Saturday, January 24, 2015

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Doubles The Helping Of Ron Nagle's "Bad Rice"

California native Ron Nagle was in the middle of the sixties underground rock scene in San Francisco, first as a member of Mystery Trend then joining with Scott Matthews and creating the band, Durocs. In between those two stints, Nagle recorded and released his one and only solo album entitled "Bad Rice." The sound was very raunchy rock, a la Rolling Stones, but with Randy Newman like songwriting. The album included members of Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen along with Ry Cooder and Sal Valentino. It was produced by the legendary Jack Nitxsche (Rolling Stones, Neil Young) along with help from San Francisco D.J. Tom "Big Daddy" Donahue. The album became long out-of-print shortly after its release and for the first time, Omnivore Recordings will be releasing it on CD for the first time, along with a bonus disc of demos and outtakes.

The original eleven song release begins with a couple of quick-hitting rockers ("61 Clay" and "Marijuana Hell") as Nagle had his finger on the pulse of the seventies rock world. His songwriting is highlighted by the slower songs like "Frank's Store" and "That's What Friends Are For," but his music would rival any hard rock band from that era with the fast pace of "Capricorn Queen" and boisterous "House Of Mania." The final five songs of the first disc are previously unissued outtakes and alternate takes from that era, including the David Bowie-like "Francine" and the beautiful piano-led "Dolores."

The second disc consists of fourteen songs, twelve of which have never been previously released. Beginning with "From The Collection Of Dorothy Tate," you instantly get the feeling that Nagle could have become of the top songwriters of all time, just on the way he constructed his music. The songs "People Have Told Me" and "Out In The Hall" shows his cup overflowing with talent as these are just as good as what made the final cut of the album. Most of the tracks are two-to-three minutes pop gems like "Half As Much" and "So Long Johnny" and are very welcome on this outstanding new release. Omnivore Recordings has once again done an amazing job gathering all this music and distributing it to the fans. To find out more about Ron Nagle's "Bad Rice" album, please visit

No comments: