Good Rats ‎– Live At Last

Label:
Ratcity Records ‎– RCR 998
Format:
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold
Country:
Released:
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Credits

Notes

Recorded Live, July 4th, 1979 at My Father's Place, Rosalyn, New York
Remixed September through October 1979

Rat design courtesy of Radar Records

℗ & © 1979 Rat City Records, New York
Printed in U.S.A. Made in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout A-side, etched, Masterdisk stamped): RCR-998-A MASTERDISK RL HUB
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout B-side, etched, Masterdisk stamped): RCR-998-B MASTERDISK RL HUB
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout C-side, etched, Masterdisk stamped): RCR-998-C MASTERDISK RL HUB
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout D-side, etched, Masterdisk stamped): RCR-998-D MASTERDISK RL HUB

Other Versions (3 of 3) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
WEAN 68032 Good Rats Live At Last(2xLP, Gat) Passport Records WEAN 68032 Netherlands 1980 Sell This Version
RCR 998 Good Rats Live At Last(2xLP, Gat) Ratcity Records RCR 998 US 1979 Sell This Version
GRLL0002 Good Rats Live At Last(CD, Album) Uncle Rat GRLL0002 US 1996 Sell This Version

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BadCatRecord

BadCatRecord

October 27, 2014
So I may be the only person outside of New York who owns the first six Good Rats studio albums. While each of those studio sets had something going for them (1974's "Tasty" being my choice for the best of the lot), by and large those albums were disappointing; seemingly missing the energy and enthusiasm the group brought to their live shows. Interesting,, while I never had an opportunity to see them live, they're one of the few bands who seem to have generate near universal praise for their live shows - I've literally never read a negative review of one of their concerts.

So how did this 1979 concert set turn out? Well, if you were looking for rock and roll sophistication, this probably wasn't the album to purchase. Recorded in front of a highly partisan audience at a pair of July 4th, 1979 date at Long Island's My Father's Place, "... Live At Last" was a pretty impressive document. While the collection didn't include anything off their 1969 debut "Good Rats", there were five tracks off of "Tasty", two off of "Rat City In Blue", three off of "Birth Comes To Us All", and four from "From Rats To Riches". Hardcore fans will argue about the track listing, but I was happy with most of the selections and at least to my ears, virtually every one of the live performances proved superior to the original studio versions. Peppi Marchello may not have been the finest vocalist you've ever encountered, but he had a true "rock and roll" sound (which occasionally made me think of an American version of Noddy Hodder). John Gatto and Mickey Marchello provided the band with a dazzling twin lead guitar attack, while drummer Joe Franco stood as their secret weapon. When he hit the drum, you knew it. Musically what you got was an impressive collection of no-frills blue collar rock and roll with occasional nods to the band's penchant for quirkiness ('Tasty' and 'Fred Upstairs And Ginger Snappers'). Old fashioned showmanship with one song after another without the band engaging in between-the-songs patter with the crowd ... Yeah a couple of the songs were stretched out to concert length ('Indian Joe'), but with the exception of Joe Franco's extended drum solo on 'Klash-Ka-Bob' there was little of the spotlight excesses that plagued so many other double album concerts collections. Certainly one of the best double album concert sets to come out at a time when everyone and his brother was releasing similar collections.
 
"... Live at Last" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Taking It To Detroit (Peppi Marchello) - 
The more I listen to Peppi Marchello's voice, the more I appreciate these guys. Yeah, he sounded like a flu-riddled version of Slade's Noddy Hodder, or maybe an asthmatic Bon Scott, but you had to love the guy's gruff, ball-bustin' voice and it seldom sounded better than this opening rocker. rating: **** stars
2.) Does It Make You Feel Good (Peppi Marchello) - 
For anyone who though these guys weren't capable of anything more subtle than slash and burn rockers, I'd suggest listening to this slice of power pop. It rocked hard enough with lead guitarist John Gatto pulled out a blistering solo, but the song had a surprisingly nice and commercial melody. You had to wonder how top-40 radio consistently ignored these guys. rating: **** stars
3.) You're Still Doing It (Peppi Marchello) - 
Ah, life's tough as a rock star ... Nice power ballad (one of their prettiest compositions) with Peppi all but shredding his vocals this time out. rating: *** stars
4.) School Days (Peppi Marchello) - 
In college I had a buddy who'd somehow picked up this album and played this track in heavy rotation. Nice rollicking tune with a melody that was quite radio-friendly. rating: **** stars
5.) Cherry River (Peppi Marchello) - 
Kicked along by some thundering John Gatto guitar, 'Cherry River' was a pounding, atmospheric rocker and one of the album's standout performances. rating: **** stars

(side 2)
1.) Injun Joe (Peppi Marchello) - 
Stretched out to concert jam length, 'Injun Joe' was one of their signature concert tunes and quite unlike the majority of their catalog given it included a considerable dose of jazzy influences. And here's the funny thing - unlike most extended concert jams, this one was quite entertaining from start to finish. Kudos to John Franco for the truly thunderous drums. Listening to this track through quality pair of speakers and it sounds like the room is about to tumbled down. rating: **** stars
7.) Let Me (Peppi Marchello) - 
The first mild disappointment, 'Let Me' was a pedestrian ballad that sported one of Mickey Marchello's prettiest solos, but otherwise didn't have a great deal going for it. rating: ** stars

(side 3)
1.) Tasty (Peppi Marchello) - 
Such a strange tune ... autobiographical and old school, The only other band I can think of that could have pulled something like this one off would be NRBQ. rating: **** stars
2.) Fred Upstairs And Ginger Snappers (Peppi Marchello) - 
Another strange one off the "Tasty" album, 'Fred Upstairs And Ginger Snappers' was a seriously jazzy tune, though with some impressive rock riffing going on. rating: *** stars
3.) Klash-Ka-Bob (Peppi Marchello) - 
Always loved the John Gatto and Mickey Marchello twin lead guitar workout on the slightly progressively oriented 'Klash-Ka-Bob'. Normally the kiss of death for a live album, even Franco's drum solo proved mildly listenable. rating: **** stars
(side 4)
1.) Fireball Express (Peppi Marchello) - 
One of their best rockers, if you were skeptical of my comparisons to Noddy Hodder and Slade, then check out the blazing 'Fireball Express'. rating: **** stars
2.) Victory In Space (Peppi Marchello) - 
Maybe because it saw the band injecting a touch of progressive influence into their sound, 'Victory In Space' has always been a personal favorite. rating: **** stars
3.) Reason To Kill (Peppi Marchello) - 
Always loved the thundering and ominous 'Reason To Kill' opening. rating: **** stars
4.) Local Zero (Peppi Marchello) -
Probably the album's heaviest tune, 'Local Zero' was a full-force rocker, every bit as dark and ominous as your Scandinavia death metal entity. rating: **** stars. 

Sadly having undergone heart surgery, Peppi Marchello died of cardiac arrest in July 2013.

For anyone interested, there's a nice Good Rats web site at: http://www.goodrats.com/