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Articles Home » 1975 Articles » Bishop, Elvin - 1975 Struttin' My Stuff
Bishop, Elvin - 1975 Struttin' My Stuff

ARTIST: Bishop, Elvin
ALBUM: Struttin' My Stuff
LABEL: Capricorn
YEAR: 1975
CD REISSUE: 1997, Capricorn, 314 536 135-2 (remastered)


LINEUP: Elvin Bishop - guitar * Johnny Vernazza - guitar, backing vocals * Michael Brooks - bass * Philip Aaberg - piano * Donny Baldwin - drums, percussion * Mickey Thomas - lead and backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Struttin' My Stuff * 02 Hey Hey Hey Hey * 03 My Girl * 04 I Love The Life I Lead * 05 Fooled Around And Fell In Love * 06 Holler And Shout * 07 Slick Titty Boom * 08 Grab All The Love * 09 Have A Good Time *10 Joy

WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

For an album that contained a bonafide hit single in the mid 70's, the commercial and poptastic 'Fooled Around And Fell In Love', this album is a complete turnaround in style. Rather than revel in the sweet melodies of that gorgeous song, Elvin and his merry men instead take us out to the backstreets of mid 70's America with a whole lot of funkin' going on with 'Struttin' My Stuff'. I'm not talking funk as in the outrageous Parliament or Rick James, but a milder 'white boy' variant that even the likes of GDAZE faves Roadmaster attempted on their debut, plus Bishop's material is comparable to others such as Three Dog Night, Rare Earth and of course Grand Funk Railroad. It wasn't all funk that made its way into Bishop's repetoire. Old salty dogs from the 60's will remember Elvin's tenure with the Paul Butterfield Band, coming through with a solid blues background upon his CV. By 1968, Elvin went solo and formed the Elvin Bishop Band, the former Iowa and Oklahoma native migrating into the 70's with the prevailing blues and funk scene ready made for his style. 1975 and 1976 were prime years for commercial funk, so it wasn't too far off the path considering the era in which this album was cut.

The Songs
Even at this early stage of his career, singer Mickey Thomas cuts a few melodic capers, and manages to drag the material back into the center-lane rather than it being exposed as too far 'out there'. He was a backing vocalist in the band, but the 'Fooled Around..' single was better suited to his voice than Bishop's, with Elvin inviting him to sing lead. The rest as they say - is history. Elsewhere, the album is littered with half-interesting songs (from my perspective at least). The title track 'Struttin' My Stuff' sounds like a chicken-farmer doing the disco moves on the dance floor, 'Hey Hey Hey Hey' ( I would've thought two 'heys' were enough) is funky and hokey country all rolled into one, while 'My Girl' is a hotted up cover version of The Temptations late 1964 hit. Elvin's version is fairly rocky I gotta say and fast moving too. 'Holler And Shout' is a southern rocker with ballroom appeal (not for me though), and as for the unfortunately titled and lyricized 'Slick Titty Boom', this is best left unsaid and untouched.. lol! As for the remaining three songs, these didn't do anything for me at all..

In Summary
It's unfortunate that for us melodic rockers that the only decent track here is the one that made the charts. If only the rest of the album lived up to the quality of that one song, then we might have had a album worth listening to. Avoid.

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#1 | Eric on August 17 2012 13:17:20
Totally agree. 'Fooled Around and Fell in Love' is brilliant but Bishop's albums are, well as you pointed out very much avoidable. The 'Hog Heaven' album cover has to be one of the worse sleeves ever.
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