Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NRBQ Scraps & The Scraps Companion 1972

Scraps: Eddie Kramer (Engineer, Producer). Ed Freeman (Producer of Ain't It All Right only). Recorded at Columbia Studios, New York, New York in July 1970 and in Mount Vernon, New York in December 1971.

NRBQ: Joey Spampinato (vocals, acoustic guitar, bass); Terry Adams (vocals, harmonica, piano, Clavinet); Frank Gadler (vocals); Al Anderson (acoustic & electric guitars); Tom Staley (drums).

Additional personnel: Kenny Sheehan, Steve Ferguson (guitar); Donn Adams (trombone); Doug & Link Wray (background vocals).


Scraps (1972 Kama Sutra LP KSBS 2045)
Scraps (1972 Kama Sutra LP "Changes" Alternate Promo Cover)
Scraps (1982 Rounder/Red Rooster Records 3055, 106)
Scraps (2000 Rounder 613175) Remastered reissue with 3 bonus tracks)
Scraps (2007 Sundazed LP 5184)
Scraps (2009 Lost House, Japan)
Scraps Companion (2000 Dreamsville 0041) 15 tracks from radio show from Memphis in 1972 and 6 Outakes from Scraps sessions.
Scraps Companion (2002 Edisun 2)


NRBQ line up 2 (1970-72):

Terry Adams: keyboards, vocals harmonica
Al Anderson: vocals, guitar (replaced Steve Ferguson)
Frank Gadler: vocals, tambourine
Joey Spampinato (aka Jody St. Nicholas): vocals, bass
Tom Staley: drums, percussion

By the time keyboardist Terry Adams, vocalist Frank Gadler, bassist Joey Spampinato, drummer Tom Staley and fabulous new guitarist Al Anderson released Scraps, their wonderful second album in 1972, they had relocated from Florida to New Jersey—and, like their name says, they were actually a quintet for the only time in their career.

Al Anderson Interview 1975 By Paul Bezanker

(P) Of the NRBQ recordings, what's the earliest on that you are playing on?

(A) The beginning of the whole "Scraps" album we recorded in four days...two weeks after I joined the band, in our own house. That did pretty well. Probably all told, NRBQ sold a couple thousand albums.

Mike Dow had this to say about the best sounding pressings in his opinion:

"Scraps" - If you are going for the best sound, the CD (IMO) beats all of the vinyl pressings that I have. Rich, warm sound (mastered by Toby Mountain) and has some great notes from our own John DeAngelis!

"Scraps Companion" - Edi-Sun ED 12. Highly recommended/mostly live from a '72 Memphis radio broadcast with 6 unreleased studio tracks. Great sound - mastered by Billy Shaw.

NRBQ: Scraps
Ed Freeman (Producer)

Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

For the uninitiated, NRBQ is an oddity. How does one, for instance, approach a band who sings a song like "Howard Johnson's Got His Ho-Jo Working?" The answer may be, "not very seriously," but then another problem reveals itself: the songs are so catchy. "Who Put the Garlic in the Glue?" and "Magnet" bounce along like an early-'70s version of Ben Folds Five. Together, pianist Terry Adams, bassist Joey Spampinato, guitarist Al Anderson, drummer Tom Staley, and vocalist Frank Gadler find a bigger sound than the sum of their parts. Scraps is filled with pop music that manages the duel feat of making the listener feel good while remaining intelligent. The songs, with a couple of exceptions, are only two to three minutes long; that equals out to 14 cuts from the original album, which was a lot of tracks in 1972. Three bonus tracks have been added and the entire album has been remastered. There is also a great deal of breadth in Spampinato and Adams' songwriting, from the rocking "Don't You Knock at My Door" to the instrumental "Tragic Magic" to the gentle "Only You." Spampinato, who had written very little on previous albums, wrote several gentle ballads, including "Boys in the City" and "It's Not So Hard." John DeAngelis' liner notes keep tabs on NRBQ's evolving lineup and provide good information on the context of the recording. Scraps' appeal sneaks up on the listener, reminding them that some music is just meant to be enjoyed.

