Friday, March 13, 2015

Nils Lofgren’s Solo Debut Reissued

Nils Lofgren's Nils Lofgren
These days, guitarist Nils Lofgren may be best known as the guy standing on stage behind Bruce Springsteen. Although Lofgren has been an E Street Band member for around 30 years now, his career stretches much further back – as a member of Grin, the early 1970s pop-rock band that scored a minor AOR hit with the song “White Lies” in 1972 and, before that, as a de facto member of Crazy Horse, recording with Neil Young (After The Gold Rush) when he was but 17 years old.

Lofgren has also enjoyed a lengthy solo career, which began in earnest with the 1975 release of his self-titled debut album. With four albums with Grin under his belt, as well as his experience in the studio and on stage with Young, Lofgren was a seasoned veteran at the tender age of 24, and expectations in the rock press were high for the young guitarist’s initial album. Lofgren knocked it out of the park, issuing an excellent twelve-song collection that featured eleven original numbers, underrated classics like “Back It Up,” “One More Saturday Night,” “If I Say It, It’s So,” and Lofgren’s tribute to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, “Keith Don’t Go (Ode to the Glimmer Twin),” all of which established Lofgren’s songwriting ability. 

The album’s lone cover was of Carole King’s “Goin’ Back,” which put for Lofgren’s vocal skills on display. Although many fans expected a display of six-string pyrotechnics, Lofgren’s fretwork on the album was tasteful and imaginative rather than bombastic, and he was just as likely to accompany himself on piano as to tear off a screaming solo in the middle of a song. Backed by bassist Wornell Jones (who he continued to record with well into the 1990s) and drummer Aynsley Dunbar (a journeyman who had played with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, and many others), Lofgren delivered a debut album that was smart and carefully crafted, a suitable showcase for his many talents.

On May 5th, 2015 Real Gone Music will reissue Lofgren’s Nils Lofgren on CD with “behind the scenes” liner notes penned by Lofgren, as well as several rare photos. Originally released on CD in 1990 by RykoDisc (with whom Lofgren had a lengthy relationship), the album has been out of print since a limited edition re-release almost ten years ago. In the interim, a generation of new fans has discovered Lofgren’s talents, and the album’s stature has only grown during the years.

As Nils Lofgren himself says in the liner notes for the Real Gone reissue, “my first self-titled solo album, affectionately nicknamed the ‘Fat Man’ album (after the front cover photo), remains a colorful and dramatic chapter in my musical and personal life. And still, one of my best albums.” If you’re a fan of 1970s-era rock ‘n’ roll, this is an album that demands a place in your record collection!

Buy the CD from Nils Lofgren's Nils Lofgren

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