The Definitive Collection

Joe Walsh

Malcolm McLaren put it best when he said, “rock and roll doesn't necessarily mean a band; it doesn't mean a singer; and it doesn't mean a lyric — it's that question of being immortal…” After almost 40 years, Joe Walsh is a living testament of an immortal rock and roll musician. His soulful guitar riffs, colorful lyrics, and unique voice make him a part of the American rock and roll establishment. Inimitable, the “Phantom of Kent State” has been a member of the cut-loose-get-rowdy-and-get down, rock crowd. This is not your “Ordinary Average Guy” type of activities. In fact, he is far from average with his new disc of old, but well-known songs called The Definitive Collection, coordinated and compiled by Joe Walsh, David Spero and Andy McKaie.

Dedicated Joe Walsh fans may be longing for new creations but this disc doesn’t have them. Rather, this is a finely tuned, remastered, repackaged version of the 1997 compilation, Little Did He Know. Spanning 1969 to 1991, the anthology encompasses tracks from Cleveland-based James Gang (currently reunited and touring for the first time in three decades), Barnstorm, and his solo work. Sorry to say, but there are no Eagles tunes to be had. That doesn't prevent this set from covering the essentials.

James Gang highlights include standards such as “Funk 49,” “The Bomber," and “Walk Away.” From there, we get a peek at Walsh’s short-lived trio Barnstorm with “Turn To Stone” and “Rocky Mountain Way,” among others. And, of course, sealing the deal are the classics from the singer’s extensive solo career — “Help Me Thru The Night,” “Life’s Been Good,”“All Night Long,” “A Life Of Illusion,” and “Ordinary Average Guy.” The 15 songs on The Definitive Collection ‘definitively’ spotlight Joe Walsh’s best work. And as James Gang rides again and the Eagles continue to soar, we should be hearing new music from Walsh, in one configuration or another, in the near future.

~ Rhonda Chicone

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