10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Edgar Winter’s second album (and debut with his band White Trash) melded fender-bending rock ’n’ roll with Texas blues, raunchy R&B, Stax-style soul, soaring white gospel, horn-blipping funk, and topical balladry. Though it’s a surprisingly ornate album (under a dry Rick Derringer production), it’s definitely Edgar Winter throughout. The opening “Give It Everything You’ve Got” tips its sonic hat to both Sly & The Family Stone and The Ohio Players, while the gospel swing of the ever-optimistic “Fly Away” and the equally mirthful “Where Would I Be” work like Sunday-morning drives through some big-sky Southern state. The ahead-of-its-time “Save Our Planet” sounds thematically mawkish today, but it shows how Winter (and his main cowriter here, the gifted harmonica and sax player Jerry LaCroix) pushed musical boundaries in 1971, an era when creative experimentation could still get FM radio play. The anti–Vietnam War ballad “Dying to Live” is profound from its soldier’s POV, and the album’s lone chart hit, “Keep Playing That Rock ’N’ Roll,” is a brass-drenched slice of autobiographical boogie that finds Edgar namechecking his rock star bro Johnny.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Edgar Winter’s second album (and debut with his band White Trash) melded fender-bending rock ’n’ roll with Texas blues, raunchy R&B, Stax-style soul, soaring white gospel, horn-blipping funk, and topical balladry. Though it’s a surprisingly ornate album (under a dry Rick Derringer production), it’s definitely Edgar Winter throughout. The opening “Give It Everything You’ve Got” tips its sonic hat to both Sly & The Family Stone and The Ohio Players, while the gospel swing of the ever-optimistic “Fly Away” and the equally mirthful “Where Would I Be” work like Sunday-morning drives through some big-sky Southern state. The ahead-of-its-time “Save Our Planet” sounds thematically mawkish today, but it shows how Winter (and his main cowriter here, the gifted harmonica and sax player Jerry LaCroix) pushed musical boundaries in 1971, an era when creative experimentation could still get FM radio play. The anti–Vietnam War ballad “Dying to Live” is profound from its soldier’s POV, and the album’s lone chart hit, “Keep Playing That Rock ’N’ Roll,” is a brass-drenched slice of autobiographical boogie that finds Edgar namechecking his rock star bro Johnny.

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