Robert Gordon W. Link Wray/Fresh Fish Special Robert Gordon/Link Wray


Ace Records
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I never tried to recreate nothing! is Robert Gordon's reply to some of the critics who have knocked his music for not being an authentic- sounding rehash of the 50s rock'n'roll he loves so much. He has never considered himself a revivalist, rather a contemporary artist whose style is based firmly around the 50s music he grew up with. As he told one writer: I wasn't trying to start a movement. We were working in that rockabilly field but I had a contemporary sound. I just wanted a hit record, man. Unfortunately, despite being able to out-sing anybody else around at the time with his strong and resonant baritone voice, Gordon never did do much damage to the charts. He came close a few times and won much critical acclaim from certain circles, but seemed to spend the most crucial years of his career flirting on the brink of stardom. Stock Records signed him as a solo artist in 1977 Producer Richard Gottehrer was brought in. His past credits included being a member of the Strangeloves (of I Want Candy fame) and as a songwriter/producer for the Angels, the Jive Five, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. He'd also supervised the first Blondie recordings. Together they came up with the idea of bringing legendary 'Rumble' guitar hero Link Wray into the picture. Link was a little suspicious to be summoned to New York at first, fearing he was being paired with some kind of nostalgia act in the Sha Na Na bag. But once he heard Gordon's unique voice and got to know where he was coming from, he automatically agreed to be involved in the project. I think Robert sounded like the raw Elvis - when Elvis was on Sun, recalled the Linkster in 1995, That's why I agreed to do the two LPs with him - because he had that raw Elvis sound.The resulting album was a 10-track affair featuring covers of some of Gordon's favourite rockabilly songs plus 4 originals- Gottehrer's Sweet Surrender and 3 numbers from LinkWray - It's in The Bottle, Woman (You're My Woman) and Is This The Way. But it was the vintage material that stood out, establishing him as a force to be reckoned with. But although they received much airplay in the US and UK, chart action never came their way. Still, Robert Gordon had arrived. From the same sessions was Endless Steep, an updated version of the Jody Reynolds hit, that was only issued as the flip side of The Fool (running at 78 rpm on the 12 version!). It's reissued for the first time on this CD. Delighted with the media response, Private Stock quickly released a follow-up album-.-Fresh Fish Special (named after Elvis' haircut in Jailhouse Rock) was recorded in December 1977. It ran along the same lines as the initial album - classic covers mixed with a handful of originals, which included 2 numbers by LinkWray - If This Is Wrong and Blue Eyes (Don't Run Away). Gordon's stunning re-working of The Way I Walk - complete with crashing guitar work from the Linkster - became an instant 'radio' hit in the summer of '78 but failed to bother the charts. Similarly, Fire had 'hit record' written all over it but an inferior cover by the Pointer Sisters scooped the chart honours and once again for Robert Gordon it was a case of so near, yet so far. In mid-1978 Link and Gordon decided to part company. It was an amicable split, and came at a time when they were both ready to work on their separate careers. Gordon signed with RCA and cut three further albums. Since then he has continued to tour and sporadic releases have appeared on such labels as New Rose and Viceroy. There's still a market for his Private Stock and RCA recordings with various Best Of sets currently available. That's because people want to hear that stuff, he remarks today. Looking back on those days, I think the main thing was that it was a lot of fun. It was something people hadn't heard in years and those albums opened a lot of doors for a lot of people.


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Side 1

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