Title Composer Time
1 Howard Johnson's Got His Ho-Jo Working Adams 3:20
2 Magnet Adams, Spaminato 3:30
3 Don't Knock at My Door Spampinato 2:59
4 Tragic Magic Adams 1:52
5 Only You Spampinato 2:46
6 Who Put the Garlic in the Glue? Adams 2:01
7 Get a Grip Adams, Ferguson 4:29
8 Boys in the City Spaminato 2:29
9 New Tune Adams 2:35
10 Scraps Adams 4:06
11 It's Not So Hard Spaminato 2:44
12 Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive/Things Are Getting Better Adderley, Arlen, Mercer, Previn 3:15
13 Do You Feel It Adams 2:51
14 Ain't It All Right Adams, Ferguson 2:23
15 Just Close Your Eyes and Be Mine Ruby Adams 3:18
16 Hymn #9 Adams 1:18
17 Trouble at the Henhouse Spampinato 2:15

NRBQ: The Scraps Companion
Eddie Kramer (Producer & Engineer)

Review by Lindsay Planer

The Scraps Companion presents NRBQ at Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis, TN, on April 30, 1972. Before this release, the only way hardcore New Rhythm & Blues Quartet fans had of hearing this performance was via tapes made of the original WMC-FM radio broadcast. The sound on this release is flawless. There are also a half-dozen tracks from the earliest recording sessions for the 1972 album Scraps. This seminal incarnation of the band features the addition of former Wildweeds guitarist "Big Al" Anderson. Upon his arrival, the "Q" in NRBQ actually stood for quintet.

NRBQ eagerly models their musical multiplicity throughout this set. Among the musical genres covered are the cool R&B sounds of Johnny Moore's Three Blazers on "Huggin' Bug." They also cut loose with a scrumptious version of Sonny Rollins' delicate "Valse Hot." Anderson's phenomenal songwriting is already in full bloom as heard on "Mare, Take Me Home." The heartfelt '50s doo wop track "Brothers" shows off the band's amazing vocal harmony chops -- demonstrating that the 'Q can truly conquer any style of popular music.

The innocuous wit and candid charm of NRBQ runs rampant throughout their music. For example, the band improvises a version of the I Love Lucy theme to a heavy thumping disco beat -- not bad since disco would not be around for nearly four years. The half-dozen Scraps sessions which augment this disc should not be written off as filler. Adams leads the 'Q through Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso." These 70 seconds are arguably the highlight of the entire disc. Not only does Adams capture the mathematical and logical performance style, but he embodies the innocent and freewheeling spirit of Monk -- a feat few can claim.

Title Composer Time
1 Do You Feel It? Adams 2:58
2 Magnet Adams, Spampinato 3:37
3 Howard Jonhston's Got His Ho-Jo Workin' Adams 3:33
4 Huggin' Bug Moore 2:39
5 Mare, Take Me Home Anderson 3:15
6 Don't Knock at My Door Spampinato 3:11
7 Valse Hot Rollins 2:05
8 Get a Grip Adams, Ferguson 5:11
9 Sitting in the Park Stewart 3:08
10 Take This Hurt Off Me Covay, Miller 2:47
11 RC Cola and a Moon Pie Adams 2:57
12 Time Amd Place Dixon 7:12
13 I Love Lucy Adamson, Daniel 0:53
14 Ain't It All Right Adams, Ferguson 4:08
15 Brothers arranged by Spampinato, P.D.… 0:59 Composed by: arranged by Spampinato, P.D., Public Domain
16 First Sounds NRBQ 2:04
17 Misterioso Monk 1:14
18 Get a Grip [Take One] Adams, Ferguson 4:41
19 Boys in the City [Trio Version] Spaminato 0:56
20 Boys in the City [Trio Version] Spaminato 2:25
21 Blues Stay Away from Me Delmore, Delmore, Glover, Raney 2:50

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