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Plugged In

Dave Edmunds

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Album Review

Returning to the one-man band approach of his early records, Dave Edmunds crafted a fine comeback with Plugged In. Though his method is similar in execution to Subtle As a Flying Mallet, the impact is different, primarily because he has stripped away much of his Spector-ian pop influences and sticks to a menu of ready-made roots-rockers. Alternating between covers and originals, the song selection is solid, even if only a handful of songs stand out. Among the highlights is an exciting version of Jerry Reed's instrumental "The Claw," a sweet cover of Al Anderson's "Better Word for Love," and the sunny pop of "Beach Boy Blood (In My Veins)." While the studied, solitary performance on Plugged In can be a little stiff, it's songs like these that make the album his best record in years. Still, "Sabre Dance '94" was entirely unnecessary.


Born: 15 April 1944 in Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Roots rockers are seldom as purist as Dave Edmunds. Throughout his career, he stayed true to '50s and '60s rock & roll — for Edmunds, rock & roll history stopped somewhere in 1963, after the Beach Boys' first singles but before the Beatles' hits. After establishing himself as a hotshot lead guitarist in the blues-rockers Love Sculpture, he launched his solo career by painstakingly re-creating oldies in his own studio, usually recording every track by himself. Through all of his efforts,...
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