Live: Let’s Work Together is the second live album by George Thorogood & the Destroyers.
It was recorded on December 2–3, 1994 at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, Missouri and December 5, 1994 at Center Stage in Atlanta, and released in 1995 on the EMI Records label.
The album featured guest appearances by musicians Elvin Bishop and Johnnie Johnson. (by wikipedia)
George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers have been raisin’ rock ‘n’ roll Shenanigans now for over thirty years. Coming out of Detroit in 1974, they got to release their first self-titled studio album in 1977. However, it was not until another nine years of roadwork, and several studio albums later, that the band hit pay-dirt with their first live album, simply titled `Live’ in 1986. It made the live Destroyer experience available to the world. And after all is said and done, it is not surprising that this is where the band finally clicked on album. George Thorogood and the Destroyers have always been a live beast, bursting into life when they hit the boards in front of a frenzied audience, but wilting slightly when cooped up in a recording studio.
In the Destroyers career so far there have been three live albums, the original from 1977, then lately there was Live in 1999, but it’s this middle one from 1995 that I picked as the best of a good bunch. The simple reason is that the performance is explosive, well recorded, chock-a-block full of Thorogood classics, the odd surprise here and there, and, like any good live recording, it is topped and tailed by a good solid slab of Mr. Chuck Berry.
The ever dependable Destroyers, stripped down to a basic four piece which this dog prefers (I’d rather have four musicians working hard than a nine piece being able to take it easy), put out a good solid sound. Apart from the amazing George out front on lead guitar and vocals, you have the exuberant Hank Carter on saxophone, who also contributes a touch of keyboards when the feeling takes. These two are backed by one of the most solid rhythm sections in history – Bill Blough on bass and Jeff Simon on drums. Over the years these two have welded together a mighty partnership.
For the first eleven songs the boys crank up their audience with a set full of Thorogood destroyers, working the fifth member of the band, the audience, to frenzy. Particularly on the tribute to John Lennon with their version of Larry Williams’ ‘Bad Boy’, which the Beatles would of first started playing in their days in Hamburg nightclubs back in the early sixties. But when George introduces Elvin (Bad Boy) Bishop to the crowd to join the band for some slide guitar on `Let’s Work Together’, the audience can barely contain themselves with excitement.
To top that, out from the wings for the final two songs comes Mr. Piano of Rock ‘n’ Roll/Blues/Boogie, Mr. Johnny Johnson. In his past Johnson has been chief sideman to all the greats including Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, etc., and if you have never heard barrel house, honky-tonk piano, lend an ear to the last two tracks on this album. The first of the two is a storming version of ‘St. Louis Blues’, then we are led away by the rock ‘n’ roll national anthem ‘Johnny B. Goode’. By this time the excitement contained in the grooves of your CD can barely be controlled as your CD player hangs onto the disc by the skin of its teeth. The band members shoulder each other out of the way to take turns at soloing. Finally George breaks back in to take control and brings the song to a shattering climax.
All in all a very satisfying live recording of a band at the top of their game. Not many people know that when George sings…
“Why don’t you get a haircut and get a real job,
Just like your big brother Bob”
…he is of course singing about his soul brother `The Prince of Darkness’, Bob Finch of Tahitian Queen fame. Well, now you know.
Rocked by Mott the Dog
Rolled by Ella Crew (by Kim Fletcheron)
That´s what I call high energy Rock N Roll …
Bill Blough (bass)
Hank Carter (saxophone, keyboards, background vocals)
Jeff Simon (drums)
George Thorogood (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Elvin Bishop (slide-guitar on 12.)
Johnnie Johnson (piano on 13. – 14.)
01. No Particular Place To Go (Berry) 5.14
02. Ride On Josephine (McDaniel) 6.57
03. Bad Boy (Williams) 4.51
04. Cocaine Blues (Amall) 3.34
05. If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave) (Thorogood) 4.28
06. I’m Ready (Dixon) 5.12
07. I’ll Change My Style (Parker/Villa) 4.40
08. Get A Haircut (Avery/Birch) 5.42
09. Gear Jammer (Thorogood) 6.11
10. Move It On Over (Williams) 6.08
11. You Talk Too Much (Thorogood) 6.17
12. Let’s Work Together (Harrison) 6.47
13. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 7.03
14. Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 5.55