Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Number 668 - Ram Jam

Number 668

Ram Jam

"Black Betty"

Can you believe this song is fragging 30 years old ?? As Borat says, "Wa wa we Che!" I like it very niiiiiiiiiiice. Seriously, you would think it would've come out of the late 80's as one of those underground hits from Germany (Hey, rock so shush)
About Ram Jam..........
The members of Ram Jam were Bill Barlett (former lead guitarist of the Lemon Pipers), Pete Charles (drummer), (lead singer), and Howie Arthur Blauvett, who sang with Billy Joel in two earlier groups (the Hassles and El Primo). Ram Jam's only hit, "Black Betty," created quite a stir when Epic Records released it. The recording session was the brainstorm of Barlett and bubblegum producers and . Two civil rights groups, the N.A.A.C.P. and C.O.R.E., called for a boycott of the song, claiming it insulted black women. Despite the controversy, it still reached the number 18 spot on Billboard's pop chart in September 1977. The Cincinnati band Starstruck had released a more driving, riveting version of "Black Betty" on the Truckstar label before Ram Jam's version. Starstruck's version received little airplay or recognition; ironically, future Ram Jam member Barlett had been a member of Starstruck when they recorded "Black Betty."

In the early '90s the producers remixed "Black Betty" and got an international hit for their efforts. The band released two LPs: Ram Jam (1977) and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram (1978). Epic issued only three singles by the rockers. Blauvelt joined Spitball, a funky blues-type band, in the '90s, and performed with them until he died of a heart attack. Billy Joel often dedicates "We Didn't Start the Fire" to Blauvelt when he performs live. Barlett continued to play in the southwestern Ohio/eastern Indiana area. ~ [Andrew Hamilton]
About Black Betty....
Though it may seem like ordinary 1970s hard rock, this album is interesting for a few reasons. The first is that it was produced by Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, the producers behind a string of classic bubblegum hits like "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" and "Chewy, Chewy." The other reason is that the group leader was formerly a member of the , a psychedelic bubblegum group who scored a hit with "Green Tambourine" (which was produced by Kasenetz and Katz). All three men put behind their bubblegum past on this album of hard-driving rock & roll. is best known for its hit single, "Black Betty"; this electrifying update of a Huddie Ledbetter blues tune layers on plenty of searing electric guitar riffs and a steady 4/4 drum beat that turns the song into a strange but exhilarating blend of heavy metal and disco. None of the other tunes on surpass the bracing standard set by "Black Betty," but there are some other worthwhile moments for hard rock fanatics; "Keep Your Hands on the Wheel" is a stomping, driving-themed rocker in the vein of , and "Overloaded" is a swinging rocker built on a taut bassline and a catchy, cowbell-driven chorus. The album also features "Too Bad on Your Birthday," a mid-tempo rocker with a sing-along chorus that was later revived by . The one real downside here is that it suffers from a samey production style that makes the songs run together on first listen. Despite this problem, all the songs on presents a sturdy blend of guitar fireworks and pop hooks that any hardcore fan of 1970s hard rock will enjoy. ~ [Donald A. Guarisco]
For Bill Joel see Number 469 & #849
For Bachman Turner Overdrive see Number 626
Borat Says Crowbarred Songs .. Very Niiiiiceeee !
#1 Website in Kazakhstan ! Wa wa we Che !"I Like"
Yes, well, um, thanks Borat... That's better than what Rolling Stone Magazine say about me, (or don't say) oh and coincidentally Rolling Stone had no view on Ram Jam *GASP* !
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Ram Jam? What The?) And The Album ranked at Number (Hey, Borat likes us too yanno, hell we even put him on a cover!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 69.7 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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Anonymous Borat said...

Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Niiiiiiiiiiiice I like

4:20 pm  

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