Rhinofy-Yer’ Album

I love this record!

“Rides Again” got all the attention, maybe because of “Funk #49,” there was no hit on “Yer’ Album,” but “Yer’ Album,” the James Gang’s first, is the best!

I discovered this record through Steph.

Oh, our initial crushes.

Actually, she found me. I was skiing in goop on the last weekend of the season at Stratton and she called out from the chairlift. I figured it couldn’t be me, except there was nobody else on the slope!

And there began…

A multi-year adventure. I wish I still had all those letters, smelling of perfume, but I threw them out in a moment of pique, maybe not long after she turned me on to this LP.

You see it was fading. It was already years on. We skied together at Bromley, but she just wasn’t as into it, wasn’t paying me quite the mind. So, I pushed it a bit, which is so unlike me, maybe because of the result of this effort.

Her family was renting a house in Dorset. Maybe my friend Ronnie and I could stop by?

She was somewhat reluctant. But I ultimately got a yes and I can say this was a total mistake, except for “Yer’ Album.”

We got there, feeling the freedom of my newfound driver’s license, steering my dad’s VistaCruiser through the snow, this was long before every teenager had his own wheels, and we went upstairs to her lair where we were promptly ignored.

Do you leave?

We should have.

Instead Ronnie and I ended up playing mini-pool and listening to “Yer’ Album.”

That’s right, miniature pool tables were all the rage in the sixties, this was long before the economy improved and middle class citizens could afford a full-sized one. And at least we had this distraction, as the mellifluous notes of Joe Walsh and the Gang pierced my ears.


There’s an irreverent, orchestrated tune-up intro for forty one seconds and then the album segues into this.

Joe Walsh is famous for his guitar playing, but on “Take A Look Around” it’s his organ work that is featured.

How come no one believes in a riff anymore? You’re hooked right away.

And then the whole thing changes and…

You will never see me
Walking ’round feeling low
You will never hear there
Goes a man who doesn’t know

The music was empowering me, helping me see the light…

That it was over with Steph.

FUNK #48

Yes, there was a “Funk #48,” that preceded “#49”! Maybe not quite as memorable, but still good.


Yes, Stephen Still’s Buffalo Springfield track, which most of us only knew from buying “Retrospective,” after becoming enraptured by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

The take here is slowed down, but the only cover as good is Bonnie Raitt’s, from her debut.

They make it heavier. It’s the same song, but a different record.


A Yardbirds cover. Pretty faithful, although extended. Evidencing the James Gang’s roots, everybody needs roots.

But many who purchased “Yer’ Album” had never heard the original. That was the sixties, when unless it was on the radio, chances are you didn’t know it, not unless it was in your collection, and the Yardbirds’ LPs were never big sellers in the USA.


After another short intro, opening the second side, “Stone Rap,” Joe Walsh evidences his soft side, which became more famous with “Ashes The Rain And I” on “Rides Again,” which is spectacular, but “Collage” is just about as good.

It used to be different. Our music was made to soothe us. A record we could play in the dark with the headphones on, that made us feel all right in the world, that was something we were looking for. Hits have always been important, but “Collage” is the essence of the appeal of album rock.


A rocker composed by Joe Walsh and drummer Jim Fox, it’s not as good as the other tracks on the album, but it’s still very good! Especially the spacy interlude… And your head will nod to the electric guitar riff.


An orchestral interlude that you hoped would go on longer, but it served as a mood-setting, magical intro to “Fred”…a bombastic stoner cut that you could listen to in your basement ad infinitum.


And it’s strange, strange

If you were there, you’ll get it immediately. If you weren’t, if you want to know what listening to music was like at the turn of the decade, from ’69 to ’70, check this out, with its groovy heaviness and changes, into almost jazz, and then back again. Fantastic. This is why I love this album, it was a whole world, that took me away, made me feel good, about myself.


A twelve minute tour-de-force to end the album.

Composed by Jerry Ragovoy and Mort Shuman, this iteration sounded completely different from the one on Al Kooper’s “Super Session” LP. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a James Gang original.

And there you have it, an exquisite LP with no clunkers, all wheat, no chaff, that’s been completely forgotten.

Welcome to the twenty first century, where if it was never on classic rock radio it’s fallen by the wayside.

But “Take A Look Around” plays in my head all the time. I pull up the LP on a regular basis.

Joe ultimately left the band and soldiered in the wilderness until he hit with “Rocky Mountain Way,” and then he and his producer, Bill Szymczyk, hooked up with the Eagles and the rest is history.

Like my relationship with Steph.

Good things must end
They never last
Look to tomorrow
Forget the past


Rhinofy-Yer’ Album

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