Title - 'Subtle as a Flying Mallet - Expanded Edition'
Artist - Dave Edmunds
I have been a HUGE Dave Edmunds fan all the way back to his Rockpile days with Nick Lowe, and so I thought going into this CD that it would be yet another rock song fiesta. Man, aside from a few, I was greatly sidetracked, to say the least!
It's a true, balls out love fest for the Blues and old-school rock, such as Chuck Berry and even early Motown! Not that it wasn't a fantastic trip down memory lane, especially given that I'd not heard Edmunds play/sing/perform this music before, but it was definitely not what I expected from the man who brought us the more pop-orientated 'Girls Talk,' 'Queen Of Hearts' and 'Crawling From The Wreckage.'
Anyway, this album is expanded and not only contains some wonderful and rare bonus tracks, but the newly-remastered sound is crip - so damn crisp! Originally released in April of 1975, three years after Rockpile and a year before Tracks On 4 Wax, together with Bob Andrews - piano; Ian Gomm - guitar, vocals; Nick Lowe - bass; Billy Rankin - drums and Brinsley Schwarz - guitar Edmunds and co. kick off with a remake of the Phil Spector hit 'Baby, I Love You.' They continue on with 'Leave My Woman Alone,' a pleading vocal stretch on 'Maybe,' The Crystals' 'Da Doo Ron Ron,' and both a pleasing 'Let It Be Me' and Chuck Berry's 'No Money Down.'
With live tracks interspersed, all of the vocals (except, funnily enough, on the group effort live tracks) are by Edmunds, and many of the songs are true solo efforts - in that Edmunds also plays all the instruments. We continue on with 'Shot of Rhythm And Blues,' a banjo-pickin' storytelling moment with 'Billy The Kid,' a rousing tin guitar appeal to The Chordettes' 'Born to Be with You,' and then the original album comes to a close with 'She's My Baby,' a really upbeat 'I Ain't Never' and another Berry song 'Let It Rock.'
The stack of bonus tracks included are a mixture of Single B-Sides, Alternate Versions, and even cuts from the Stardust movie soundtrack - which was a really nice treat to hear after all this time. A rousing 'Some Other Guy' and the banjo-twanging instrumental 'Pick Axe Rag' are the two noted Single B-Sides, with an Alternative Version of 'Need A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues added. And then, from the Stardust soundtrack comes 'When Will I Be Loved,' 'Make Me Good,' 'You Kept Me Waiting,' 'C'Mon Little Dixie,' and a delicious version of 'Da Doo Ron Ron' from Edmunds & The Electricians.
For those not down with it, the Stardust Original Soundtrack features David Essex and Dave Edmunds in a fictional band called The Stray Cats - and, ironically the real band were later managed by Dave! And for lovers of collectible music like this, there are actually 40 solid tracks on it, if you can find it!
Lastly, Subtle as a Flying Mallet - Expanded Edition is presented in a digipak with sleeve-notes, including an interview with Edmunds. And the album is newly re-mastered from the RCA master tapes.