard of White Trash and will certainly give it a spin. The Winter Brothers were certainly unique in their hey days I must add, but Edgar Winter was more more of a showman than his twin.

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