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Album Review

Primo broke one of the longest silences in the Feelgood's recorded career so far — almost four years had elapsed since Classic, during which time their back catalog had kept their name alive, while touring ensured the edge remained sharp. It wasn't much of a respite then, but it apparently did the band good. Across a clutch of new Will Birch songs, and a succession of deftly selected and executed covers, Primo was indeed primo Feelgoods, from the blistered take on Mickey Jupp's "Standing at the Crossroads Again" to a totally unexpected revision of the Doors' "Been Down So Long." Even the departure, midway through the sessions, of bassist Phil Mitchell could not disturb the Doctor's equilibrium — Ben Donnelly of the Inmates was brought in to finish a few tracks; sessionman Dave Bronze completed the album. But you need a stethoscope to spot the joins as the album fairly blisters along, adding more bona fide classics to their reputation than any album in a decade — "Down by the Jetty (Blues)" and "My Baby Quit Me" paramount among them. There was also a neat circularity to it all. Back in 1976, it was the Feelgoods who put up the money to launch the now-legendary Stiff Records label, with the first solo single by singer Nick Lowe. A little over a decade later, the Feelgoods themselves joined the label, just in time to see it fold. Now here they were covering the B-side of that first ever Stiff single, the super-celebratory "Heart of the City." And you can feel the years roll back as they play.


Formed: 1971

Genre: Rock

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

Dr. Feelgood was the ultimate working band. From their formation in 1971 to lead vocalist Lee Brilleaux's untimely death in 1994, the band never left the road, playing hundreds of gigs every year. Throughout their entire career, Dr. Feelgood never left simple, hard-driving rock & roll behind, and their devotion to the blues and R&B earned them a devoted fan base. That following first emerged in the mid-'70s, when Dr. Feelgood became the leader of the second wave of pub rockers. Unlike Brinsley Schwarz,...
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