Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blackfoot- Strikes

Naturally, after hearing “Flirtin’ With Disaster” by Molly Hatchet, I wanted to further explore this phenomena known as Southern Rock. Eventually, I came into contact with this fine album compliments of Blackfoot. “Strikes” was the third album by Blackfoot but the first one I listened to and for me, it’s their best.

This album takes the southern sound and just pounds the hell out of it with straight ahead power rock. The intro to the opening track, “Road Fever,” speaks volumes as it lures you by being rather hard but melodic and then the power chords strike and you can’t help to headband away to the rest. That is why that in 1980, “Road Fever” was one of my official travelling songs. The lyrics “Every time I am down and out and don’t know what to do. I drop a lude and hit the road and play me a song or two” may have something to do with it as well.

The rest of the album follows suit. The second track, “I Got a Line On You” although a cover, is done with the classic Blackfoot touch. The same can be said with their cover of the Free classic, “Wishing Well.” This doesn’t take anything away from their originals. The harmonica in the “Train Train, Prelude” sticks in my mind over 30 years later. The actual song is a classic rocker in its own right. And all this ends with the final jam “Highway Song.” I won’t get into the debate that it rips off the legendary “Freebird” because for me, the song has me playing air guitar for the entire length of the ending guitar solos, five minutes plus.

Track Listing:

1. Road Fever

2. I Got a Line On You

3. Left Turn on a Red Light

4. Pay My Dues

5. Baby Blue

6. Wishing Well

7. Run and Hide

8. Train Train, Prelude

9. Train Train

10. Highway Song

Blackfoot

Rick Medlocke- lead vocals, guitar

Charlie Hargrett- guitar

Greg T Walker- bass, keyboards, vocals

Jakson Spires- drums, percussion, vocals

I can’t help believing that along with Molly Hatchett, Blackfoot, especially with this album, went on to influence a lot of metal bands from the South. At the time, and quite a bit now, Blackfoot were what I would call metal. The hard sound of “Strikes” bears testimony to that.

Next post: Nantucket- Your Face or Mine

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blackfoot- Strikes”

  1. Great stuff. Definitely a Southern Rock/Metal crossover and they had a Metal audience in the UK for sure after going down a storm at festivals like Castle Donington. Love this album!

    • Thanks, I know somebody who saw them at Donnington and said they were really good. I also have a Blackfoot live album that was made in the UK. I’ll be visiting that one when I get to 1982

      • I’ve got the single of Too Hot to Handle b/w Dry County. It came with a bonus 7″ with two tracks from Donington and they are excellent, wish I could have seen that. Look forward to the live album review!

  2. Blackfoot are a southern rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, United States. They were formed in 1972 and were contemporaries of Lynyrd Skynyrd, but with a harder rock sound. They had a number of hit albums in the 1970s and early 1980s before their popularity started to wane. They had broken up by 1985, though not before former Uriah Heep keyboardist/songwriter Ken Hensley had joined the group during their last couple of years together. Vocalist Rickey Medlocke revived the name in 1987 with a new backing group and released three additional albums ( Rick Medlocke And Blackfoot , Medicine Man , and After the Reign ). In 1997, Medlocke disbanded the group, and joined Lynyrd Skynyrd . In 2004 a second resurrection of Blackfoot took place with founding members Jackson Spires, Greg Walker, and Charlie Hargrett. Medlocke was not available, however, and the frontman role was given to Bobby Barth. Tragedy struck in March 2005 when Spires died suddenly of an aneurysm, but the band decided to persevere for the time being. Following the will of Spires, Austrian drummer Christoph Ullmann was hired as permanent drummer. In 2006, the band toured and was backed up by Jay Johnson on guitar and vocals. A live DVD was released in 2007. In 2007, the band was touring and consisted of bassist Greg Walker, guitarist Charlie Hargrett, guitarist and lead vocalist Bobby Barth, and drummer Michael Sollars. Currently Barth is unavailable due to illness and former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Mike Estes is now vocalist.

    • Thanks for that gold price. I wasn’t aware of Blackfoot post 1985 although I knew Rick Medlocke joined Lynyrd Skynyrd. Thank you for providing all that cool history

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