Now Available: Dr. Feelgood, I'm A Man (Best Of The Wilko Johnson Years 1974-1977)
If you’re an American music fan whose only frame of reference to the name “Dr. Feelgood” is that of a 1989 Motley Crüe album…well, actually, that’s not too surprising, given that it’s the Crüe’s best-selling album by a pretty wide margin. In fact, it’s gone platinum six times over at this point, which means that it’s sold so many more copies in the U.S. than the combined discography of the band called Dr. Feelgood has sold on these shores that we’re not even going to bother to do the math, because it would just make us sad.
For the record, though, the band called Dr. Feelgood was formed in 1971, released their first single (“Roxette”) in ’74, and issued their debut album, Down by the Jetty, the following year. They were known as one of the defining bands in the so-called “pub rock” movement in the UK, and they could bash out some seriously bad-ass British R&B back in the day.
Not that they’re not still around in one form or another, albeit without a single original member remaining in the lineup, but there are few who would look back at the life and times of Dr. Feelgood without suggesting that their definitive lineup was the one featuring Wilko Johnson.
Funnily enough, more Americans probably know Wilko from his work as Ilyn Payne, the mute executioner on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but from the day he joined Dr. Feelgood through his departure as the band was constructing its fourth album, 1977’s Sneakin’ Suspicion, he was as much of the heart and soul and rock ‘n’ roll of the lineup as anyone. In fact, there are those who say – and Paul Weller is one of them – that Wilko’s guitar work had a significant impact on the raucous sound of the British punk rock movement.
Intrigued? Well, as it happens, we’ve just released the perfect gateway drug into Wilco’s work with Dr. Feelgood: I’m A Man (The Best of the Wilko Johnson Years: 1974-1977), a 16-track compilation which features a mixture of studio and live tracks that should sell you the praise we’ve been lavishing upon this man and his music.
Here’s what you’ll find enclosed within:
2. Cheque Book
3. Twenty Yards Behind
4. Keep It Out of Sight
5. Back in the Night (LIVE)
6. Watch Your Step
7. Rolling and Tumbling
8. Don’t Let Your Daddy Know
9. Riot in Cell Block Number Nine
10. I’m a Man (LIVE)
11. All Through the City (LIVE)
12. Checkin’ Up on My Baby (LIVE)
13. Everybody’s Carrying a Gun (OLYMPIC VERSION)
14. Lights Out
15. Sneakin’ Suspicion
16. Going Back Home (LIVE)
Oh, and just as an FYI, if you end up finding yourself a Dr. Feelgood fan after you check out this album, or even if you’re already a fan but don’t really know a whole lot about the band and their back story, we’d highly recommend that you check out Julien Temple’s 2009 documentary, Oil City Confidential. We’ve embedded the trailer for the film below, and we can assure you that it’s top-notch.