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Artist: Joe Walsh

Joe Walsh

Bio

Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and rock musician. He has served stints in two successful bands, the James Gang and the Eagles. He has also experienced success as a solo artist. A native of Wichita, Kansas, Walsh moved to Montclair, New Jersey and attended Montclair High School. He spent time in various bands playing around the Cleveland area while attending Kent State University, but came to widespread attention in 1969 after replacing Glen Schwartz as lead guitarist for the James Gang, an American power trio. Walsh was the standout of the band, noted for his innovative rhythm playing and creative guitar riffs. The James Gang had several minor hits and became an early AOR staple before Walsh left the group in 1971 for a career as a solo artist. Walsh's solo debut was Barnstorm (1972). Its follow-up was The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get (1973). Several cuts from these albums, notably "Rocky Mountain Way", received heavy airplay and continue to be classic rock favorites. After releasing another studio album and a live set, Walsh was invited to join the Eagles in 1976, replacing departing guitarist Bernie Leadon. He brought a harder-edged sound to the group, giving their light country rock sound a shot in the arm and kept the Eagles from becoming a country act altogether. As the Eagles began to decline after the release of Hotel California, Walsh re-ignited his solo career with the well-received discs But Seriously Folks (1978) (which featured his hit comic depiction of rock stardom, "Life's Been Good") and There Goes the Neighborhood (1981). He continued to record and release albums throughout the 1980s. In 1989, Walsh recorded a MTV Unplugged with the RnB musician Dr. John, but musical trends had passed him by and he maintained a very low profile until the late-1990s Eagles reunion and tour. Walsh sang the US National Anthem at the beginning of Game 4 of the 1995 World Series. In 2004, Walsh performed live before a huge crowd at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Texas. A versatile guitarist, Walsh's abilities on acoustic, electric, and slide guitar have also made him well-regarded as a featured player or guest soloist; Walsh has recorded and performed with many other artists including Dan Fogelberg, S
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Articles

Joe Walsh: So What Phonograph Record, Mar 1975

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WHAT A DISTRESSINGLY large percentage of the perfect strangers with whom I happen to chat while waiting in line for ball games, premieres of motion pictures, rock music concerts, and food stamps refuse to recognize is that being as venerable a rock giant as Joe Walsh is not necessarily any picnic.

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Much as his sister Raquel must remain ever vigilant about new acquaintances relating to her strictly in terms of the mass misconception of her as an empty-headed sexpot, so must Joe always suffer being compared unfavorably to the Joe he used to be.

Were it possible to listen to this album in a vacuum, it might well come to be regarded as "a very promising debut by an obviously gifted newcomer." But, because nature abhors a vacuum, it should surprize no one when the same heartless ingrates and snivelling wimps who thought it witty to write, "...yeah, and some people will record anything," about Christopher Milk's epochal Some People Will Drink Anything say about So What, "So what?" Indeed, many will doubtless characterize this latest waxing of the Welch wit and whimsey as vacuous, boring, egregious, or even execrable, even though it is only a few, if any, of those things.

To get the obvious out of the way at the outset, no single track here quite measures up to the memory of ‘Rocky Mountain High’, although all of the faster selections sound almost exactly like it. Probably even Welch's least placcable admirers will have to concede under only negligible duress that, insofar as the guitar work is concerned, So What's solos, licks, riffs, vamps, comps, fills and so on have little hope of making anyone forget those that illuminated such earlier Jeff boogies as Truth or Over Under Sideways Down. Which is to imply, rather than that the current crop is either inept, lugubrious or banal, that they are merely lacking their usual incandescence.

Pop buffs – in which category I would include all those who aren't dismayed to the very verge of mayhem at the prospect of ever again hearing ‘Laughter in the Rain’ – will be at least partially filled with remorse on discovering that there is naught on So What even half as cute and catchy as the James Gang's ‘Midnight Man’, or ‘Midnight Rider’, from Gregg's first solo album. Nor is anything quite so virulently vocalized as Wilson's 1965 hit, ‘In the Midnight Hour’.

Nor – to lump all of the potentially traumatic news into just a couple of paragraphs – do either of the ballads hereon so much as approach such classics of John's as ‘Sunshine On My Shoulder’, this despite the euphonious presence of several of his pals from the Eagles.

Fans of classical-rock will doubtless argue that Jim's synthesized caress of Ravel's ‘Pavane (whatever the hell that is) of the Sleeping Beauty’ effortlessly eclipses his earlier cover of ‘Pictures of an Exhibitionist’, and thus alone justifies immediate acquisition of this wonderfully eclectic album. Sadly, though, they will be in the minority.

All in all, then, So What will probably immodestly enrich the lives only of those who aren't intimate with the monumental towers of funk that are Jimi's previous albums. All the rest of us can do is hope that he'll somehow regain his mid-'70's form.

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Top Albums

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But Seriously, Folks... cover art

But Seriously, Folks...

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Ordinary Average Guy cover art

Ordinary Average Guy

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The Best of Joe Walsh cover art

The Best of Joe Walsh

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Top Songs

Rocky Mountain Way cover art

Rocky Mountain Way

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Life's Been Good cover art

Life's Been Good

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Turn to Stone cover art

Turn to Stone

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A Life Of Illusion cover art

A Life Of Illusion

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Ordinary Average Guy cover art

Ordinary Average Guy

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Meadows cover art

Meadows

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Help Me Thru The Night cover art

Help Me Thru The Night

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Recommended Albums

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Recommended Songs

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All Right Now by Free

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