Get this crazy baby off my head!


Little Feat


Little Feat - Let It Roll - 1988 - Warner Bros.

When Little Feat reunited in 1988, they were embraced by some dedicated fans, but were spurned by nearly an equal number of cultists. That's because to certain diehards, Little Feat belonged to Lowell George and, without him, the group doesn't exist. While it is true that George was the main songwriter and visionary during the early years of the group, he had pulled away from the group in the last half of the '70s and only had a marginal impact on their final three albums of the '70s. Also, throughout their career, the band contributed significantly, co-writing songs with George, writing their own tunes and, of course, shaping the band's sound with their musicianship. Although George was gone, they still had the desire to perform, so it was understandable that they wanted to reunite, with Craig Fuller taking George's place. What's surprising about Let It Roll is not just that it works, but that it works smashingly. It sounds as if the group picked up after The Last Record Album, deciding to return to the sound of Feats Don't Fail Me Now. True, the songwriting might not have the idiosyncratic genius of George, but it's strong, catchy and memorable, from the fine singles "Hate to Lose Your Lovin'" and "Let it Roll" to album tracks. More importantly, the band sounds lively and playful - Little Feat hasn't sounded this good in the studio since Feats, so it's easy to see why the members wanted to regroup. Yes, George is missed - it's hard not to miss such a gifted songwriter and musician - but Let It Roll isn't disrespectful of his memory, it keeps his music alive, which is the greatest compliment it can be paid. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:h9ftxql5ldde~T1

Great album from LF. Many reviewers and LF fans will always maintain that Lowell George was the core sound of Little Feat. A pity as many of the band's later albums, even through numerous personnel changes still contain that great Southern Rock sound, including "Let It Roll". Listen to Little Feat's stupendous "The Last Record Album" which, in musical terms encompasses everything that this great band was all about. The band's "Sailin' Shoes" and "Dixie Chicken" albums arguably come a close second


Hate to Lose Your Lovin' - Barrere, Fuller
One Clear Moment - Barrere, Fuller, Payne
Cajun Girl - Kibbee, Payne
Hangin' on to the Good Times - Barrere, Fuller, Payne, Tackett
Listen to Your Heart - Fuller, Payne
Let It Roll - Barrere, Kibbee, Payne
Long Time Till I Get over You - Barrere, Fuller
Business as Usual - Barrere, Fuller, Payne
Changin' Luck - Fuller, Payne, Tackett
Voices on the Wind - Barrere, Fuller, Payne, Tackett


Paul Barrére - Guitar, Vocals
Kenny Gradney - Bass
Craig Fuller - Guitar, Accordion, Vocals
Fred Tackett - Guitar, Mandolin, Trumpet
Bill Payne - Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Richard Hayward - Drums, Vocals
Sam Clayton - Percussion, Vocals
Shaun Murphy, Marilyn Martin, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, Renee Armand - Vocals


