45: “You Really Got Me” b/w “Willie the Pimp” by Stack Waddy. Dandelion/Polydor 2001 331. Recorded in London, 1972.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Stack Waddy started out as an R&B group in 1965 called New Religion. By 1969 their name had changed and the heaviness of their sound had increased significantly. When Radio 1 DJ/producer extraordinaire John Peel saw them play in their native Manchester, he knew they’d fit in on his new label, Dandelion Records, so he signed them up.

Stack Waddy came with a reputation as a wild, irreverent live band that could consistently leave pub audiences satisfied; which was good, because it sounds like being pelted with beer bottles was a not uncommon response to 70’s British pub rockers who weren’t up to snuff. Comparisons to Humble Pie, Blue Cheer, and Black Sabbath are as warranted as they are complimentary. Check out “Hunt the Stag,” an original from their self-titled debut album.

From the same album comes “Kentucky,” which is a more up-tempo, straightforward electric blues number.

Stack Waddy’s second and final album was called Bugger Off!. You might think there’s a story behind that title, and you’d be right. It seems that, as a band with a great live reputation, Stack Waddy had no truck with overdubs. When Peel suggested they give more sophisticated studio techniques a chance, “Bugger Off!” was the response. Mr. Peel took the hint, and they recorded the entire album in five hours.

If the relentless stomp of “Rosalyn” is any indication, they didn’t need the extra time for extra tracks or extra takes.

Not unlike Led Zeppelin, Stack Waddy was great at taking classic songs and making them their own. Their version of Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man” is a solid example.

The 45 in question, though, has covers of two songs from Stack Waddy’s contemporaries. Check out their fuzzed-out version of The Kinks’ ”You Really Got Me.”

The B side was a cover of a song that, at the time, was only three years old. Here’s their shortened (but still impressive) rendition of Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp.”

At a time when self-important progressive rock was starting to take off, Stack Waddy stood for the time-honored British tradition of getting pissed off one’s head and riding a heavy groove into the ground. Some of their music sounds like early Heavy Metal, while it’s also easy to imagine a bunch of punks slamming to a live version of “Rosalyn.” In the end it doesn’t matter, because sometimes the best rock music is just loud and snotty and fun, and sub-genre classification is simply pointless.

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