Dave Edmunds - Riff Raff / I Hear You Rockin'For the follow-up to 1983’s reasonably successful Information, rocker Dave Edmunds turned once again to Jeff Lynne not just for production help, but for the ELO frontman’s unique songwriting style. The result was Riff Raff, a 1984 album which further pushed Edmunds into a more modern style. Kicking off with a Lynne-produced cover of the Four Tops’ “Something About You”, Riff Raff is a bit of a mish-mash, veering back and forth between different songwriters (Edmunds himself only penned one song, while Lynne wrote and produced “Breaking Out”, “S.O.S.” and “Far Away”). Somewhat surprisingly, with Edmunds producing the tracks that Lynne didn’t produce, the “sound” is fairly consistent from song to song. Within that context, though, Lynne’s songs fare the best, again sounding very Secret Messages-era due in no small part to the presence of keyboardist Richard Tandy, with “S.O.S.” being the best of the three.

This budget-priced release also contains – thanks to the almost unthinkably short running times of some LPs in the heyday of records – the 1987 live album I Hear You Rockin’: The Hits – Live. All things considered, this live recording may be a better representation of Dave Edmunds’ sound as he rocks out chestnuts from his own catalog (from “I Hear You Knockin'” to “Slipping Away” for an appreciative crowd, with his band expertly reproducing the sound of the studio recordings. He also covers plenty of numbers from “Queen Of Hearts” to “The Wanderer”.

3 out of 4All in all, a nifty double-shot of vintage Edmunds; Riff Raff didn’t quite manage to be as acclaimed an album as Information did, despite the effort to revisit so much of what made Information a success, but the inclusion of the live album sweetens the pot enough to make this a solid three-star CD.

Order this CD

  1. Something About You (3:03)
  2. Breaking Out (3:26)
  3. Busted Loose (4:33)
  4. Far Away (4:11)
  5. Rules Of The Game (4:10)
  6. Steel Claw (4:18)
  7. S.O.S. (3:14)
  8. Hang On (3:24)
  9. How Could I Be So Wrong (3:20)
  10. Can’t Get Enough (3:08)
  11. Girls Talk (3:21)
  12. Here Comes The Weekend (2:10)
  13. Queen Of Hearts (3:04)
  14. Paralyzed (2:53)
  15. The Wanderer (3:01)
  16. Crawling From The Wreckage (3:11)
  17. Slipping Away (4:30)
  18. Information (3:59)
  19. I Hear You Knocking (2:38)
  20. I Knew The Bride (2:52)
  21. Ju Ju Man (3:20)

Released by: BGO Records
Release date: 2002 (compilation) / 1984 (Riff Raff) / 1987 (I Hear You Rockin’)
Total running time: 71:46