Sunday, September 02, 2007

Who's In The Shadows By The Back Door

The Shadows Of Knight

Back Door Men


by Richie Unterberger
"The Stones, Animals and Yardbirds took the Chicago Blues and gave it an English interpretation. We've taken the English version of the Blues and re-added a Chicago touch." The Shadows of Knight's self-description was fairly accurate. Although this mid-'60s garage band from the Windy City did not match the excellence of either their British or African-American idols, the teen energy of their recordings remains enjoyable, if not overwhelmingly original. The group took a tamer version of Them's classic "Gloria" into the American Top Ten in 1966, and also took a Yardbirdized version of Bo Diddley's "Oh Yeah" into the Top 40 the same year. Their patchy albums contained a few exciting R&B covers in the Yardbirds/Stones style and a few decent originals in the same vein. The group's original lineup splintered quickly, and the Shadows faded in the late '60s after briefly pursuing a more commercial pop sound.

by Bruce Eder
The original LP version of this album, the second by the legendary white Chicago garage punk/blues outfit, was one of the most sought-after artifacts of mid-'60s punk rock. Back Door Men was a loud, feedback-laden, sneering piece of rock & roll defiance, mixing raunchy anthems to teenage lust ("Gospel Zone," "Bad Little Woman"), covers of Chicago blues classics (Willie Dixon's "Spoonful," Jimmy Reed's "Peepin' and Hidin'"), raga rock ("The Behemoth"), folk-rock ("Hey Joe," "Three for Love," "I'll Make You Sorry"), and a blues-punk grab off of commercial Top 40 ("Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day") all on one 12" platter. What makes the record even more startling is that every one of these tracks, however far afield they go from one another, works. The band strides across the music spectrum with a reach and boldness that most listeners usually only associate with the likes of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, and a grasp that, for a moment here, may have exceeded either of those groups, as they slide from electric guitar into extended Chess-style blues instrumentals ("New York Bullseye").


zillagord said...

Wow! Really enjoyed this HEAVY surf from Italy. This really came out of nowhere-- very glad for the post, as I probably never would have heard it otherwise. It RAWKS!
Thanks a lot, see you tomorrow!

Trustar said...

Thanks for the note zillagord

Keep on dropping in

jinx said...

hey gotta tell you, YOU RAWK!!! i have bin looking for this album and or any of their full albums for some time now - i useta own two albums by the backdoor men back in the day and long w/time slipped threw my hands - shrug - i do a internet radio show on garage rawk and now i can spin a few of their tracks - ty ty ty you just made my day... lol thanks again jinx