For those Nick Lowe fans who enjoyed Rockpile, here’s Nick Lowe with
Ry Cooder, John Hiatt and Jim Keltner - a supergroup collectively known
as Little Village.
One of the musical highlights of the ’80s was John Hiatt’s Bring The
Family, the 1987 album which, sort of, reintroduced the veteran
singer-songwriter to a new generation of fans. It was also an exciting
album because of its lineup.
For the hit song, Thing Called Love, Hiatt
said: "I had everything when we went to record it, but Nick Lowe came up
with that riff - ba dir di dir dit - which is the icing on the cake. As
soon as he started playing that on the bass, Ry started playing it on
the guitar, and he was laughing, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ And that was pretty
much the arrangement.”
The easy way the individual members clicked was what led to Little
Village in 1992 but the group’s one and only album did not take off
though the classic guitar rock sound certainly hasn’t dated. [One can
also guess that the "supergroup” format meant that the focus and the
pressure wasn’t directed solely at any one person, certainly each member
very much a star in his own right.]
With all the reunions these days, one wonders if Little Village would ever consider going on the road again.
Recorded live at the Fox Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA; April 7, 1992. Excellent FM broadcast
Personnel: Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals)
John Hiatt (guitar, vocals)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Nick Lowe (bass, vocals)
Tracklist: 01. Solar Sex Panel (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 7.48 02. The Action (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 4.04 03. Fool Who Knows (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 3.57 04. Do You Want My Job (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 6.08 05. She Runs Hot (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 4.56 06. Don’t Think About Her When You’re Trying To Drive (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 5.14 07. Memphis In The Meantime (Hiatt) 5.54 08. Crying In My Sleep (Yancey/Lowe) 5.00 09. Big Love (Cooder/Hiatt/Keltner/Lowe) 8.52 10. Little Sister (Pomus/Shuman)3.38 11. Half A Boy And Half A Man (Lowe) 3.45 12. Thing Called Love (Hiatt) 5.41 13. Lipstick Sunset (Hiatt) 5.48
Capitol, which had already released ten Beach Boys
albums in three years, was bugging the group for product that it could
release in time for the 1965 Christmas season. To buy time while Brian Wilson began conceiving the Pet Sounds
masterpiece, the group issued a set of covers, mostly of the '50s rock
and R&B they had listened to as schoolboys.
Packaged as if it had
been recorded at an actual party, it was in fact recorded in the studio,
with friends and romantic partners adding sounds and vocals to create
an informal atmosphere. With the exception of a bass guitar, all the
instruments were acoustic; the acoustic guitar-and-bongo arrangements,
in fact, give this a hootenanny campfire feel. In recent years, this
album has gone up a few notches in critical esteem, praised for its
loose, casual feel and insight into the group's influences.
Realistically, though, its present-day appeal lies mostly with dedicated
fans of the group, as fun and engaging as it is.
Others will find the
material shopworn in places, and the presentation too corny. It does
have the massive hit "Barbara Ann," which actually features Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean)
on much of the lead vocals; other highlights include "Mountain of
Love," an unexpected version of "The Times They Are a-Changin'," and three Beatles covers.
Personnel: Al Jardine (guitar, vocals) Bruce Johnstone (bass, keyboards, vocals) Mike Love (vocals) Carl Wilson (guitar, vocals) Dennis Wilson (drums)
Tracklist: 01. Hully Gully (Goldsmith/Smith) 2.22 02. I Should Have Known Better (Lennon/McCartney) 2.23 03. Tell My Why (Lennon/McCartney) 1.39 04. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow (Frazier/J.Harris/S.Harris/White/T.Wilson/Wilson Jr.) 2.12 05. Mountain Of Love (Dorman) 2.47 06. You´ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) 2.47 07. Davoted To You (Bryant) 1.19 08. Alley Oop (Frazier) 2.53 09. There´s No Other (Like My Baby) 3.02 10. Medley: I Get Around/Little Deuce Cup (Christian/Wilson) 3.31 11. The Times They Are A-Changin´ (Dylan) 2.13 12. Barbara Ann (Fassert) 2.53