Joe Walsh – So What (1974)
MCA Records | 1974 | Rock | FLAC+CUE+MQ-Covers (300Dpi) | NO LOG | 245Mb+2Mb
Before his aquilisation, Joe Walsh recorded an outstanding sequence of four albums in the first half of the 70s: 'Barnstorm', 'The Smoker You Get …', 'So What' and the live 'You Can't Argue With a Sick Mind'. Any or all of these albums should be on the shelves of the discerning CD collector. And nearly all of them contain a different version of 'Turn to Stone'!
With 'So What', Joe recorded a wonderful variety of songs, some of which give advance notice of his Eagle-eyed intent: Don Henley, Randy Meisner, JD Souther and Glenn Frey all put in appearances. Death is also stamped across the LP: 'Song For Emma' features maudlin lyrics such as 'You were with us for a while, then he took you, and it made your mama cry'. 'Pavanne' is taken from Ravel – not his Pavanne for a Dead Child, but the Pavanne for the Belle of the Sleeping Wood. It took me ages to find a full orchestral version of the Mother Goose Suite from which this comes, and I have to say I still prefer Joe's version, despite the uncredited string section at the start of the track. Only 'All Night Laundry Mat Blues' is a filler, but great fun.
For me, the stand-out tracks are 'Welcome to the Club', 'County Fair' and 'Turn To Stone', which get closest to the tight band sound he had on the previous album, 'The Smoker You Get …', which is his masterpiece; (whatever happened to Rocke Grace, the pianist who contributed so much to that album?) Kenny Passarelli, on his way to becoming a member of Elton John's band, was a great bassist, and Joe Vitale a superb drummer. Vitale was also a fantastic songwriter, as evidenced on the superb 'Roller Coaster Weekend' which has never been released on CD.