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Blackfoot - 1979 Strikes

ARTIST: Blackfoot
ALBUM: Strikes
SERIAL: K50003
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY179
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Rick Medlocke - vocals, guitars * Charlie Hargrett - lead guitars * Greg T Walker - bass, backing vocals * Jakson Spires - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Guests: Pat McCaffrey - keyboards * Heny 'H Bomb' Weck - percussion * Cub Koda, Shorty Medlcoke - harmonica * Bandeye (Donna Davis, Pamela Vincent, Cynthia Douglas) - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Road Fever * 02 I Got A Line On You * 03 Left Turn On A Red Light * 04 Pay My Dues * 05 Baby Blue * 06 Wishing Well * 07 Run And Hide * 08 Train Train (Prelude) * 09 Train Train * 10 Highway Song


This LP cover is one of the most striking (excuse the pun) to ever hit my record collection. God damn! And then there was that black cougar/tomcat the following year on the cover of 'Tomcattin'. A great way to make an impression, and that's exactly the sort of attitude that Jacksonville's Blackfoot got right during their heyday. Tireless gigging, and getting out in front of big audiences was the sort of thing that made this band so good. Practice makes perfect right? At this point of their career, Blackfoot were still on the upside. They hadn't made the significant inroads across the North American market, instead preferring their music to do the talking in the Confederate South, and up along the Northeastern Seaboard. 'Strikes' was one step along the way to enhancing the Blackfoot legend.

The Songs
My first real run-in with Blackfoot came during 1980 when I bought their 'Tomcattin' LP, and from then on in, I was hooked, mainly because I was a huge Molly Hatchet fan at the time, so I wanted to listen to other bands of a similar nature. Gradually I caught up with their other albums, including this one. You'll find the tracks on 'Strikes' makes like a Blackfoot Greatest Hits set. With songs like 'Train Train' (written by the timeless Shorty Medlocke), 'Baby Blue', 'Wishing Well' (a cover of the well-worn Free cover), plus the seven minute epic 'Highway Song', it would seem that way. Blackfoot let the hammer down with 'Road Fever', while other songs tinker with different styles from the era. 'I Got A Line On You' (a cover of a Randy California and Spirit track), has a distinct southern swampy sound with hand-claps to match, while 'Left Turn On A Red Light' has a tempered intro not unlike 'Diary Of A Workingman' but veers more toward what Molly Hatchet were doing at the time. Still, many of these songs are killer from a southern rock legend.

In Summary
The band would continue working their market, and make great inroads due to their hard working ethic. Their next studio albums 'Tomcattin' and 'Marauder' further enhanced their reputation, and they would eventually break ground into Europe, with an appearance at Castle Donnington's Monsters Of Rock during 1981, where AC/DC were the headliner.

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#1 | david on October 18 2015 02:39:35
Blackfoot burst on to the UK with a massive bang, supporting the Scorpions in 1980. They where one of the finest support bands I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to see them on that tour at Hammersmith Odeon.
#2 | rkbluez on October 20 2015 01:12:18
Totally agree Dave as I've mentioned somewhere else here I saw them around the same time backing up UFO and they blew them off the stage...not saying UFO were bad by any stretch of the imagination just that Blackfoot was better.
#3 | tompa on October 20 2015 23:18:18
Good album but nowhere near the quality of 'Flyin High'. Would have loved to see the band live around the above mentioned period but when I finally got the chance it was without Ricky Medlocke and Jakson Spires. Sad
#4 | sabace on July 15 2016 20:33:17
worth getting if only for track's 'train,train', 'highway song ' and 'road fever' .

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