A Hundred Miles An Hour 1978-1989
Roy Loney & The Phantom Movers
Raven records RAVN 305 October 2009
Teenage Head, which was Roy Loney's last album with The Flamin 'Groovies is usually quite fair getting the highest scores from reviewers and is considered to be in class with the Rolling Stones best discs. Roy Loney's first solo album "Out After Dark" is actually even better, and this collection has ten of the twelve tracks from that album.
"A Hundred Miles an Hour 1978-1989" opens with three tracks from the EP "Artisic as hell" in which Roy is backed by the original the Flamin 'Groovies. The songs are very good but the production is thin. "Love Is A Spider" is one of many Loney songs that should be a well-known classic, but for some reason (such as small and obscure record labels) his records didn't reach more listeners than the hardcore fans.
Track 4-13 are taken from the wonderful LP "Out After Dark" which is the perfect rock album with a wonderfully handsome production in which the band is often reinforced with piano, acoustic guitars and rhythm instruments such as maracas and tambourine. The songs are super and the musicians are great. Both Danny Mihm (drums) and James Ferrel (guitar) had previously been with the Flamin 'Groovies. The other musicians are Larry Lea on guitar and Maurice Tani on bass. The only thing you can complain about is that two good songs ( "Rockin 'In The Graveyard" and "Trophy") are left out. This disc is even better than Teenage Head, a disc in the best Stones-class!
Track 14-16 are from 12 "45 rpm" Phantom Tracks "which is partly recorded live in the studio and therefore has a rawer and a bit more primitive sound. The follow-up "Contents Under Pressure" was an attempt to reach a larger audience with a bit nicer output. Many believe that it is Roy's bottom low, which is unfair as it contains many great songs. Unfortunately none of the songs from that album is on this collection.
17-20 are taken from "Rock and Roll Dance Party" which was "back to basic" with a rather thin production, but often good songs more in a rockabilly style. For example the fabulous Lana Lee sounds like a rock hit from the late 50's with saxophones and piano, which sounds a bit out of tune (not the saxophonist's fault) which rather raises the overall impression! Unfortunately they omitted my favorite: Magdalena.
21-24 are from "Fast and Loose" which is almost as good as "Out After Dark". Here we find a nice cover of Billy Swan's and T-Bone Burnett's "Driving Wheel" and Roy's beautiful "Slippin 'Out The Back Door."
The disc ends with songs from the "Scientific Bombs Away" which is a disc that could be one of Roy's best if the production was better. "Ruin Your Shoes" is Roy in great shape.
In conclusion, there is little to criticise. At last you can listen to these great songs on the CD. One can hope that all the original albums will be re-issued in due course. A small note on the volume that varies a bit from one song to another which is a bit annoying.
- A Hundred Miles an Hour
- Love Is a Spider
- Least Magnificent Moment (Of My Life)
- Used Hoodoo
- Born to Be Your Fool
- Neat Petite
- Return to Sender
- I Love It
- Scum City
- She Run Away
- Phantom Mover
- People People
- San Francisco Girls
- Don't Believe Those Lies [Live]
- Act of Love
- Down the Road Apiece
- Slip, Slide and Stomp
- Panic to a Manic Degree
- Double Dare
- Lana Lee
- You Can't Be Too Wild
- Driving Wheel
- Ragged But Wrong
- Slippin' Out the Back Door
- Chicken Run Around
- Ruin Your Shoes
- Nervous Slim
Comments from Marty Arbunich (former co-owner of Solid Smoke Records):