Hot Tuna – Hoppkorv (1976)

FrontCover1Hot Tuna is an American blues rock band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen (guitarist/vocals) and Jack Casady (bassist). Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band’s name has essentially become a metonym for Kaukonen and Casady’s ongoing collaboration.

Hoppkorv was the seventh album by the American blues rock band Hot Tuna, and their last studio album recorded for Grunt Records, as Grunt BFL1-1920. Unlike previous albums, Hot Tuna relied entirely on an outside producer for this effort, Harry Maslin. In addition to four new original songs by Jorma Kaukonen and one by Nick Buck, the album includes covers of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy”, Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied”, and Chuck Berry’s “Talkin’ ‘Bout You.” The album had its highest peak at #116 on the Billboard charts. In 1996, RCA released the CD box set Hot Tuna in a Can which included a remastered version of this album, along with remasters of the albums Hot Tuna, First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, Burgers and America’s Choice.

Hoppkorv is Swedish for “Jumping Hot Dog”. (wikipedia)

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Unlike recent Hot Tuna albums, Hoppkorv found the group acting less as a mouthpiece for guitarist Jorma Kaukonen’s compositions and more as a heavy rock cover band, handling such familiar material as Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy” and Chuck Berry’s “Talkin’ ‘Bout You,” although “Watch the North Wind Rise” was one of Kaukonen’s better tunes. Even on the originals, the tempo had picked up, the arrangements were shorter; nothing here ran as long as five minutes, and the sound had been filled out by the occasional addition of keyboards, second guitar, and background vocals.

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So, Hoppkorv was closer to a straightforward pop/rock album than many Hot Tuna releases, and for that, predictably, it got higher marks from critics, who appreciated the variety, and lower marks from Tuna fans, who found less music to boogie to. (by William Ruhlmann)

A great album with Power-Rock Blues tunes like “I Wish You Would” and “I Can’t Be Satisfied” … a wonderful sound !

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Personnel:
Jack Casady (bass)
Jorma Kaukonen (vocals, guitar)
Bob Steeler (drums, percussion)
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Nick Buck (keyboards)
John Sherman (guitar on 04.)
Karen Tobin (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Santa Claus Retreat (Kaukonen) 4.12
02. Watch The North Wind Rise (Kaukonen) 4.39
03. It’s So Easy (Holly/Petty) 2.35
04. Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man (Rush/Carter) 3.10
05. Drivin’ Around (Buck) 2.56
06. I Wish You Would (Arnold) 4.30
07. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Morganfield) 3.49
08. Talkin’ ‘Bout You (Berry) 3.28
09. Extrication Love Song (Kaukonen) 4.16
10. Song From The Stainless Cymbal (Kaukonen) 4.04

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More from Hot Tuna:
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