Dr. Feelgood are an English pub rock band formed in 1971. Hailing from Canvey Island, Essex, the group are best known for early singles such as “She Does It Right”, “Roxette”, “Back in the Night” and “Milk and Alcohol”. The group’s original distinctively British R&B sound was centred on Wilko Johnson’s choppy guitar style. Along with Johnson, the original band line-up included singer Lee Brilleaux and the rhythm section of John B. Sparks, known as “Sparko”, on bass guitar and John Martin, known as “The Big Figure”, on drums. Although their most commercially productive years were the early to mid-1970s, and in spite of Brilleaux’s death in 1994 of lymphoma, a version of the band (featuring none of the original members) continues to tour and record to this day.
The band was formed in Canvey Island in 1971 by Johnson, Brilleaux and Sparks, who had all been members of existing R&B bands, and soon added drummer John Martin. They took their name from a 1962 record by the American blues pianist and singer Willie Perryman (also known as “Piano Red”) called “Dr. Feel-Good”, which Perryman recorded under the name of Dr. Feelgood & The Interns. The song was covered by several British beat groups in the 1960s, including Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. The term is also a slang term for heroin or for a doctor who is willing to overprescribe drugs.
By late 1973, the band’s driving R&B had made them one of the most popular bands on the growing London pub rock circuit, and they recorded their debut album, Down by the Jetty, for United Artists in 1974. Like many pub rock acts, Dr. Feelgood were known primarily for their high energy live performances honed through constant touring and regular performances, although their studio albums like Down by the Jetty and Malpractice (1975) were also popular.
Their breakthrough 1976 live album, Stupidity, reached number one in the UK Albums Chart (their only chart-topper). But after the 1977 follow-up Sneakin’ Suspicion, Johnson left the group because of conflicts with Lee Brilleaux. He was replaced by John ‘Gypie’ Mayo. With Mayo, the band was never as popular as with Johnson but still enjoyed their only Top Ten hit single in 1979, with “Milk and Alcohol”. Johnson never achieved any great success outside the band, apart from a brief spell with Ian Dury and The Blockheads from 1980. Fans always speculated about a return by Johnson that never occurred.
Despite Mayo’s departure in 1981, and various subsequent line-up changes which left Brilleaux the only remaining original member, Dr. Feelgood continued touring and recording through the 1980s. However, the band then suffered an almost career-finishing blow when Brilleaux died of cancer on 7 April 1994. (by wikipedia)
On the Job, recorded live at Manchester University, was the end of several eras for Dr. Feelgood. It was their last record for EMI, meaning it was their last major-label album, and it was their last recording with Gypie Mayo. As a result, it sounds rather tired — the group never sounds particularly bad, but it’s clear that their spirits were slightly broken, and neither the material, which is entirely from Let It Roll and A Case of the Shakes, or the performances are noteworthy. Unfortunately, On the Job sounds like the contractual obligation it was. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
No, no, no … I can´t agree. This is not needless album but a strong live album with poer songs from this period of Dr. Feelgood …
Listen and enjoy the power of one of the best pub-rock bands ever !
Lee Brilleaux (vocals, harmonica)
The Big Figure (drums)
John Mayo (guitar)
John B. Sparks (bass)
01. Drives Me Wild (Fasterly/Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 2.47
02. Java Blue (Danko) 3.59
03. Jumping From Love To Love (Fasterly/Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 3.06
04. Pretty Face (Daneski/Worman/Boyle/Sandall) 2.46
05. No Mo Do Yakamo (Linde/Rush) 2.07
06. Love Hound (Linde/Rush) 2.59
07. Best In The World (Lowe) 2.33
08. Who’s Winning (Brilleaux/Lowe/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 2.08
09. Ridin’On The L & N (Burley/Hampton) 3.23
10. Case Of The Shakes (Brilleaux/Mayo) 3.07
11. Shotgun Blues (Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 5.48
12. Goodnight, Vienna (Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks)
Lee Brilleaux / John Martin / John Mayo / John B. Sparks) 0.44