Whatever the reasons for Blackfoot’s lack of major league success are irrelevant now as this New Jersey by way of Jacksonville powerhouse band of roughnecks left us some of the finest Southern rock under the sun and while ‘Flyin High’ flew under almost everyone’s radar in 1976, it’s one of their better efforts.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: Flyin’ High
SERIAL: PE 34378
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Rick Medlocke – lead vocals, guitars, dobro * Charlie Hargrett – guitars * Greg T. Walker – bass, backing vocals * Jackson Spires – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Feelin’ Good * 02 Flyin’ High * 03 Try A Little Harder * 04 Stranger On The Road * 05 Save Your Time * 06 Dancin’ Man * 07 Island Of Life * 08 Junkie’s Dream * 09 Madness * 10 Mother
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Silly me, for a couple of years I thought ‘Strikes’ was the first Blackfoot album until in 1981 I stumbled on a tattered and stained copy of ‘Flyin’ High’ in a second-hand bin still having no clue they released their debut album ‘No Reservations’ in 1975.
Live and learn, but looking back I’ve often wondered if any of their labels – Epic or Atco really got behind Blackfoot. By this I mean giving them the proper promotion and backing that could have eventually put them in the same arena rock category as Molly Hatchet and 38. Special.
Maybe they were just too heavy, or the American Indian image was an issue (Redbone anyone?) or even harder to imagine; Blackfoot just didn’t have the songs to bring record buyers into the stores.
The Europeans were a little more receptive but whatever the reasons for Blackfoot’s lack of major league success are irrelevant now as this New Jersey by way of Jacksonville powerhouse band of roughnecks left us some of the finest Southern rock under the sun and while ‘Flyin High’ flew under almost everyone’s radar in 1976, it’s one of their better efforts.
‘Feelin’ Good’ rocks fast, furious and kicking serious ass right out of the box and while the production isn’t the best, songs like the title track, ‘Try A Little Harder’ and the obligatory highway song (sorry, couldn’t resist!).
‘Stranger On The Road’ shows these guys had no intention of following The Allman Brothers school of Dixie jamming, instead choosing to follow the Hydra path of metallic chicken-fried Jack Daniels soaked riffola.
How radio programmers missed ‘Island Of Life’ is a tragedy. Imagine UFO wrapped in a confederate flag and you have the best cut on this monster bar-none, although the acoustic ‘Mother’ reminds us these boys still had a heart and could even pull off a swaying laid back country rock number without losing any hard rockin’ credibility.
A tour with Aerosmith, Peter Frampton and ‘The Nuge’ followed in ’76 but Epic wanted no more from Blackfoot and a deal was inked with Atco giving us three killer albums. The aforementioned ‘Strikes’, ‘Tomcattin” and 1981’s ‘Marauder’ before losing their way with the radio-friendly ‘Siogo’ and the best forgotten – can’t believe it’s Blackfoot – ‘Vertical Smiles’. New to the band? The first five albums are all you’ll need.
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