egroj world: The Head Cat • Fool's Paradise
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viernes, 11 de noviembre de 2016

The Head Cat • Fool's Paradise

Fool's Paradise is a 2006 album recorded by "The Head Cat", a collaboration between Lemmy of Motörhead, Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats), and Danny B. Harvey. It features covers of mostly classic 1950s songs. It is re-release of their first album "Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B" recorded in September 1999. This re-release doesn't include 3 songs from original release, it have different cover and track list is in different order.
While there is nothing groundbreaking in this recording, the 1950s songs that are chosen (penned by likes of Buddy Holly and members of his group) are played "commendably", keeping close to the original versions with restraint.The album received less praise from other critics.(~Wiki)

Head Cat was formed after recording the Elvis Presley tribute album Swing Cats, A Special Tribute to Elvis in 2000 to which the future band-mates all contributed. After recordings were finished they stayed at the studio and Lemmy picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing some of his old favorite songs by Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. The rest of they guys knew them all and joined in. The name of the band was created by combining the names Motörhead, The Stray Cats and 13 Cats, which resulted in The Head Cat, similar to what Lemmy did in 1980 with Headgirl, a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool. In 2006 the band released their first studio album, Fool's Paradise, which included cover songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. On the recordings Lemmy played acoustic guitar but on live performances Lemmy uses his signature Rickenbacker bass saying "I'm just not that good on guitar".

Few musicians are as synonymous with heavy metal as Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister. But long time fans know that ol' Lemmy has tackled other styles over the years, including British Invasion pop (as part of the Rockin' Vicars) and space rock (as part of Hawkwind). Additionally, Lemmy has covered a few country and/or rockabilly tunes over the years, including a metallic version of "Stand By Your Man," Carl Perkins' "Matchbox," and Johnny Cash's "Big River." So it shouldn't come as a surprise that in the early 21st century, Lemmy launched a rockabilly side project, the Head Cat. Taking a break from his beloved Rickenbacker bass, Lemmy handles vocals (which resemble little of the throaty growl of his Motorhead work), acoustic guitar, and harmonica duties, and is joined by ex-Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Danny B. Harvey. As evidenced by their 2006 debut, Fool's Paradise, the trio is one rockin' good time -- a much needed antidote to the computer/software enhanced state of popular music. Expectedly, this isn't going to melt your speakers upon first listen like Ace of Spades did all those years ago. That said, it's certainly a worthwhile listen for die-hard fans to hear Lemmy tackle covers of some of his favorite standards -- "Not Fade Away," "Well All Right," as well as the two aforementioned tracks, "Big River" and "Matchbox." (~Greg Prato)

