Little Feat’s fourth is arguably the archetypal Little Feat album, as it encompasses all the genres that they explored in their diverse 9 years of recording. Rock and Roll Doctor is a perfect example of Lowell George’s soulful eschewing of the boogie, whereas the funky Skin it Back would have been a natural addition to the band’s previous album, Dixie Chicken, a primarily New Orleans R’n’B-based record, as could Spanish Moon. The Fan, a song featuring a more complex time signature shows sign of what would come, with the band’s foray into Jazz fusion (Time Loves a Hero, Day at the Dog Races). And to finish off, a medley (!) of their earlier, more raw songs.
This is the example model of a Feat album. Varied, funky, gritty and sincere, but despite it’s quintessence, it’s the least interesting of their classic LPs, but this still doesn’t take anything away from the fact that it does contain some of the band’s best known songs. Everything fits on Feats Don’t Fail Me Now, each song fully fleshed out, Bill Payne’s keyboard hooks, Sam Clayton’s funky congas, and the wonderful backing vocals of Country queens Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris, so it’s no wonder why Little Feat would use it as a protoype for their career, packed with many of their live staples.
This is an ideal entry point, and one of the most satisfying rock albums of it’s time, before things began to disintegrate. And by the way, what went down in the Spanish Moon, stays in the Spanish Moon….
Choice cut: Down the Road
Best Lyric: “Runnin’ around in the shoes of a clown”
Goof: This album is due a remaster/reissue:
8 Rock and Roll Doctors out of 10