Musta Notta Gotta Lotta/Hi-Res

Musta Notta Gotta Lotta/Hi-Res

by Joe ElyJoe Ely


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Country radio didn't seem to know quite what to make of Joe Ely's intelligent songwriting and emphatic honky tonk music in the 1970s, so when rock fans began giving him a listen after the Clash took him on the road as their opening act, Ely took it as a cue to broaden his musical horizons a bit, and this CD from Beat Goes On Records features two albums in which he added stronger rock and pop flavors to his music. Released in 1981, Musta Notta Gotta Lotta is still very much a country album, but it's one informed by the raucous joy of rockabilly and the through-the-floorboards energy of punk, and Ely has no trouble finding room for both in these songs. "Road Hawg," "Good Rockin' Tonight," and the title track are as frantic as anything Ely has committed to tape, and he certainly added some added energy to his take on the Flatlanders' chestnut "Dallas," but "I Keep Getting' Paid the Same" and "Hard Livin'" show his cocky attitude was still rooted in the honky tonks, and "Wishin' for You" demonstrates he knew how to handle a song about love. Issued in 1984, Hi-Res was a significantly more radical departure for Ely; he was something of an electronics buff and decided to dive headfirst into a more tech-savvy style with synthesizers and drum machines prominent in the mix. While some fans thought Ely was trying to make a synth pop album, in retrospect Hi-Res has more in common with ZZ Top's then-recent flirtation with synthesizers, Eliminator, as it faces keyboards against big electric guitars and aims for a rootsy core beneath the polished surfaces. Unfortunately, Ely doesn't strike quite the right balance on Hi-Res; most of the songs are good and the electronics don't muddy the arrangements all that much (which, stripped of their synthesizers, feel about the same as most of Ely's stuff), but the album's pacing is faulty and it doesn't generate the same fire as his best music. Still, it's a better album than its reputation suggests, and paired with Musta Notta Gotta Lotta the strength of the best songs is obvious. Both albums sound great in this newly mastered edition, and BGO is to be congratulated for putting them back into circulation.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/16/2010
Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
UPC: 5017261208965
catalogNumber: 6120896
Rank: 27527

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Ely   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Mitch Watkins   Synthesizer,Guitar,Vocals
Ponty Bone   Accordion,Keyboards
C. Roscoe Beck   Bass Guitar
Eddie Beethoven   Vocals
James Fenner   Percussion
Bill Ginn   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Mark Hallman   Vocals
Lloyd Maines   Rhythm Guitar,Steel Guitar
Robert Marquam   Drums
Steve Meador   Percussion,Drums
Smokey Joe Miller   Saxophone
Bill Peace   Wind Instruments
Judy Price   Vocals
Michael Ramos   Synthesizer
Michael Robberson   Bass Guitar
Reese Wynans   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano
Jessie Taylor   Guitar

Technical Credits

Joe Ely   Composer,Producer
David Halley   Composer
Shorty Long   Composer
Eddie Beethoven   Composer
Michael Brovsky   Producer,Executive Producer
Chet Himes   Engineer
Richard Mullen   Engineer
Guy Juke   Illustrations,Graphic Consultant
Dick Reeves   Art Direction
John O'Regan   Liner Notes
John Wilson   Art Direction
Susan Heather   Composer
Jimmie Gilmore   Composer

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