Dr. Feelgood: Let It Roll
Dr. Feelgood was the ultimate working band. From their formation in 1971 to lead vocalist Lee Brilleaux's
untimely death in 1994, the band never left the road, playing hundreds of gigs every year. Throughout
their entire career, Dr. Feelgood never left simple, hard-driving rock & roll behind, and their devotion to
the blues and R&B earned them a devoted fan base. That following first emerged in the mid-'70s, when
Dr. Feelgood became the leader of the second wave of pub-rockers. Unlike Brinsley Schwarz, the laidback
leaders of the pub-rock scene, Dr. Feelgood was devoted to edgy, Stonesy rock & roll, and their sweaty
live shows -- powered by Brilleaux's intense singing and guitarist Wilko Johnson's muscular leads --
became legendary. While the group's stripped-down, energetic sound paved the way for English punk
rock in the late '70s, their back-to-basics style was overshadowed by the dominance of punk and new
wave, and the group had retreated to cult status by the early '80s.
Dr. Feelgood's 1979 album Let It Roll opens with a cover version of "Java Blues" from Rick Danko's solo album Rick Danko. A live version of "Java Blues" from Dr. Feelgood, recorded at Manchester University in 1980, can be found on the album On the Job (Liberty 30328, 1981).