Though they had all the trappings of a Southern-fried blues band, Little Feat were hardly conventional. Led by songwriter/guitarist Lowell George, Little Feat were a wildly eclectic band, bringing together strains of blues, R&B, country, and rock & roll. The bandmembers were exceptionally gifted technically and their polished professionalism sat well with the slick sounds coming out of southern California during the '70s. However, Little Feat were hardly slick — they had a surreal sensibility, as evidenced by George's idiosyncratic songwriting, which helped the band earn a cult following among critics and musicians. Though the band earned some success on album-oriented radio, the group was derailed after George's death in 1979. Little Feat re-formed in the late '80s, and while they were playing as well as ever, they lacked the skewed sensibility that made them cult favorites. Nevertheless, their albums and tours were successful, especially among American blues-rock fans. However, Little Feat weren't conceived as a straight-ahead blues-rock group. Their founding members, Lowell George (vocals, guitar, slide guitar) and Roy Estrada (bass), were veterans of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. George had a long musical career before joining the Mothers. As a child, he and his brother Hampton performed a harmonica duet on television's Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. During high school, he learned how to play flute, which led to him appearing as an oboist and baritone saxophonist on several Frank Sinatra recording sessions. He formed the folk-rock group the Factory with drummer Richard Hayward in 1965. Before disbanding, the Factory made some recordings for Uni Records, but the tapes sat unreleased until the 1990s. Following the group's demise, George joined the Mothers of Invention, where he met Estrada. Zappa convinced George to form his own band after hearing "Willin'," but the guitarist was reluctant to begin a band until he participated in a brief Standells reunion. George and Estrada formed Little Feat in 1969 with Hayward and keyboardist Billy Payne. Neither their eponymous first album in 1971 nor 1972's Sailin' Shoes were commercial successes, despite strong reviews. As a result, the group temporarily disbanded, with Estrada leaving music to become a computer programmer. When the group reconvened later in 1972, he was replaced by New Orleans musician Kenny Gradney. In its second incarnation, Little Feat also featured guitarist Paul Barrére and percussionist Sam Clayton, who gave the music a funkier feeling, as demonstrated by 1973's Dixie Chicken. The band toured heavily behind the record, building a strong following in the South and on the East Coast. Nevertheless, the group remained centered in Los Angeles, since the members did a lot of session work on the side. Though the band was earning a cult following, several members of the group were growing frustrated by George's erratic behavior and increasing drug use. Following 1974's Feats Don't Fail Me Now, Barrére and Payne became the band's primary songwriters and they were primarily responsible for the jazzy fusions of 1975's The Last Record Album. Little Feat continued in that direction on Time Loves a Hero (1977), the double-live album Waiting for Columbus (1978), and Down on the Farm (1979). Frustrated with the band's increasingly improvisational and jazzy nature, George recorded a solo album, Thanks I'll Eat It Here, which was released in 1979. Following its release, George announced that Little Feat had broken up, and he embarked on a solo tour. Partway through the tour, he died of an apparent heart attack. Down on the Farm was released after his death, as was the rarities collection Hoy-Hoy! (1981). After spending seven years as sidemen, Payne, Barrére, Hayward, Gradney, and Clayton re-formed Little Feat in 1988, adding vocalist/guitarist Craig Fuller and guitarist Fred Tackett. The heavily anticipated Let It Roll was released in 1988 to mixed reviews, but it went gold. Each of the group's subsequent reunion albums — Representing the Mambo (1989), Shake Me Up (1991), and Ain't Had Enough Fun (1995) — sold progressively less, but the band remained a popular concert attraction. On the latter album, the band traded the strongly Lowell George-esque voice of Fuller for female singer Shaun Murphy; this lineup went on to release Under the Radar in 1998 and Chinese Work Songs in 2000. Numerous compilations and live recordings peppered the next few years, followed by 2003's Kickin' It at the Barn, the group's first album for their own indie label, Hot Tomato Records. Rocky Mountain Jam arrived in early 2007. Join the Band followed in 2008 on Proper Records. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:hifyxqe5ldde~T1


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

haralampije said...

Fantastic record, even without George.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, haralampije. I agree. Feat made plenty of good music after Lowell passed on. Thanks for comment

Anonymous said...

Feat made some great music after George passed, and the concerts with Craig Fuller were as good, and maybe better than many of the Feat shows I attended with George. Fuller is an immense talent,an incredible, powerful voice and gifted songwriter and performer.Feat was on fire in those days, I loved it.The Austin City Limits show with Feat and Fuller has been hailed as one of the best in that shows history and is included in their anniversary book. Let It Roll got it all going again for Feat, a great album, their largest selling studio LP and their 1st studio gold LP.Those were truly wonderful times for the band.

I've seen Fuller many times the past few years with Pure Prairie League and all I can say is wow !Another great band who still has it all going great. Fuller still does a great Willing with them and has done 6 ft of Snow and Cajun Girl too, really hot stuff !Great shows.Hopefully he'll release a solo CD this year, it's real close.


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Tom.Thanks for comment.You know your Little Feat! Feat did release some magical stuff after LG's passing. Some of those albums deserve more recognition. I would love to hear a new Craig solo. I'm interested in one thing. What is your preferred Little Feat album? I always regard The Last Record Album as the band's masterpiece. Maybe because I love jazz, and TLRA has plenty of that. The album is a showcase of all the musical styles that the band had to offer. Not a dud track, and out of this world musicianship. What do you think? I'll talk to you soon. Thanks again

bobbysu said...

thank you so much

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,bobbysu. No probs. Thanks for your interest. TTU later...P