George Thorogood and the Destroyers
" Live In Boston, 1982 "
Rounder Records

BluesWax Rating: 8

Blueswax 8

Electrifying, Exuberant, and Burning

I was fortunate to have seen George Thorogood and the Destroyers perform live about the time this recording was made, and, man, oh, man they were one amazing unit filled with all kinds of high-speed antics, probably some high-speed, chemical balanced with gulps of alcohol. So when this disc arrived I was looking forward to hearing if the magic could be captured on record.

This recording starts out with George Thorogood yelling to crowd, "How sweet it is!" as the band roars through "House of Blue Lights." One of Thorogood's meal tickets is John Lee Hooker's "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," here given an extended thirteen-minute-treatment that will make your hair stand on end! There's a well executed segment where Hank Carter's sax trades riffs with Thorogood's searing guitar that's stunning!

The Destroyers take a well deserved break on Don Robey's "As The Years Go Passing By," but from this point forward the concert is a head-rushing, non-stop, white-heated affair. The Destroyers up-shift into overdrive with Chuck Berry's "It Wasn't Me," wherein the band is breathing fire like a hemi engine running on ninety-five octane. Then they bowl over John Lee Hooker's "New Boogie Chillun," then George's "Miss Luann" followed by Elmore James' "Can't Stop Lovin'." Ah, youth, these guys play incredibly fast and they ain't done yet with Hank Williams' classic "Move It On Over," followed by a torrid instrumental cover of "Wild Weekend." Finally they tear down the curtain with the Isley Brothers' "Nobody But Me." Catch your breath yet? Not! And it's thoroughly exhilarating!

George and his Destroyers lived hard and obviously partied mightily. They also played that much harder and faster than most of their contemporaries. This special experience is captured perfectly. It's also down and dirty just the way you'd expect it to be and more. The sound quality is remarkable and the mix with the audience is extremely well balanced.

Throw this sucker on at your next party. It will definitely bring out the head-bangers. Then pull up the carpets and let the dancing begin. Word of warning: if you live in an apartment building it will either annoy your neighbors or have them knocking at your door to party. Kudos to Rounder Records' Scott Billington for unearthing this gem nearly thirty years after the date of performance. The wait was well worth it. Enjoy the hard rocking and rolling ride!

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

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