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  1. #1

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    OK I'm just gonna throw this out there...the debut James Gang album Yer Album with Joe Walsh, Tom Kriss and Jim Fox rocks harder than any British hard rock/heavy metal record of the time, including Cream, the Who, Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin. And Joe Walsh could sing better than Jack Bruce and almost as well as the other guys.

    Prove me wrong.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Uh, no. They weren't the best rock band in the US then either.
    CCR put out THREE albums that same year (Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys). John Fogerty was a much better singer than Walsh, and a much better songwriter. Not as a good a guitarist, admittedly. (Yet Fogerty has come up with more memorable riffs, so go figure.)
    A song from each:

    "Born On The Bayou" is my favorite song from "Bayou Country." ("Proud Mary" was the big hit. "Keep On Choogling" sounded more like their debut, which had a few long covers, most notably"Susie Q" and "I Put A Spell On You".)



    From "Green River", an album that also contained "Bad Moon Rising", "Lodi", "Commotion" and "Wrote A Song For Everyone"


    From "Willy and the Poor Boys", which also contained "Down on the Corner", "It Came Out Of The Sky" and the band's cover of "The Midnight Special"

  4. #3

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    Well Mark those are all good songs, but A) they (CCR) don't rock harder and B) no way is CCR a tighter band that James Gang.

    I always thought the deficiencies of CCR, whom I do love of course, were the rhythm section and the lack of longer solos on some songs (most of their hits) and the overlong solo on Heard It through the Grapevine. But they're kind of a different group than JG--more roots rock than boogie rock.

    Jim Fox is just a really great, in the groove drummer, and Criss plays an excellent bass as well.

    JG was a HARD rocking group--America's answer to Cream. And by hard I mean heavy instrumentation, tight arrangements, etc. like Cream, Bad Company, etc. And Joe Walsh sure plays his butt off on this one, some of his best among many contributions over the years.

    They weren’t great songwriters, with some exceptions of course. The advantage would go to CCR there.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 07-12-2020 at 06:55 PM.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    OK I'm just gonna throw this out there...the debut James Gang album Yer Album with Joe Walsh, Tom Kriss and Jim Fox rocks harder than any British hard rock/heavy metal record of the time
    uh no, this did


  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    OK I'm just gonna throw this out there...the debut James Gang album Yer Album with Joe Walsh, Tom Kriss and Jim Fox rocks harder than any British hard rock/heavy metal record of the time, including Cream, the Who, Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin. And Joe Walsh could sing better than Jack Bruce and almost as well as the other guys.

    Prove me wrong.

    Well, of course, nobody could "prove" you wrong. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume you are being deliberately provocative. For the sake of amusement, I will do your bidding.

    Your claim is laughable. We'll leave Cream and the Who aside for now. Led Zeppelin had one of the best rock guitarists ever, leaving Joe Walsh in the dust. And like him or not (I do), Robert Plant is widely considered the best rock singer ever. Not to mention the low-key but fabulous John Paul Jones and an excellent if over-the-top drummer.

  7. #6

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    The James Gang: Take a Look Around
    Soft rock, elevator music

  8. #7

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    Big James Gang fan here. "Walk Away" was the anthem of my too-clean-cut youth. 8-Track player in my Chevy Nova had it playing all the time!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Big James Gang fan here. "Walk Away" was the anthem of my too-clean-cut youth. 8-Track player in my Chevy Nova had it playing all the time!
    I loved "Walk Away" too. It's my favorite James Gang song. But they really didn't have that many great songs.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I loved "Walk Away" too. It's my favorite James Gang song. But they really didn't have that many great songs.
    The "Joe Walsh" version of the James Gang only lasted 3 years. IN that time, they had "Walk Away," "Funk 49," "Midnight Man" and 4 or 5 albums that all did pretty well, as well as performing with the top bands of the period. Not bad for a 3 year run.

  11. #10

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    I believe that the James Gang were originally from Ohio, but in the late 60's they were basically a local Detroit band. They were regulars at all the local teen centers and the infamous Grande Ballroom, alongside local acts the MC-5, Stooges and Amboy Dukes (Nugent). I saw them several times back then and had several conversations with Jim Fox.The main thing I remember about them is that Walsh used an Echoplex and was much more into effects than most at the time. They were very tight, but a lot tamer than most of the other Detroit bands.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    uh no, this did

    Sabbath and Deep Purple are examples of the "more is better" type of hard rock. I'm not really a Sabbath fan--it certainly has its place, but I find JG to be a much tighter unit. The power trio is a strong force.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Well, of course, nobody could "prove" you wrong. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume you are being deliberately provocative. For the sake of amusement, I will do your bidding.

    Your claim is laughable. We'll leave Cream and the Who aside for now. Led Zeppelin had one of the best rock guitarists ever, leaving Joe Walsh in the dust. And like him or not (I do), Robert Plant is widely considered the best rock singer ever. Not to mention the low-key but fabulous John Paul Jones and an excellent if over-the-top drummer.
    Deliberately provocative, moi? Well I think it is debatable if Jimmy or Joe were the better guitarist at that time. Joe could rock with the best. I would say Joe has certainly kept his chops up and maintained a high profile career better than almost all his peers, except maybe Jeff Beck.

