You’d think record companies would have run out of worthy albums to resurrect on CD, so here’s an appreciative nod to Warner Bros.’ Archives series. Perhaps as a way to compensate for years of inept reissuing — and for losing the rights to the Jimi Hendrix catalog, maybe? — the label has rummaged through its tape shelves and resurrected a batch of scruffy ’70s records that still sound fresh 20 years past their expiration dates.
Maria Muldaur is remembered for her slinky pop hit ”Midnight at the Oasis,” but Maria Muldaur, the 1973 album that contains that song, may be the sexiest coffeehouse music ever made; Muldaur was equally at home with Jimmie Rodgers (”Any Old Time”) and jug-band cabaret (”Don’t You Make Me High (Don’t You Feel My Leg)”). Crazy Horse is best known for enduring the whims of Neil Young, but in 1971 the band made its first sans-Young album, Crazy Horse (1971), which has both a back-alley grittiness and a sunny-spring-day warmth. Guitarist-singer Danny Whitten’s ”I Don’t Want to Talk About It,” later covered by both Rod Stewart and the Indigo Girls, is included here.
Warner Archives has also resurrected four albums Stewart made with his former band Faces: First Step (1970), Long Player (1971), A Nod’s as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse (1971), and Ooh-La-La (1973). Sloppy and bawdy, they’re not as intimate as Stewart’s solo work of the same era, but they ooze with the boys’-night-out camaraderie Rod the Sod has tried to re-create ever since. The band’s biggest hit, ”Stay With Me,” can be found on Blind Horse. May we next suggest, just for the fun of it, 1977’s Two the Hard Way, the one and only album (thankfully) by that dynamic duo of Gregg Allman and Cher? Ooh-La-La: B