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Robert Gordon & Link Wray Fresh Fish Special (CD)

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(BMG Music) 10 tracks more

Robert Gordon & Link Wray: Fresh Fish Special (CD)

(BMG Music) 10 tracks

Article properties: Robert Gordon & Link Wray: Fresh Fish Special (CD)

Gordon, Robert - Fresh Fish Special (CD) CD 1
01 The Way I Walk Robert Gordon & Link Wray
02 Red Cadillac, And A Black Mustache Robert Gordon & Link Wray
03 If This Is Wrong Robert Gordon & Link Wray
04 Five Days, Five Days Robert Gordon & Link Wray
05 Fire Robert Gordon & Link Wray
06 I Want To Be Free Robert Gordon & Link Wray
07 Twenty Flight Rock Robert Gordon & Link Wray
08 Sea Cruise Robert Gordon & Link Wray
09 Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track) Robert Gordon & Link Wray
10 Blue Eyes (Don't Run Away) Robert Gordon & Link Wray
Robert Gordon March 29, 1947 - October 18, 2022 ROBERT GORDON OBITUARY Robert... more
"Robert Gordon & Link Wray"

Robert Gordon
March 29, 1947 - October 18, 2022


ROBERT GORDON OBITUARY

Robert Gordon 

Mainstream interest in rockabilly had ebbed to a disturbingly low level when Robert Gordon helped restore the idiom to international prominence. His vocal style heavily influenced by Gene Vincent, Jack Scott, and Billy Riley, Gordon rendered the classic music of those hallowed ‘50s legends cool to a new generation of fans that in many cases weren’t even aware of their existence prior to Gordon’s emergence. For others, he represented a throwback to the beloved rock and roll of their youth, when pomade and pegged pants were imperative fashion statements.

Gordon, who died October 18, 2022 in Bethesda, Maryland at age 75, had little use for rock music of the ‘60s and beyond. Born in Bethesda, Maryland on March 29, 1947, Gordon heard Elvis’ immortal Heartbreak Hotel on the radio when he was nine and knew what he wanted to do with his life. During the ‘60s, Gordon preferred attending shows at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., where James Brown and Otis Redding drove crowds into a sweat-stained frenzy, to listening to the British Invasion crowd.

A 1970 relocation to New York City with his young family preceded Robert Gordon joining what’s been described as a punk rock outfit, The Tuff Darts, as their lead singer. Their All For The Love Of Rock And Roll and two more songs were included on a compilation album, ‘Live At CBGB’s,’ dedicated to New York’s thriving new wave scene. Producer Richard Gottehrer, formerly of The Strangeloves and a longtime successful record producer, caught a Tuff Darts rehearsal and rather than opting to work with the band, suggested teaming a solo Gordon with grizzled guitar legend Link Wray, whose thundering instrumental Rumble was a major 1958 hit and went a long way towards introducing the concept of the crunching power chord. 

Gottehrer produced the young vocalist’s 1977 debut album ‘Robert Gordon with Link Wray’ for the Private Stock imprint, its contents an intriguing mix of ‘50s rockabilly covers from the repertoires of Vincent, Riley, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, and Sanford Clark and three Wray originals. Gordon’s revival of Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson’s Sun label classic Red Hot, done Riley-style and decorated with Wray’s slashing lead guitar, made inroads on the pop singles charts. Gordon steadfastly dressed the part of a ‘50s rocker, complete with high hair. 

Gottehrer, who shared his production credit with the singer this time, summoned The Jordanaires to handle the backing vocals on Gordon’s ’78 Private Stock encore set ‘Fresh Fish Special,’ Wray again lending his blistering fretwork to the proceedings. Once again, remakes of classic rockers by Vincent, Scott, Cochran, Elvis, Johnny Burnette, Bob Luman, and Frankie Ford were the order of the day, along with a couple more of Link’s originals. But there was a rooker: Fire was the work of prolific rocker Bruce Springsteen (who played piano on the song), and the feel was quite a bit more modern. The Pointer Sisters’ smash version of Fire killed any chance of Gordon enjoying a hit with the theme.

After Private Stock tanked, Robert Gordon switched over to RCA for his ’79 LP ‘Rock Billy Boogie,’ and Wray was gone, replaced on lead guitar by British rocker Chris Spedding. Gottehrer was still in charge and the basic concept survived the move intact, Gordon tearing into classics by Conway Twitty, Hayden Thompson, Burnette, Cochran, Presley, Fats Domino, Leroy Van Dyke, and Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones along with a freshly prepared tribute to Vincent, The Catman. It turned out to be his highest-charting album.

‘Bad Boy,’ produced by Gottehrer and Robert Gordon and issued on RCA in 1980, stayed in the same rockabilly-obsessed groove, with Spedding handling lead guitar as Gordon dug deep into vintage Tommy Sands, Warner Mack. Roy Orbison, Bill Haley, Marty Wilde material, along with more Burnette.

But change was decidedly in the air on ‘Are You Gonna Be The One,’ Gordon’s last RCA long-player in 1981. Instead of Gottehrer ensconced in the driver’s seat, Robert produced the album with Lance Quinn and Scott Litt, and the emphasis was no longer on familiar remakes apart from Don Gibson’s Look Who’s Blue. Originals now dominated the proceedings, including three compositions by young rocker Marshall Crenshaw. One of Crenshaw’s contributions, Someday, Someway, briefly cracked the pop hit parade as a single. Washington, D.C. guitar wizard Danny Gatton was Gordon’s fret foil this time.

The relative success of Someday, Someway wasn’t enough to keep RCA interested in Gordon’s services. He branched into acting in 1982, co-starring with newcomer Willem Dafoe in director Kathryn Bigelow’s first feature, a motorcycle film entitled ‘The Loveless’ that’s taken on cult status. Gordon recorded intermittently after leaving RCA, reuniting with Spedding and The Jordanaires for 2007’s Elvis tribute disc ‘It’s Now Or Never’ on Rykodisc. Lanark released his 2014 set ‘I’m Coming Home.’ 

One thing’s for sure: Robert Gordon’s lifelong love for real deal rockabilly never wavered, defining his career from one end to the other.

 

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/gordon-robert-in-concert-march-1979-philadelphia-pa.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

 

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Tracklist
Gordon, Robert - Fresh Fish Special (CD) CD 1
01 The Way I Walk
02 Red Cadillac, And A Black Mustache
03 If This Is Wrong
04 Five Days, Five Days
05 Fire
06 I Want To Be Free
07 Twenty Flight Rock
08 Sea Cruise
09 Lonesome Train (On A Lonesome Track)
10 Blue Eyes (Don't Run Away)