"50 Years of Rock" (UMG; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Fifty years of rocking hard. That's why "50 Years of Rock" is called "50 Years of Rock." This album is a 34 song, 2 hour and 33 minute, delve into the career of the legendary guitarist and his band.

When I listened to this band back in the day, it was always George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Anyway, this band has always been a part of my life, at least in the background, since the 1980s. It's heavy blues mixed with rock and a shitload of attitude which all contribute to the overall fucking coolness of this band.

Editor R. Scott Bolton and I saw these guys play a few times, as recently as at the Ventura County Fair a year or two ago, and each time, they rocked the fucking house, and then some.

This recording, as the title makes clear, is a showcase of the fifty years of George and The Destroyers. There are also a few solo recordings here as well. George has a niche in the modern era of blues/rock music that has established him as a monarch of American rock/blues throughout the world. His music is strongly influenced by the artists that came before him: such as John Lee Hooker, Hank Williams, Do Diddley and Chuck Berry. Each stage of George's career is in this recording and all you have to do is listen and the songs and power are there. Just listen to "I Drink Alone" or the classic "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" and you can get just what this band is about. A truly magnificent collection.

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"Ride 'Til I Die" (Eagle Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

With its focus on songs with solid, guitar-driven melodies, "Ride 'Til I Die" marks one of the high points of the long career of Lonesome George Thorogood and his amazing band, The Destroyers.

"Ride 'Til I Die" is a CD that you can't help but play at the loudest possible volume. With its pounding diesel-powered boogie-licks, this perfectly balanced collection of songs (mostly covers of classics by Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran, JJ Cale and more, but featuring one original, "Sweet Little Lady") is perhaps the most focused and well-recorded disc GT and the D has ever released. As always, Thorogood's slide guitar and gravelly vocals are highlights, but the band is just as important here, backing George with amazing talent and energy.

My favorite songs on the disc include "Greedy Man," "American Made" and the rare acoustic and strictly bare bones "Ride 'Til I Die" (actually recorded as a sound check before a show in Ft. Worth, TX).

If George Thorogood hasn't already ascended to the stratosphere of top blues men in the world, "Ride 'Til I Die" is another step in that direction. And it's a bigger step than some of his previous, and still impressive work.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers: George Thorogood - slide guitar and vocals; Jeff Simon - percussion, vocals; Bill Blough - bass; Hank Carter - saxphone & vocals; Jimmy Suhler - rhythm and lead guitar.

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"Half a Boy, Half a Man" (CMC International; 1999)

Reviewed by Snidermann

George Thorogood and the Destroyers have been around a long time. I remember necking in a parked car while in high school, listening to an old George tape. (I wonder if Janice ever thinks about that night ... I know I do!!)

Anyway, George and the Boys are still around and still kicking ass. Their latest release is an odd collection of varied tunes brought to us by one of the greatest musical storytellers of all time. 

At this stage of the Destroyers career I think they can record just about any song they want and make it sound strictly like Destroyers material. This release is full of 50s style guitar- and saxophone -based music - what else would you expect from George and the boys? Power packed to the hilt with good, old style rock'n'roll that will make any George fan of the past stand up and take notice. George et al are still bad to the bone. 

My favorite cut on this CD is a stunning rendition of an old Chuck Berry tune, "Hellbound Train (Downbound Train)" that is easily the best cut on the CD. Be warned, however: The last track on the CD is a pure country ditty that almost spoils the rest of it! (Almost, but not quite; program your player to skip it if you can).

I've seen GT and The Destroyers live twice (and will again) and each time they rocked the house. Thorogood has often said that his music was meant to be played live and he's right. If you have never seen a live Thorogood show, make sure you get out there and see one. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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