Album Review: Eddie Money – Life For The Taking (1978 LP)

We got the sad news yesterday that Eddie Money had passed away from cancer. FYC. I figured the best way to honour his memory would be to review an album. While his self titled 1st album and his 1986 come-back album Can’t Hold Back would be the 2 he was most remembered for, I chose to review a lesser known outing. This album features the same musicians that did most of the work on the self titled 1st release. Garry Mallaber and Lonnie Turner (the drummer and bassist from The Steve Miller Band), Randy Nichols (played on Summertime Girls by Y & T among many others) on keys, and relative newcomer Jimmy Lyon on guitar.

Life For The Taking – Right off the bat the listener realizes this isn’t a power pop song that Eddie was best known for. This was a late 70’s hard rocker that feels more like Bad Company than pop hit machine. The musicianship on this one soars, especially the wicked guitar work.

Can’t keep a Good Man Down – This blaster could easily have been on a Whitesnake or Bad Company song. If you fellow rockers thought Two Tickets To Paradise and Take Me Home Tonight were all that Eddie had to give, you need to go back and listen to this one.

Nightmare – This has a 70’s Southern Rock feel that could have helped resurrect the career of Skynyrd or The Allman Brothers careers had they wrote it.

Gimme Some Water – I was always taught that gimme, gimme never gets. That expression is wrong because this listener got a  wicked song jammed into his ear holes. It has a story behind it that involves a young lad about to be hung for shooting another. The theme is not unlike a Johnny Cash or Kenny Rogers song. One of those songs that you can see the character inside your head as you listen. Very cool.

Rock And Roll The Place – The best part about this upbeat rocker is the amazing guitar work.

That is one stellar side of music. If this keeps up it may even push this album into a perfect score. I flip the album over and get ready for side 2.

Maybe I’m A Fool – As the needle drops my first thoughts are “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F?” My guess is the record label wanted to try and cash in on the disco craze that was still huge in 1978. This has elements of disco, r&b, jazzy horns and a whole lot of selling out to the man. So much for a perfect score.

Love The Way You Love Me – Billy Joel was also huge in 1978, so the record execs probably figured they could cash in on a Billy Joel-ish song. It’s actually a pretty good song, but the songs on side A are more my style. Kudos to the guitar and piano work here. Billy would have had a hit on his hands with this one, not that he needed it.

Maureen – Horns, hand clapping and harmonica dominate this one. If you have a weird obsession for the letter H, this might be the song for you. I, however do not, and this isn’t really the song for me. I can only imagine Foreigner used this song as a basis for their song Luanne, although the Foreigner song is much better in my eyes.

Nobody – The horns on this one are more my style. A slower, bluesy track. Sort of in the same vein as a Blues Brothers number. This song brings side B back up a few notches. The vocal harmonies are pretty cool, as is the sax solo. The guitar work was more subtle on this one, but still really good.

Call On Me – A really great song. I have a huge issue with the lyrics though. “I’ve had women yes I have. I’ve had ladies, and I’ve had, had little girls with nails like lace. Had nails just like digging in, digging in. And somehow feeling good….” I had to lift the needle and play that part again because I thought I misheard it. Nope. Anyway, the guitar work here is absolutely sublime. Jimmy’s tone is so wonderful that it makes up for the lyrics that for some reason seemed ok 40 some years ago.

I suggest if you are a fan of Southern Rock, Billy Joel, Whitesnake and especially Paul Rodgers that you give this album a shot. You won’t be disappointed, and it may give you a different perspective on Eddie Money. I know it did for me. R.I.P Eddie. You will be missed.

8.25/10

 

 

 

 

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