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Ducks Deluxe / Taxi to the Terminal Zone
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Sean Tyla (vocals, guitar, slide guitar, wah-wah guitar, piano, keyboards); Martin Belmont (vocals, guitar); Nick Garvey (vocals, harmonica, bass guitar); Dave Edmunds (guitar); Eddie Quansah (trumpet); Bob "Derwood" Andrews (keyboards); Tim Roper (drums); Wilko Johnson (hand claps).
  • Liner Note Author: Martin Belmont.
  • Recording information: Island Studios, London, England (10/1973-11/1974); Pathway Studios, North London (10/1973-11/1974); Rockfield Studios, Wales (10/1973-11/1974); Saturn Sound, Wothington (10/1973-11/1974).
  • This two-CD reissue of Ducks Deluxe's first two albums differs from the previous Edsel two-on-one release, as no tracks were omitted due to space constraints. In retrospect, these recordings seem more relevant after the passage of time, as they provide a clearer linkage between British blues-based album rock and late-'70s punk and post-punk new wave. In fact, the influences of British pub rock span back to '50s rock & roll and R&B. Their take on Eddie Cochran's "Nervous Breakdown" bears an uncanny resemblance to perhaps his biggest hit, "Summertime Blues." But it's Ducks Deluxe's original pieces that evoke echoes of artists like the Rolling Stones, Them, and Mott the Hoople. "Fireball" sounds like a direct outtake from All the Young Dudes or Mott, while the R&B-rich "Falling for That Woman" suggests Van Morrison at his soulful best. "Rio Grande," from Taxi to the Terminal Zone, wouldn't sound out of place on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Conversely, the pub rock forwarded by this band also foretells of sounds yet to come by both their direct offspring the Motors and indirect kin Graham Parker, whose early recordings were on par with the historic debut albums of Elvis Costello and the Clash. "Please, Please, Please" is a direct precursor to the Motors' "Dreaming Your Life Away." Additionally, next-generation bands like the Saw Doctors owe a debt of gratitude to Ducks Deluxe, as they borrowed judiciously from their elders' bold musical stew. But regardless of the multitude of musical influences the listener may cite (and there are too many to mention), this blend of rockabilly, R&B, blues-rock, and country pre-punk known as pub rock continues to stand the test of time. ~ Dave Sleger
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.104) - "[They] were most effective as a straight-ahead boogie band..."
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