After the passing of NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino last week, I ripped some covers of NRBQ songs, then decided against using them in that post. It was getting plenty long as it was.
Let’s give them a listen, shall we?
NRBQ’s popularity among critics, fans and their peers peaked as the ’70s started to turn toward the ’80s. During that time, NRBQ released three albums widely regarded as among their best: “At Yankee Stadium” in 1978, “Kick Me Hard” in 1979 and “Tiddly Winks” in 1980.
Bonnie Raitt noticed. Disappointed at how her 1979 LP, “The Glow” was received, she decided have a little fun with her next record. She rocked out on “Green Light,” released in 1982. Who better to have fun with than NRBQ? So she covered two of their songs.
“Me And The Boys” and “Green Lights,” Bonnie Raitt, from “Green Light,” 1982. It’s out of print but is available digitally.
Dave Edmunds noticed, too. He picked a bunch of covers for “D.E. 7th,” his first record after the breakup of Rockpile. One was an unreleased Bruce Springsteen song. There also were covers of Chuck Berry, Brian Hyland and Doug Kershaw. And an NRBQ cover, one also chosen by Bonnie Raitt.
“Me And The Boys,” Dave Edmunds, from “D.E. 7th,” 1982. The buy link is to a double-length CD that also includes the “Information” LP from 1983.
Edmunds kept some of that spirit on his next record, “Information,” in 1983. Though most remembered for Jeff Lynne’s production and songs, Edmunds still worked in covers of songs by the J. Geils Band, Moon Martin and Otis Blackwell. And one by NRBQ.
“I Want You Bad,” Dave Edmunds, from “Information,” 1983. The buy link is to the same double-length CD mentioned earlier.
See how they compare to the originals.
“Green Lights” and “I Want You Bad,” NRBQ, from “At Yankee Stadium,” 1978.
“Green Lights” written by Terry Adams and Joey Spampinato.
“I Want You Bad” written by Terry Adams and Phil Crandon.
“Me And The Boys” written by Terry Adams.
At this point, I must state for the record — so to speak — that both the Bonnie Raitt record and the NRBQ records were brought to the party by the lovely Janet, who at the time was my girlfriend and who somehow decided to stick around and become my wife.
Now if I could only find our copy of “Tiddly Winks.” We used to have it, and I can’t imagine we let it go in either the Great Record Purge of 1989 or our Great Garage Sale of 2006. If so, that’s another story for another day.