While digging around for tasty extras to include in the deluxe edition of the forthcoming 2012 release Analog Man, Joe Walsh came across an amazing find: A tape of his former band the James Gang jamming with Little Richard.
Co-produced by Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra fame, Analog Man also features brother-in-law Ringo Starr, just a few months after the two collaborated on the former Beatle drummer’s Ringo 2012. (A link to preorder the album is included below.) Already, Walsh has released the title track — a hilariously cranky diatribe on technology — as the project’s lead single. Now, this seven-minute jam promises to provide another high point for Analog Man, due June 5, 2012.
“It’s just a classic,” Walsh told Matt Wardlaw of Ultimate Classic Rock. “It’s a real treasure to have found, and I thought I’d just throw that on there.”
Walsh goes on to reveal that the jam actually stretched to 15 minutes (“because he wouldn’t stop,” Walsh says), before editing. “(It’s) about seven minutes of Little Richard at his best with the James Gang backing him up.”
He called the famously flamboyant Rock and Hall of Famer for permission, before including it on Analog Man — with suitably hilarious results: “I told him, and he remembered and I said: ‘Is it OK?’ He said: ‘It makes me want to go out in the yard and yell ‘Lordy, Lordy!’ I guess that meant ‘OK!’” Walsh tells Wardlaw, laughing.
Walsh was a member of the James Gang from 1968-71, before joining the Eagles in 1975. He reached the Top 40 with 1973’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” 1978’s “Life’s Been Good” and 1981’s “A Life of Illusion” as a solo artist. Among his most notable moments with the Eagles are “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Pretty Maids All in a Row,” both from 1976’s Hotel California, and “In the City” — originally included on “The Warriors” soundtrack, and later rerecorded by for The Long Run.
This is Walsh’s first solo album since 1992’s Songs for a Dying Planet.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Eagles, Ringo Starr and ELO. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
FRANK OCEAN ON POSSIBLE LAWSUIT BY EAGLES’ DON HENLEY: AIN’T THIS GUY RICH AS FUCK?: In the wake of a rumored threat from Don Henley to sue over sampling the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” R&B singer Frank Ocean took to the Internet to plead his case: “Shit’s weird. Ain’t this guy rich as fuck? Why sue the new guy?” The Eagles have accused the Odd Future rapper of lifting “the whole master track” for Ocean’s new tune “American Wedding” from their original hit 1976 song. “This is not creative … it’s illegal,” an Eagles spokesman said in a statement. “American Wedding” was included on a free mixtape called Nostalgia. Ocean said that because he never sold the track, it could be seen as a way of paying tribute to the band: “I didn’t make a dime off that song,” Ocean said. “I released it for free. If anything I’m paying homage.”
GIMME FIVE: RINGO STARR SINGING SONGS BY THE OTHER BEATLES: As with the decades-old hit solo album for which it’s named, Starr’s Ringo 2012 includes an array of name guest stars. Unfortunately, unlike 1973’s Ringo, none of those friendly assists come from his fellow ex-Beatles. Joe Walsh, Dave Stewart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are fine, and all. But the truth is, the combination of Starr and material written by Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison has provided Ringo with many (some might say most) of his career highlights. Here’s our take on the Top 5 — with five more honorable mentions.
GUILTY PLEASURES: JEFF LYNNE AND THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: It’s true, as Randy Newman once impishly sang, they were six fine English boys who knew each other in Birmingham. After that, things got tricky for the Electric Light Orchestra. Despite an impressive string of 1970s hits, they became an easy target. People knocked the strings. The Beatlemania. Jeff Lynne’s spaceman fro. We won’t even get into ELO Part II. Newman, in this dead-on parody of their orchestral bombast called “The Story of a Rock and Roll Band” from 1979’s Born Again, winked his way through a few of the group’s more memorable earworms: “I love their ‘Mr. Blue Sky.’ Almost my favorite is ‘Turn to Stone,'” Newman adds, “and how ’bout ‘Telephone Line?’ I love that ELO.” Once we stopped laughing, though, there was something to admit. Thing is, we do too. No, really!
GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE THE EAGLES, WELL, SUCKED: The Eagles have been rightly praised for their canny combining of Glenn Frey’s city-slicker R&B with Don Henley’s country-fried rockabilly. Fans responded by sending every one of their albums to platinum status, including the 16-times smash Hotel California in 1976 and its seven-times platinum follow ups The Long Run and Long Road Out of Eden, from 1979 and 2007 respectively. That said, some of their work simply can’t be received with the best of our love. Over time, the Eagles seemed to settle into imitating their past successes, even as they slowly erased much of their rootsier early sound — not to mention Bernie Leadon. Then there was Henley’s growing voice in the band, if only because he’s always had a tendency toward pedantic, blissfully unaware fingerpointing. Which compelled us to start a list of the five worst offenders.