Big frowns all around to the marketing people at Rock-A-Billy Records for placing that "file under" command on the disc. Of course it may result in purchases from Lemmy fans, but it is a quick buck that closes off a larger audience than it approaches, and Fool's Paradise deserves a status above novelty. There are plenty of young Rock-A-Billy fans who would never think of scanning the Motorhead department for their fix. Also, there are a tremendous amount of "Baby Boomers", plus those born in the 50s and 60s who are devoted listeners of pre-hippie rock, which is the world of Rock-A-Billy, although my parents, who grew up on it, wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about using that moniker. Why "file under Motorhead"? Why not send this album to stations that play music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and challenge them to play new music that pays tribute to the decades they endorse, so the many people who believe the music they like was replaced with rap, dance, and metal, comprehend that it's still alive and kicking? It is clear those questions were not fleshed out by those marketing Fool's Paradise once "file under" appeared on the disc. Lemmy fans are diehards who do not need easy access. They would sniff him out in a sea of Roxette discs. Apparently the members of this all star group, featuring the aforementioned Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom, drummer from Stray Cats, and Danny Harvey, guitarist from 13 Cats, are most enamored with Buddy Holly. There is not an original piece on the disc, and nine of the fifteen tracks are Holly tunes. With Lemmy on vocals, the title track, "Fool's Paradise", has a very Kinks-like sound, especially when the harmonies kick in. Often times, covers seem to lose their spirit in the hands of other artists, but "Fool's Paradise", when performed by The Head Cat, is as lively as it was a half-century earlier. Lemmy Kilmister is not quite the vocal match people would automatically envision when thinking Buddy Holly, but he really does a fine job delivering his songs, especially during the jungle toms of "Not Fade Away", and the acoustic rhythm of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping". The grizzled texture is more melodic than most Motorhead fans would imagine possible. Out of the Buddy Holly tracks, only "Take Your Time", and "Learning the Game", seem like stretches vocally. The six non-Holly tracks pay tribute to the artists at Sun Records, and its founder Sam Phillips. There are four blues songs featured from the likes of Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, and Carl Perkins, plus two early rock standards from Elvis and Johnny Cash. The Head Cat does a phenomenal job with Cash's "Big River". The "Man in Black" has such a signature sound and approach that, even though he is covered often, it is difficult to deliver with a great degree of authenticity. The moment "Big River" is heard though, those who have little background on Cash, possibly only seeing the movie, will immediately recognize the source for this selection. Two of the strongest songs end the album, as "Big River" is followed by Perkins' "Matchbox", which is rocked out a bit thanks to the guitar work of Danny Harvey, who makes it a little more honkey tonk than blues. "Matchbox" is the song you'd picture playing during a huge barroom brawl. The trio, known as The Head Cat, is very impressive, especially considering the short time they dedicated to this project. Given their backgrounds, talent is a given, but just because ability is present, providing listenable music is not a guarantee (see Damnocracy). If you are a fan of Rock-A-Billy music, which is so deeply rooted in all of today's sounds, Fool's Paradise, by The Head Cat, will not be a disappointment. It might even leave each listener imagining what possibilities could exist with original material from this band. At the very least, it should provide modern listeners with a window into a rock world which is worth traveling back five decades to experience.(~Patrick Muldowney;

While Lemmy Kilmister was best known as an innovator in heavy metal with his over the top band Motörhead, he was around to witness the early days of rock & roll. The Head Cat was a side project that allowed Lemmy to indulge his passion for rockabilly and first-era rock. The Head Cat featured Lemmy on bass, guitars, and vocals; Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats on drums and vocals; and Danny B. Harvey of the Rockats and the Lonesome Spurs on guitar, bass, and keys. The trio came together when Lemmy was invited to contribute guitar and vocals for the 2000 album A Special Tribute to Elvis by Phantom and Harvey's group the Swing Cats. After cutting a version of "Good Rockin' Tonight," Lemmy picked up a guitar and began jamming on some classic Eddie Cochran tunes. Phantom and Harvey quickly joined in, and the three felt the chemistry was right and they should cut an album of their own. In 2000, the trio recorded Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B, which was released by the German label Steamhammer; it was reissued in a different sequence and with new artwork in 2006 by Cleopatra Records under the title Fool's Paradise. The band played occasional live dates when their schedules permitted, and a 2004 show in Los Angeles was released in a special DVD/LP package, 2006's Rockin' the Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip. In 2011, the Head Cat brought out a second studio album, Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk. While the debut album consisted entirely of vintage rock & roll covers, Walk the Walk featured a pair of original numbers along with ten rockabilly, blues, and country chestnuts. The Head Cat continued to play occasional club and festival dates until early 2015, when Lemmy's failing health began to interfere with his performance schedule. The Head Cat were scheduled to perform as part of a Lemmy birthday show on December 13, 2015, but Kilmister was too ill to participate. He died on December 28, ending the trio's memorable run.
(~Mark Deming)

01 - Fool's Paradise [2:29]
02 - Tell Me How [1:50]
03 - You Got Me Dizzy [3:00]
04 - Not Fade Away [2:16]
05 - Cut Across Shorty [2:04]
06 - Lawdy Miss Clawdy [2:01]
07 - Take Your Time [2:03]
08 - Well... All Right [2:20]
09 - Trying To Get To You [1:40]
10 - Learning The Game [2:17]
11 - Peggy Sue Got Married [2:15]
12 - Crying, Waiting, Hoping [2:13]
13 - Love's Made A Fool Of You [1:57]
14 - Big River [2:28]
15 - Matchbox [2:32]

Danny B.Harvey - lead guitar, keyboards, bass, backing vocals
Lemmy Kilmister - vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Slim Jim Phantom - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Released: 2006
Label: Rock-A-Billy Records
Time: 33:32
Styles: Rockabilly, Rock 'n 'roll

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