When I heard that Dr. Feelgood had a new album in the making, I didn't expect very much, having heard the current singer on stage (Robert Kane) and being one of the folks thinking that there should never have been another incarnation of Dr. Feelgood after Lee's death. And I must say, I'm not disappointed. This is as bad as I thought it to be. I did consider not writing a review at all (thus this page is about 2 months late - it's May 21, 2000 now), after all this is getting redundant and I'm trying not to step on anybody's toes. However, I do owe one to all the people who visit my website and have the same concerns as I have about the current line up of Dr. Feelgood (as redundant as my views about them). I've received a number of e-mails to this effect. I do confess, I can't seem to find my peace with Robert Kane. He's definitely not the "singer" I want to see in this band. The band itself is playing fine, no doubt about it. But the singer pulls everything down and makes this quite unlistenable.
There is one exception though, I quite like the version of "Don't Start Me Talking". This suits Robert fine (pun intended). One song out of fourteen is not what one would call an essential album. The other side of the medal is "Suzie Q" which must be the absolutely worst cover Dr. Feelgood ever made. Suzie Q has been covered by about every run of the mill band, but the definite version is still by CCR (to these ears anyway). To hear the song being slaughtered here, hurts. And Rick Wakeman on this album doesn't make the whole CD any more attractive. Just thinking that Dr. Feelgood came out and countered exactly the likes of Rick Wakeman, I'm shaking all over! I've made my way through this album now about six or seven times, I'll leave it at that. And no, I can't recommend buying this thing. Go for selected albums from the back catalog and make a wide detour around this one here.
And playing around with ideas, I just imagined what this album could have been with the proper singer (obviously, Lee's out of it). Excellent, no doubt about it. Good band, good singer, delivering the songs the way they are meant to be heard. Probably the CD that could have brought Dr. Feelgood back on its tracks. The singer's name? Why? Pete Gage, of course!
Dr. Feelgood, is it you? Afraid not! Next!
Mine oh mine oh mine (unfortunately, I do own this album)
You Gotta Help Me
You gotta help me, I can't do it all by myself (listening and reviewing this album, that is).
Talkin' About You
Let me get a message to you! I get the shivers every time we meet!
Come on, do the walk (over the plank here)
I got 29 ways (to nail this album to a wall)
Who Do You Love
Who do I love? A Lee Brilleaux fronted Dr. Feelgood, Nine Below Zero, The Inmates etc.
If Walls Could Talk
If walls could talk, they'd ask me to stop this thing in the stereo and put in some nice Nine Below Zero.
Send For The Doctor
They call me the doctor, I can make you feel so good? Why am I sick to my stomach now!
I've drawn a blank here, this is not even good for a tongue in cheek remark! Suggestions anybody?
Oh Suzie Q, why were you so untrue?
Don't start me talking
Don't start me talking! Hey, I didn't ask you to!
Gimme One More Shot
Gimme one more shot, two, three until I can't stand no more! Only way to listen to this!
Hoochie Coochie Man
Everybody knows I'm here! Yes, Robert, over and out!
P.S.: I got a tape with the Pete Gage Band where they perform "You Gotta Help Me". I actually promised myself, to put "Chess Masters" at the back of my record collection, amongst my old Frank Sinatra's, to be brought out and spit upon when I get divorced (hey, this is a Monty Python line!). The truth is, however, I had no intention of playing "Chess Masters" again. Ever. Full or partial. I've been tricked into listening to "You Gotta Help Me" on "Chess Masters". Like I didn't know whose version is superior.
And what's more, there's a song on the tape called "Going Down Slow" where Pete Gage sings the famous line:
me no doctor, the doctor can't do me no good.
I said, don't send me no doctor, the doctor can't do me no good."
This is really pun intended! Well, anyway, to prove my point that Pete Gage made the Dr. Feelgood soundbook one of his own and really identified with the songs, there's also a version of "Down At The Doctors". Now, if only the Pete Gage Band would set up their gear somewhere in my corner of the world. Please don't ask me for copies of the tape, as I would have to refuse. These are not my recordings and I didn't get them for making hundreds (or even one) of copies to the world. This tape is off limits.