Music Review: George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Move It on Over (Remastered)

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Rounder Records has remastered and reissued the self-titled 1977 debut by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, along with its 1978 follow-up, Move It on Over. Blues rock fans can now revel in the full-bodied audio, with its crisp highs and robust bottom end. Both albums remain just as rocking as ever, with Thorogood’s gruff vocals and biting guitars backed by Billy Blough on bass, Jeff Simon on drums, and Ron Smith on guitar (for select tracks on the debut).

Not many original tunes on the debut album, but Thorogood’s extended workout on his own “Delaware Slide” is an intense highlight. The Destroyers stretch out on John Lee Hooker’s immortal “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” churning out blues for more than eight minutes (and not a dull moment among them). There’s a great party vibe to this record, which also dips back into the public domain for a rough-hewn take on the traditional folk classic “John Hardy.”

There are no extended jams, nor any original material, on Move It on Over. But there are two rock radio staples, The Destroyers’ version of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” and also the title tune, written and made famous by Hank Williams. Don’t look for any more subtlety here than on the debut. If you’re interested in these remasters, you likely already know these albums were never intended to be subtle. They’re all blues riffs and churning, gutbucket rhythms. And decades later, they’re still a lot of fun to listen to.

Nothing fancy in the packaging, especially for the debut (though Move It on Over’s booklet does contain a reprint of a 1978 essay). No bonus tracks either. But the thrill in these reissues lies in hearing the gloriously accurate sound, remastered from the original analog tapes. Put these on your holiday shopping list for any classic rock buffs.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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