Live at Montreux 1980
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Technically Rockpile only made one studio album; the 1980 gem Seconds of Pleasure. In reality there were many more Rockpile albums; they just couldn't be called as such due to contractual obligations so they were instead released as Nick Lowe or Dave Edmunds (Rockpile's main personalities) "solo" albums. No surprise then that this set of New Wave rockabilly performed live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland contains only one song, "Teacher, Teacher," from Seconds of Pleasure because there is a much bigger body of work to cover. The set is stacked with favorite cuts from the day, all of which still sound good today: "Queen of Hearts," "I Knew the Bride," "Switchboard Susan," "You Ain't Nothin' But Fine" and a cover of Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk." The guys also pay tribute to another of the era's great songwriter's with a powerful take on Graham Parker's "Crawling from the Wreckage," a song wholly informed by Chuck Berry's "Let it Rock," which Rockpile coyly play next. The Dave Edmunds hit "I Hear You Knocking" and the Rockpile-penned "They Called it Rock" bring the crowd to the appropriate frenzy for closing numbers "Ju Ju Man" and the hot-rod boogie "Let's Talk About Us."
Since "On the Road Again" is one of their most famous numbers you'd think that Canned Heat would save it for the end of the set or an encore but here they open with the song, maybe to give the audience a taste of the familiar before they launch into a four-song set showcasing guest Gatemouth Brown. Gate's portion of the show includes the self-penned slow blues "Please Mr. Nixon," the jumpin' harpoon fiesta "Worried Life Blues," the go-go-tinged "About My Ooh Poo Pah Doo" and the smoldering "Funky." Canned Heat vocalist Bob "The Bear" Hite takes the mic back for the rest of the show, including a take on the band's other best-known number, Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together." The set runs a little over an hour and finishes with the lengthy John Lee Hooker homage "Shake'n'Boogie."
Average White Band
When the Average White Band split up their members went on to work with the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and Duran Duran and there was a time when you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing their funky instrumental hit "Pick Up the Pieces," the tune that starts the show here. Five of the band's album cuts fill out the middle of this show but nearly half of the show is taken up by just two numbers; a fourteen minute, solo-filled take on "Cut the Cake" and a twelve minute jam on "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."
Live at Montreux: Rockpile- Canned Heat- Average White Band