Somethin' Else, Robert Gordon
Victrola LMP 1256A/B-02

I have been looking forward to this new Robert Gordon release, because I've always been a big fan of his music, especially in the late 70's and early 80's. I was also a bit reluctant, afraid of being disappointed I guess. Can the man still do what he used to do 40+ years ago? When I put the disc in the machine and it started playing "Don't Let Go" (Jesse Stone) I was actually relieved. This sounds really good! The feeling didn't last very long though... the 2nd song is Little Richard's "Lucille" and it's totally 'something else', and not for the better, it lacks spirit, soul, spark and everything else the orginal did have. Very sad...

Ral Donner's "You Don't Know What You've Got" is a beautiful song and quite suitable for Gordon's voice. Yes, the man has still got the voice, no doubt about that. Too bad the backing music is absolutely lifeless, which completely ruins the song. And, I'm sorry to say, the same goes for many if not all of the remaining songs. Very bad choice of covers, like Gene's "Be-Bop-A-Lula", Eddie "Somethin' Else", "Tell Him No" (Travis & Bob). Songs that didn't need another cover version, certainly not as dull as these. Johnny Kidd's "Please Don't Touch" is just about the only track that stands out from the rest, I wish all the songs were like this one.

Then the platter is unnecessarily filled with a number of alternative recordings and rehearals of songs that were no good to begin with. I'm sorry Robert, I will keep playing all the great vinyls from the 70's and 80's, but this disc just doesn't do it for me.

BUT... yes, there's always a but! This release is a double CD and the 2nd disc is a previously unreleased concert of Robert Gordon with Link Wray from 1978 in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), recorded for Dutch radio.

And there you go... soon as track one "Twenty Flight Rock" sets in, the hairs in my neck are rising, goosebumps on my arms. This is what rock 'n' roll should sound like! Wild guitar by Link Wray and an eager voice of an eager man: Robert Gordon. Listen to the master play his wild guitar on some of his own instrumentals like "Rumble" and "Rawhide" and drift away when Robert sings, what should have been his greatest hit, "Fire". And of course "Red Hot" is as hot as it gets. Link Wray and Robert Gordon: a match made in heaven!

End conclusion: forget disc1, go straight for disc 2 and feel the rock 'n' roll in your veins!

Tracklisting Disc 1:
Don't Let Go / Lucille / You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It) / Hot Rod / I've Had It / Believe What You Say / Knock Three Times / Be Bop A Lula / Why / Please Don't Touch / I'll Make It Right / Somethin' Else / Tell Him No / Don't Let Go (Alt) / Hot Rod (Rehearsals) / Please Don't / Be Bop A Lula (Alt) / Knock Three Times (Alt) / Believe What You Say (Alt)

Tracklisting Disc 2:
Twenty Flight Rock / Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache / Link Talks / I Want To Be Free / Rumble / Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Flying Saucer Rock 'N' Roll / Mystery Train / Summertime Blues / If This Is Wrong / Baby Let's Play House / Red Hot / Fire / Sea Cruise / I Sure Miss You / Rawhide / Baby What You Want Me To Do / The Way I Walk / Lonesome Train / Five Days, Five Days / Boppin' The Blues / I Got A Woman / Endless Sleep / Red Hot (Reprise)

More Robert Gordon:

Robert Gordon, Rockabilly Bad Boy
Live Fast, Love Hard! - Robert Gordon
Move It - Unreleased Rec. 1978-1992
Robert Gordon & Danny Gatton
The Official Robert Gordon Website

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2014