Band members Related acts
- Andy Fairweather-Low -- vocals, guitar
- Bud Beadles -- sax
- Rabbit Bundrick -- keyboards
- B.J. Cole - pedal steel guitar
- John David -- bass, backing vocals
- MartiN Drower -- trumpet
- Julian Diggie -- percussion
- Steve Gregor -- horns
- Malcolm Griffiths - trombone
- Byrne Haworth -- slide guitar
- Kenny Jones -- drums
- Bernie Leadon -- acoustic guitar
- Tunji Omosheti -- percussion
- Henry Spinetti -- drums
- Eddie Thorton -- trumpet
- Mick Weaver -- keyboards
- The Bleeding Heart Band
- Fair Weather
- Andy Fairweather-Low and the Lowriders
- The Gaddabouts
- George's Band
- Geraint Watkins & the Dominators
- John Mayall & Friends
- Rock Therapy
- Spirit of the Forest
- Willie and the Poor Boys
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Be Bop 'n' Holla
Country/State: Cardiff, Wales
Grade (cover/record): VG+/ VG+
Comments: includes lyric insert
Catalog ID: 6266
Singer/guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low is a real rarity in that his career's gone from mega star to little recognizes sideman. Even more surprising, Fairweather-Low seems very comfortable with that reverse career trajectory.
Released in 1976, "Be Bop 'n' Holla" was Fairweather-Low's fourth solo album. Produced and engineered by Glyn Johns, the album simultaneously served to showcase Fairweather-Low's considerable talents which included a weird, nasally voice, some of music's most varied and highly eclectic tastes and a near total lack of mainstream commercial appeal. You got the distinct feel that at this point in his career Fairweather-Low knew he wasn't going to be a massive superstar and simply didn't care what management or the audiences thought. That sense of freedom was palatable throughout the collection . Jow else to explain a track like 'Hot Poop' where he basically sang out the song chord progressions over a beautiful country-rock melody, or a song entitled 'Checking Out the Checker'. And in a nutshell that may explain much of the album's appeal - immune from record label pressure Fairweather-Low seemingly felt free to record whatever he was interested in. It made for a refreshing change of pace, it not always enjoyable.
One of those unexpected surprises that grows on you more each time you play it and you can still find cheap copies. In the States A&M simply didn't have a clue as to how to market Fairweather-Low.
Bop 'n' Holla" track listing:
1.) Shimmie Doo Wah Saw (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 3:09 rating: **** stars
Complete with nonsensical lyrircs 'Shimmie Doo Wah Saw' sounded like a cross between a African chant and something you'd play at a carnival parade. Very bouncy, tropical, and fun. After initially discounting it as a throwaway, I'll admit it got under my skin and I fund myself occasionally humming that damn song.
2.) No More Fun Anymore (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 3:16 rating: **** stars
Folks tend to forget what a good guitar player Fairweather-Low is. Shame since 'No More Fun Anymore' is built on a killer little guitar riff. The song was also interesting in that you got to hear Fairweather-Low employing a very gritty lower vocal register. It's kind of like hearing that very drunk guy in your local bar decide he was Whitney Houston and belt out some song he has not right to take on. This one actually had quite a bit of commercial potential.
3.) Da Doo Rendezvous (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 5:10 rating: ** stars
'Da Doo Rendezvous' was a pretty, but heavily orchestrated ballad, The problem with this one stemmed from the fact Fairweather-Low simply didn't have the kind of voice suited for a romantic ballad. Well technically I guess that wasn't entirely true. I suppose there were a handful of people who liked the sound of a guy drowning in his own phlegm. This one might have some appeal to that niche audience. I will admit that Fairweather's guitar solo was nice.
4.) Hot Poop (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 2:29 rating: *** stars
'Hot Poop' was a pretty country-rock number with a lyric that consisted of Fairweather-Low singing the chord progressions. This literally wasported one of the album's strongest melodies and was suprisingly funny ....
5.) Travelin' Light (Ray C. Bennett - Sid Tepper) - 2:31 rating: ** stars
Not to oversimplify or stereotype, but it seems English audiences have always had a soft spot for country numbers and that's exactly what they got with 'Travelin' Light' It may have been pretty, but the song did nothing for me. For some odd reason A&M tapped it as a single in the UK and Germany:.
- 1976's 'Travelin' Light' b/w 'If I Ever Get Lucky' (A&M catalog number AMS 7248)
6.) Rocky Raccoon (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 4:21 rating: **** stars
I'm at a total loss to explain why I think Fairweather-Low's cover of 'Rocky Raccoon' is so good ... From a technical standpoint Fairweather-Low's cover wasn't a major departure from the original song. Yeah the refrain was different. Everytime I hear the song I'm left to wonder whether Fairweather-Low is going tp make it through the song. Maybe the appeal had something to do with Henry Spinetti's gunshot drums.
Fairweather-Low's voice has always been more appealing when he singsrock oriented material. Tougher material forces him to push his voice and that's seldom displayed as well as the rocking Lighten Up'.
2.) I Can't Take Much More (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 3:12 rating: *** stars
Built on a jittery reggae influenced organ pattern, 'I Can't Take Much More' sounded a bit like an unfinished demo. It was bouncy and fun, but not essential.
3.) Rhythm In Jazz (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 3:41 rating: ** stars
'Rhythm In Jazz' was a period piece sounding number. Forgettable to my ears.
4.) Checking Out the Checker (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 3:32 rating: **** stars
The album's most conventional rocker, 'Checking Out the Checker' had a slinky edge which served as a nice match for one of Fairweather-Low's best vocals. Byrne Haworth turned in a blazing slide guitar solo. In fact, my only complaint was the song faded out just as Haworth's solo was gathering steam.
5.) Be Bop 'n' Holla (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 6:34 rating: **** stars
Built on an incidiously catchy organ and guitar riff, 'Be Bop 'n' Holla' was one of those songs that crawled in your head and simply wouldn't leave. The song picked up speed and catchiness as it went along ... make it stop !!!
- 1976's 'Be Bop 'n' Hoola' b/w 'Lighten Up' (A&M catalog number AMS 7268)
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