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Georgia Satellites: Ultimate

Splitting up before your debut album is never the best route to success, but for Georgia Satellites, that’s exactly what happened. With a self financed, rough around the edges EP already under their belts, the foursome of Dan Baird (guitar/vocals), Rick Richards (guitar/vocals), Rick Price (bass) and Mauro Magellan (drums) set about recording enough songs to make an album with producer Jeff Glixman (Kansas). The results were picked up by Elektra, but not before the foursome had thought the band was over and began moving on to different projects. A few quick phone calls later and debut single, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” from the self titled 1986 debut was riding high in the US charts as Georgia Satellites toured their home country and places much further afield. A second album was demanded almost immediately, Open All Night finding Glixman once more at the helm as the band’s infectious barroom boogie got a second energetic workout. Straight up in attack, to suggest that the sound was well worn would be kind and yet when an outfit has the ability to take the expected and make it utterly irresistible, they really can become something special. That too was the Georgia Satellites.

A third album followed, In The Land Of Salvation And Sin finding Joe Hardy at the production helm as the band (aided by keys man Ian McKlagan, who had also contributed to Open…) matured into a rather intoxicating, smoother blend of themselves. The promise of what was to come was massive and then Baird packed it all in to go solo, and while Georgia Satellites continue on to this day with only Richards remaining, only one more album would be released - Shaken Not Stirred arriving in 1997 when Price was still on board.

That final release and the early EP aren’t included on Ultimate, a three disc collection that offers up the band’s first three albums and all of the b-sides and mixes that were released on the singles that came from them. It’s an exhaustive compilation of a much missed, fleetingly existing band, with 13 of the cuts actually finding their first release on CD.

The albums themselves are seriously first rate American barroom boogie, with the utterly irresistible “Battleship Chains”, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”, “Can’t Stand The Pain” and “Every Picture Tells A Story” sure to put a smile on your face. Add in the mid-paced stomp of “Myth Of Love” and shit-kickin’ “Red Light” and it’s no surprise that the debut album made the impact it did. Open All Night wasn’t far behind though, even if it didn’t change the formula one iota. Here it’s “Don’t Pass Me By”, “Baby So Fine”, “Sheila” and the title track that truly stick in the mind, but again, the honesty and belief behind the entire album is first rate.

The bonus cuts from these first two discs are pretty well excellent, covers of “Hippy Hippy Shake” and “Almost Saturday Night/Rockin’ All Over The World” hitting the spot, while the studio cut “Hard Luck Boy” easily deserved a slot on the debut. Add in a handful of cracking live recordings and some interesting, if hardly earth-shattering remix/edits and nothing is left by the wayside.

It may have been only a year on from Open All Night, but In The Land Of Salvation And Sin not only found McKlagan’s piano front and centre from the first kick of “I Dunno” but also a much more refined, if still intentionally ramshackle approach firmly in place. “Six Years Gone” (which verges on ‘commercial rock’), “Shake That Thing”, “Sweet Blue Midnight” and especially “Bring Down The Hammer” shining brightly in this new light. The bonus cuts here too stack up in their own right, edits of “Another Chance” and “Shake That Thing” great fun, while “Saddle Up” (think souped up ZZ Top) and “That Woman” (bulging with an energetic pulse) are simply intoxicating!

And that was that, Baird left, and eventually Magellan would team up with him in Homemade Sin, while the latter, Price and Richards would also go out under the name of The Bulldogs with singer Erling Daell. All four original Georgia boys contribute to the fun and reasonably insightful liner notes for this set, where a full UK discography is also listed, even if Price’s contribution amounts to one sentence…

Georgia Satellites have long been a favourite of mine, with all three of these albums still in regular rotation in my listening habits as they show some of the best blues based, good fun, rock n’ roll you could hope to find. This release is an excellent way to join the party, and to gather up the excellent bonus tracks, making this one occasion where you should definitely not keep your hands to yourself!


Track Listing
DISC ONE: GEORGIA SATELLITES + BONUS TRACKS
1. KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF
2. RAILROAD STEEL
3. BATTLESHIP CHAINS
4. RED LIGHT
5. THE MYTH OF LOVE
6. CAN’T STAND THE PAIN
7. GOLDEN LIGHT
8. OVER AND OVER
9. NIGHTS OF MYSTERY
10. EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
BONUS TRACKS
11. THE MYTH OF LOVE (LIVE) *
12. BATTLESHIP CHAINS (KICK ‘N’ LICK REMIX) *
13. HARD LUCK BOY
14. RED LIGHT (LIVE) *
15. NO MONEY DOWN (LIVE) *
16. BATLLESHIP CHAINS (PARTY MIX) *
17. NIGHTS OF MYSTERY (LIVE) *
18. I’M WAITING FOR THE MAN (LIVE) *


DISC TWO: OPEN ALL NIGHT + BONUS TRACKS
1. OPEN ALL NIGHT
2. SHEILA
3. WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN’
4. COOL INSIDE
5. DON’T PASS ME BY
6. MY BABY
7. MON CHERI
8. DOWN AND DOWN
9. DUNK ‘N’ DINE
10. BABY SO FINE
11. HAND TO MOUTH
BONUS TRACKS
12. LET IT ROCK (LIVE)
13. HIPPY HIPPY SHAKE
14. SHEILA (REMIX) *
15. BATTLESHIP CHAINS (LIVE) *
16. RAILROAD STEEL (LIVE) *
17. ALMOST SATURDAY NIGHT / ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD


DISC THREE: IN THE LAND OF SALVATION AND SIN + BONUS TRACKS
1. I DUNNO
2. BOTTLE O’ TEARS
3. ALL OVER BUT THE CRYIN’
4. SHAKE THAT THING
5. SIX YEARS GONE
6. GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
7. ANOTHER CHANCE
8. BRING DOWN THE HAMMER
9. SLAUGHTERHOUSE
10. STELLAZINE BLUES
11. SWEET BLUE MIDNIGHT
12. DAYS GONE BY
13. CRAZY
14. DAN TAKES FIVE
BONUS TRACKS
15. SADDLE UP
16. THAT WOMAN *
17. ANOTHER CHANCE (EDIT) *
18. SHAKE THAT THING (EDIT) *
*First time on CD

Added: February 12th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Ultimate @ Cherry Red
Hits: 234
Language: english

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