Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Blasters Collection (Slash, 1991)

There was a hot minute back in the 1980’s when it looked like retro rock and roll was making a comeback with the Stray Cats blasting out rockabilly and the Blasters bringing back 50’s style greaser rock and roll. The Blasters were an excellent outfit bringing together old time rock and roll, r&b and jump blues led by the brothers Phil and Dave Alvin. This collection brings together the singles and key album tracks from their three Slash albums recorded during the 1980’s.

The Blasters played a few covers but also wrote songs that fit into the “classic” rock and roll canon before that genre was corrupted with the likes of 80’s hair bands. “Marie Marie” and “No Other Girl” lead the collection off with some blasting (no pun intended) rock and roll while “American Music” and “Border Radio” mine nostalgia in the best possible way making songs of lasting beauty while never resorting to cheap sentimentality. Their covers are delivered with as much aplomb as their originals with versions of Big Joe Turner’s “Roll ‘em Pete” and the traditional “Samson and Delilah.” This wonderful disc makes for an excellent introduction to this great American band.

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