|THE EARL SLICK BAND
Metal Blade Records
EARL SLICK is without a doubt one of the most recognizable and diversified guitarists/sidemen in the world. Having played on two of David Bowie's largest selling records "Young Americans" and "Station to Station", Earl has also toured and recorded with the legendary John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Edgar Winter, Terry Bozzio and countless others.
With a career spanning three decades, Earl has produced some of the most recognizable riffs in rock history. Leaving Bowie in 1975, he formed a harder rocking band “The Slick Band” and released a self-titled album on Capitol Records. “Slick Trax” released this year on Metal Blade is that album in its entirety with three unreleased songs and two demo versions (‘Very Blue’ and ‘Do It’). It has been re-mastered and offers the listener a breathtaking glimpse of what makes Earl such a truly amazing guitarist.
Surprisingly the unreleased songs, ‘Doom and Good’, ‘Only My Pride’ and ‘Good Love’ nestle in quite nicely to the older ones. ‘Doom and Good’ is a heavy-handed stone-cold rocker with a monster riff. One listen and your hooked. (Where has this one been all these years?) It also ushers in the Kiss-style of the Capitol record quite seamlessly.
Still quite young in his career, it’s important to look at an overview of what Slick has done since to appreciate where these recordings fit. In 1976 the “Slick” band beefed up their name to spotlight their rising star. The Earl Slick Band released the John Alcock produced “Razor Sharp” also on Capitol. It was just as tough with Slick’s guitar blazing the way especially on ‘Waiting’ and ‘Leaving Town’.
For the next few years Slick’s session ability rivaled the very best in the business as he moved through a number of different projects, all with different tones and complexities. He was a member of the short-lived “Bad Boy”, lended a hand to the last Runaways’ platter and returned to his mentor, David Bowie all inside of five years. “Silver Condor”, with its Eagles-style California ease looked like Slicks’ vehicle for the future but by 1983 and after only two records, the band disbanded.
1985’s Phantom, Rocker & Slick finally put Slick back on radio waves with a rough and ready ‘Men Without Shame’. The record score favorably with FM stations across the US and boosted sales for a six-month run on the charts. However the second record by the trio, ‘Cover Girl’ failed to have the same impact and the group split putting the guitarist back in the studio doing session work.
Bowie was only a phone call away and the two continued their collaboration during the tumultuous late eighties and early nineties. It was during this period that Slick entered his metal years. Forming a band with Coverdale clone David Glen Eisley, “Dirty White Boy” fed off a turbo boost of high-octane rock and roll. Slick’s guitar was at its hottest and burned through ‘Dead Cat Alley’, ‘Soul Of A Loaded Gun’ and the album’s titled track, “Bad Reputation.” Metal Blade struck a deal and released ‘In Your Face’ a solo effort from Slick in 1991 - his first. Then came the call to join metal’s version of the Hell’s Angels, “Little Caesar”. Slick was now on MTV with the crusty LA bunch competing for time slots dominated by Seattle grunge. The timing for a ‘70s R&B throwback was fatal and Caesar folded even though, to many, this was Slick’s finest hour.
The remainder of the ‘90s saw Slick hibernating in the studio only to come out on occasion. One such occasion was with a band called Ampage that used Slick more as a gimmick to get signed than an honest band effort. Surprising to many was to see Slick’s name all over the last David Coverdale solo outing, ‘Into The Light’ (2000). Had the record leaned more towards Slick’s raw edge Mr. Coverdale may have sold a few more copies. Latest news reports Slick back out on the road with old pal David Bowie for another run through the Bowie hit list.
Earl Slick Discography (in brief)
1974 David Bowie David Live (Guitar)
1975 David Bowie Young Americans (Guitar)
1976 David Bowie Station to Station (Guitar)
1976 The Slick Band Self Titled
1976 Earl Slick Band Razor Sharp
1978 Bad Boy Back to Back (Guitar)
1979 The Runaways And Now...The Runaways
1981 David Bowie Another Face (Guitar)
1981 Sliver Condor Self Tiled (Guitar)
1982 Randy Bishop & Underdogs - Dangerous Infatuation
1983 Silver Condor Trouble At Home (Guitar)
1983 David Bowie Rare (Guitar)
1985 Phantom, Rocker & Slick (Guitar)
1985 Randy Bishop & Underdogs - Underdog (Guitar)
1986 PR&S Cover Girl (Guitar)
1989 David Bowie Sound + Vision (Guitar)
1990 David Bowie Changesbowie (Guitar)
1990 Dirty White Boy Self Titled (Guitar)
1991 Earl Slick In Your face
1992 Little Caesar Influence
1994 Little Caesar This Time It’s Different
2000 Lost and Found Slick Music
2001 Live 1976 Metal Blade
2002 Slick Trax Metal Blade
Session work on Doro Ballads, Machine II Machine, Ian Hunter - Ballad of I. H. & Mott the Hoople, Overnight Angels, Shades of Ian Hunter: The Ballad of Ian, King Kobra - Lost Years and Tonio K. Amerika just to name a few.