Title - Lightnin’ in a Bottle: The Official Live Album
Artist - Georgia Satellites
Riding high of the success of “Keep Your Hands To Yourself,” their 1987 smash hit that reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart (surpassed at the time only by Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer”) the Georgia Satellites were known in that era as a take-no-prisoners full-tilt live rock phenomenon.
By the time they played Peabody’s in Cleveland late the next year, they had managed to follow up “..Hands..” up with another charter: their version of Chan Romero’s “Hippy Hippy Shake” that had been a huge hit for The Swinging Bluejeans, the Liverpool band that scored with the song at the very dawn of the British Invasion.
The Satellites’ version was also featured in the motion picture Cocktail, a hugely successful Tom Cruise star vehicle and that success solidified the band’s place in the pantheon of hard rockin’ southern-spawned groups.
Now Lightnin’ In A Bottle: The Official Live Album, an 18-track album documenting that epochal performance has been set for release by Cleveland International Records on March 11th, 2022.
It’s the first release in the label’s CLE Rocks Series: Live From the Rock & Roll Capital Of the World.
Offered both on 2CD and digitally, it will be joined later in the year by a 180-gram 2-LP set in both black vinyl and as a limited-edition red smoke vinyl set.
The album includes all of the band’s best-known material including “Battleship Chains” as well as five tracks that have never been available on any previous Satellites release.
1. Whole Lotta Shakin’
2. Down and Down
3. Run Run Rudolph
4. Open All Night
5. Don’t Pass Me By
6. Nights of Mystery
7. Battleship Chains
8. Mon Cheri
9. White Lightnin’
10. I Go To Pieces
11. Shake Your Hips
12. Games People Play
13. Can’t Stand The Pain
14. Keep Your Hands To Yourself (It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll)
16. Hippy Hippy Shake
17. Railroad Steel
18. I Wanna Be Sedated/Shake, Rattle & Roll
With this thunderously vibrant new live album - and one also being the first and only live Georgia Satellites album to date - opening on the rockin’ southern sound of Whole Lotta Shakin’, the AC/DC-influenced Down and Down and the Chuck Berry-penned Christmas track Run Run Rudolph, it’s not hard to hear why attending one of their shows back then was hailed as must-do moment for all fans of the rock genre.
Those are seamlessly followed up by the flatbed rock of Open All Night, the 3 chord power rock of Don’t Pass Me By and then comes the vocal harmonies of the mid-tempo balladry of Nights of Mystery, which are themselves backed by their rambunctious chart hit Battleship Chains, the foot-tapping guitar rhythms of Mon Cheri, their frenetic George Jones cover White Lightnin’ and then comes the rockin’ hipsway of the Peter and Gordon track I Go To Pieces, the down south blues boogie of Shake Your Hips, and the delta blues slide-imbibed version of Joe South’s melodic Games People Play.
Along next is one of my own personal GS tracks, the heartfelt and impassioned Can’t Stand The Pain which is perfectly backed by this massive worldwide smash hit Keep Your Hands To Yourself (It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll), before we are brought forth the wholly underrated rocker Sheila, the classic rock of Chan Romero’s beloved Hippy Hippy Shake, the live recording rounding out on the totally kick-ass Railroad Steel, closing on their rousing medley renditions of I Wanna Be Sedated/Shake, Rattle & Roll.
Cleveland International label chief Steve Popovich, Jr. commented, “We are honored to unleash this historical recording. What makes it even more special is this was recorded in my hometown of Cleveland. In their heyday, I don’t believe these guys could be matched. Their live shows were of the highest caliber and this album is a true testament to just that. It’s pure rock n roll at its finest.”
The Georgia Satellites set launches the CLE Rocks Series: Live From the Rock & Roll Capital Of The World, a new album release program from the label that chronicles historic performances by legendary artists in front of Cleveland audiences that were recorded over the years.
While recording hit songs and albums (their eponymously debut hit #5 on Billboard’s Album Chart) put the group on the map, it was live performing that cinched the Satellites reputation as one of the most dynamic live bands of the period.
Cleveland-born and raised music critic/author Holly Gleason (whose Woman Walk The Line won the 2018 Belmont Book Award) was an early Georgia Satellites fan and supporter and wrote of that long-ago performance at Peabody’s, “..their salty, wide-open Chuck Berry riff ’n’ roll was full swagger..”
Adding, “..guitarist/lead singer Dan Baird and combustive lead guitarist Rick Richards set the pummeling groove of drummer Maur Magellan and bassist Rick Price ablaze.”
She went on to call the recording “an 18-song masterclass in roots, rock and raunch” and characterized the band “As the southern equivalent of the Replacements.”
Lightnin’ In A Bottle: The Official Live Album captures the sweaty excitement and spontaneity – both on and off stage – of that special night 33 years ago. As the redoubtable Holly Gleason has written, “Leave it to Cleveland International to unearth this blistering recording, wipe off the sweat and somehow figure out how to get it all in one double disc package captured in the Rock & Roll Capital of the World.”
Lightnin’ In A Bottle offers fans a chance to travel through time and experience a singular night of all-out rock and roll as only the Georgia Satellites could provide. The title of the album is absolutely accurate.
Official Purchase Links