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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Walter Egan - Fundamental Roll

Name: Walter Egan
Album: Fundamental Roll
Year: 1977
Style: Country Pub Rock
Similar Bands: Foghat, Dave Edmunds, J Geils Band, ZZ Top
"One-Word" Review: small-town-country-bar-band
Based Out Of: Jamacia, NY / D.C.
Label: Columbia, CBS
Fundamental Roll - Cover & Sleeve Picture
Fundamental Roll - Back & Sleeve Notes
Fundamental Roll - Record

Fundamental Roll (1977)
  1. Only The Lucky 3:00
  2. Won't You Say You Will 4:09
  3. Waitin' 3:43
  4. Feel So Good 4:30
  5. Yes I Guess I Am 4:12/
  6. When I Get My Wheels 3:06
  7. Where's The Party 3:07
  8. She's So Tough 3:28
  9. Tunnel O' Love 3:51
  10. I'd Rather Have Fun 3:39
  11. Surfin' & Drivin' 3:17
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:
Walter Egan - Music & Lyrics, Vox, Guitar, Producer (Spirit)
John Ware - Drums
John Sell - Bass
Bill Coumo - Keys
Lindsey Buckingham - Guitar, Vox, Producer (Fleetwood Mac)
Stevie Nicks - Vox, Producer (Fleetwood Mac)
Gary Rowles - Guitar
Dennis Mansfield - Drums
Dean Torrence - Vox
Duane Scott -Producer, Engineer
Tori Swenson - Asst Engineer
Greg Lewerke - Direction
David Krebs - Direction
Steve Leber - Direction
Ria Lewerke - Art Direction, Album Design
Moshe Brakha - Photograhy
Jim Goble - Asst Photography

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of Walter Egan. As for why I bought it, I saw that he was a potentially good singer/songwriter, and the date was good, 1977. I did not particularly notice the pedophiliac back cover until later, so I cannot admit to that having anything to do with my purchase. I guess I was just expecting him to be the front man to some more famous group before he went solo here.

Album Review: The album begins with “Only the Lucky,” a dual vocal overlaid smooth pop number. It has a nice dancey beat, but the production falls on the lighter side of pop-rock. Even the lead electric guitar seems subdued. “Won’t You Say You Will” follows up with a slower stumbling rhythm and an odd sounding synthesized effect. Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham back up in vocals here, and they do give the slow, near-country song some depth. “Waitin’” begins as a funky bass/guitar groove. The song somewhat abandons that theme for a more southern bluesy journey with a country-electric guitar. There is a long instrumental ending, even though the song is only 3:45 long. “Feel So Good” slowly fades in the stomp bass and country guitar, as well as the Fleetwood backing vocals. The chorus is more rock-pop, but the song is basically another middle-American rock-pop number. “Yes I Guess I Am” starts out with vocals only of Egan singing and Nicks Ooo-ing. I could see the imagery in the song’s chorus and instrumental break as an electric guitar being rocked out on in a wind tunnel, as if the power of rock was creating the tornado of force. But in the song’s reality, no such force is even close to being created.

“When I Get My Wheels” starts off with a great pop-rock base. Start stopping vocals and guitar licks pace the song out, so that when the chorus is fluid, it is enjoyed and much anticipated. It lacks the country production, which is a very good thing for this pop song. Nicks adds to the song too, backing up the chorus. “Where’s the Party” feels like a bluesy, small town bar jam, slipping into country with the guitars once in a while. “She’s So Tough” is more of the same small-town bar & country rock. It is a slow, lazy paced rock song. “Tunnel O’ Love” is a down and dirty, slinking rock number. It is kinda repetitive and boring. “I’d Rather Have Fun” begins, and it feels like it is going to launch into “Slow Ride” by Foghat. It has that same road weary traveling tempo. “Surfin’ & Drivin’” is the final song, and it starts off with a engine revving, and a lazy, tranquil guitar. It then picks up with jammy rhythm and haphazardly played guitar. It ends the album with an abrupt guitar stop and the engine taking off for the distance.

The best two track lead off both sides to the album, they are the least country tinged songs.

Stand Out Track: When I Get My Wheels

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