Link Wray - Link Wray

Link Wray

Released 1971 on Polydor
Reviewed by Lawrence, 28/05/2015ce

Yep, it's that Link Wray. The guy who's mostly to blame for the use of distorted guitar in popular music with the song "Rumble", back in the mid-fifties. Of course by the early seventies he had to reinvent himself as Rockabilly music wasn't exactly popular at the moment.

So Link eschews his previous sound for some R&B/British Invasion-inspired styles to good effect, and starts singing in a Mick Jagger-meets-Van Morrison way. As well as turning towards some social commentary and even some gospel here and there. And the result really kicks too, with "Juke Box Mama" probably having the Rolling Stones themselves wishing they were this good. I even hear a hint of Lou Reed in there somewhere... And man is Wray a great guitarist, more than just inventively punching holes in his amp's speakers! He has a bluesy style of slide guitar all his own here.

So definitely be on the lookout for this album not just because you get to see a photo of the dilapidated shack he recorded "Rumble" in, although that's worth it for this album alone!

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