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Shadowman (MP3), MP3 (£7.99)
The last real rock'n'roll star delivers his finest record in decades with a power & honesty that is the spirit of Link Wray and the very essence of Rock'n'Roll. Awesome!!
There are few people left on the planet to whom the term Rock'n'Roll star can be applied. Link Wray is one of them.The man who put the Keraaaaannnnnnnggggg into rock guitar with Rumble is still surfing the echo of that definitive power chord nearly 40 years later. Though that may be a defining moment in rock'n'roll, as well as in Link's career, it is not the whole story by any means.50 years ago, before Elvis rose to fame. Link cut hillbilly records with his brother. Then in the 60s he followed up the success of Rumble with a slew of primal guitar records... In the 70s he moved to the country and made a bunch of great acoustic roots records incorporating gospel, rock'n'roll, blues and country styles. He made West Coast studio records with all the people that made records on the West Coast then. Later he teamed up with Robert Gordon for a series of unforgettable shows and albums. Ace made some low-budget but indispensable albums with him through the 80s. The 90s saw his rediscovery by the new breed of pulp filmmakers who found in the Link Wray sound sufficient menace, as indeed did the makers of movies Pulp Fiction & Independence Day. But that's all in the past. Now is the time for Link to make history once again with Shadowman, his latest album for Ace. This thundering epic is split 50/50 between bone-crunching guitar instrumentals and breathless vocals from the man who lost a lung in Korea, but could do most things on one of anything. Call it classic, call it timeless - it's a monster. This 1996 recording utilises the young rhythm section of Eric Geevers & Rob Louwers which played to such great effect at the Ace 20th anniversary bash in 1995. Legends come and legends go: some survive into parody, some hit the bottle and it hits back, and others leave a small but perfectly formed legacy, but few, if any, can let loose with the power and honesty that is Link Wray. This disc is the spirit, the embodiment of rock 'n' roll in the hands of a master.