    I do like Led Zepp. Early on they were a little unstructured, which some people do find charming, and as you mention their drummer who is the definition of unrestrained.

    I just find that type of rock more, shall we say, pretentious than what Joe Walsh and company were doing. I am really appreciating the stripped-down, no-nonsense sound of James Gang, early Bad Company, etc. these days.

    Obviously commercially Led Zepp and Sabbath and the other groups were more successful. Maybe James Gang should've had better management and marketing.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Sabbath and Deep Purple are examples of the "more is better" type of hard rock. I'm not really a Sabbath fan--it certainly has its place, but I find JG to be a much tighter unit. The power trio is a strong force.



    Deliberately provocative, moi? Well I think it is debatable if Jimmy or Joe were the better guitarist at that time. Joe could rock with the best. I would say Joe has certainly kept his chops up and maintained a high profile career better than almost all his peers, except maybe Jeff Beck.

    I do like Led Zepp. Early on they were a little unstructured, which some people do find charming, and as you mention their drummer who is the definition of unrestrained.

    I just find that type of rock more, shall we say, pretentious than what Joe Walsh and company were doing. I am really appreciating the stripped-down, no-nonsense sound of James Gang, early Bad Company, etc. these days.

    Obviously commercially Led Zepp and Sabbath and the other groups were more successful. Maybe James Gang should've had better management and marketing.
    People's tastes vary. But the claim that the first James Gang album "rocks harder" is highly dubious. I had that album, liked it, then forgot it. You mention "tight" and "stripped down." Maybe it's worth a revisit. I listened to early Bad Company again a few weeks ago and found them utterly mundane. I think Joe Walsh was much better and more creative than the Bad Company guy, whose name I don't recall at the moment.

  14. #13

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    Steve Hillage Solar Musick Suite

  15. #14

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    Yeah different strokes. I like all the above groups, BTW. I'm an equal opportunity music fiend.

    Having listened to a lot of Joe Walsh over the years, I find his fluidity with playing very impressive. He can and does play in almost any style. Certainly a guitarist's guitarist. Unlike some of his flashier peers, he can also cut a simple riff with the best of them.

    I think it's interesting to categorize guitarists. Some of them like Page are great stylists and good songwriters. Some like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are speed demons.

    Joe is a jack-of-all-trades and one of those guys you call when you need something special for your album, cause you know he will deliver. Heck, even Keith Emerson used Joe for a session.

    His credits on a compilation album: Guitars, Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, Slide Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Drums, Mandolin, Talkbox, Timpani, Hammond Organ, Percussion, Synthesizer, Vocals. Oh and being Ringo's brother-in-law.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Well, of course, nobody could "prove" you wrong. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I will assume you are being deliberately provocative. For the sake of amusement, I will do your bidding.

    Your claim is laughable. We'll leave Cream and the Who aside for now. Led Zeppelin had one of the best rock guitarists ever, leaving Joe Walsh in the dust. And like him or not (I do), Robert Plant is widely considered the best rock singer ever. Not to mention the low-key but fabulous John Paul Jones and an excellent if over-the-top drummer.
    Fun Fact: Jimmy Page's famous Les Paul was a gift from Joe Walsh. It's a small world, after all.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Fun Fact: Jimmy Page's famous Les Paul was a gift from Joe Walsh. It's a small world, after all.
    I looked it up. Good story. Refreshed my memory about his stories, both musical and his personal life.

  18. #17

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    Joe Walsh also gave Pete Townshend the 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins seen in this clip.




    Unfortunately, at the end of the song, Townshend does what he is famous for doing to guitars. Walsh was very displeased, according to Townshend’s autobiography, but Townshend had it rebuilt. More here.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Joe Walsh also gave Pete Townshend the 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins seen in this clip.




    Unfortunately, at the end of the song, Townshend does what he is famous for doing to guitars. Walsh was very displeased, according to Townshend’s autobiography, but Townshend had it rebuilt. More here.
    I can sympathize with Walsh. To have a gift disrespected like that is extremely rude. Page, on the other hand, made bank with his: in addition to all the hits he played it on, Gibson eventually issued a repro series, with the top tier Limited Edition hand-detailed (dents, dings, scrapes, cigarette burns, etc) numbers going for $150,000 a pop.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Fun Fact: Jimmy Page's famous Les Paul was a gift from Joe Walsh. It's a small world, after all.
    Also fun fact...Joe used a Telecaster (through a Fender Champ) on Funk #49, and Page used a Tele (through a Supro Coronado amp) for the solo to Stairway to Heaven. Page's amp was given to him by Jeff Beck when they were in the Yardbirds together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Joe Walsh also gave Pete Townshend the 1959 Gretsch Chet Atkins seen in this clip.




    Unfortunately, at the end of the song, Townshend does what he is famous for doing to guitars. Walsh was very displeased, according to Townshend’s autobiography, but Townshend had it rebuilt. More here.
    We could do a whole thread on musicians gifting musicians guitars...

    The James Gang opened for the Who, and Pete Townshend thought Walsh was an incredible guitarist and promoted them every chance he got.
    Last edited by Doctor Jeff; 07-15-2020 at 04:01 PM.