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Don't Be Fooled By The Name

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Album Review

Geordie's second album, 1974's Don't Be Fooled by the Name, was a bit of a letdown after their debut, which merged the swagger of hard rock with the tuneful bombast of blue-collar glam acts typified by Slade. In some respects, Don't Be Fooled suggests Geordie were aiming for something a bit more mature and adventurous than they achieved on their debut, and they didn't entirely fail — they reveal a tough, bluesy side on their cover of "House of the Rising Sun," a number that suits Brian Johnson's industrial-strength pipes, and the "St. James Infirmary" lift in opening cut "Goin' Down" leans toward the same direction. "Mercenary Man" boasts an undercurrent of sociopolitical commentary that wasn't normally the band's stock in trade, and "Ten Feet Tall"'s dynamics and guitar work (the latter courtesy of group leader Vic Malcolm) suggests Geordie had been studying their early Led Zeppelin albums. But even though this is a smarter and more ambitious album than the group's debut, Don't Be Fooled by the Name isn't necessarily better; the songs don't often give Johnson the chance to reveal the full power of his voice, the production (by Ellis Elias and Roberto Danova) is often too slick and gimmicky to make the most of the band's energy, and overall this just doesn't rock with the same passion as Geordie's first record. The best moments on Don't Be Fooled are impressive, and there are too many good things here for the album to fall into the "Sophomore Slump" file, but the truth is the band made a better record before, and would make better records again.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

A hard rock band from Newcastle, England, Geordie is mostly known for their lead vocalist, Brian Johnson, who would later join AC/DC. In 1972 and 1973, they had a few hits in the U.K., including the number six single "All Because of You" and "Can You Do It," which reached number 13. Their sound was influenced by British rock bands of the day such...
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Don't Be Fooled By The Name, Geordie
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