All Hopped Up
Red Rooster 101
Rating: **** (Recommended)
After releasing a steady stream of records for a few years (1969 – 1973), NRBQ took a break from issuing albums. During this time, they continued recording, dates that ended up on this set–the first release on their own Red Rooster label.
While side one ain’t bad, the flipside is even better. There, three of the four members each offer two songs. The side opens with Al Anderson’s classic “Ridin’ in My Car.” Like other NRBQ numbers, it has a charm that few groups could claim. Anderson came aboard after the second album, and this cut proves how well he fit into the group, and/or how well this group could play his songs. Following this cut, founding members Terry Adams (Kentucky) and Joey Stampinato (New York) each offer a song, both NRBQ essentials. While those three cuts are hard to follow, the side is fairly solid from go to whoa, concluding with a unique take on the theme from the Bonanza TV show.
While this might not be as consistent as some of their albums, the strong cuts certainly make this another essential set for fans and a good introduction for strangers. Quite simply, NRBQ is one of the best bands this world has ever seen.
— Winch (author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)