Can you ever have enough Dr Hook?
Don't answer that.
Check my other comments for bio and detail. I have commented on earlier albums than this and later ones but this album is pivotal in some ways as it really broke them in the UK. They had some single chart success earlier but this album went Top 10 and also placed two singles in the Top 10.
And, it was not surprising. Since signing with Capitol on the 1975s "Bankrupt" album Dr Hook had lost their full name "Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show" and had moved further into ballads and soft rock. Any traces of country humour, beer and pot party songs or quirky observations were subdued to make Dr Hook as sweet as possible despite all the hair, moustaches and beards.
Apparently this album was originally intended to be a solo album by co-singer Dennis Loccoriere, but ended up being a Dr Hook album. Loccoriere sang lead on most tracks, but Ray Sawyer (the eye patched one) didn't miss out either. Most of the tracks were written by their regular writer Shel Silverstein also. So, apart from the gloss Dr Hook fans may not have noticed a big difference in the band's sound even though founding guitarist George Cummins had left in 1975.
I lean to the earlier Dr Hook but for fans of soft rock or softer country rock this album is perfect.
Produced and directed by Ron Haffkine apart from "What About You" which was produced by Ron Haffkine & Waylon Jennings.
Tracks (best in italics)
- More Like The Movies – (S. Silverstein) – as sickly sweet as a bloke can get which is a result of the production as the lyrics and melody are pure country lament. Having said that, when ithits it's emotional high it is quite catchy.
- A Little Bit More – (B. Gosh) – It was written and originally performed by Bobby Gosh and released on his 1973 album "Sitting in the Quiet". This, again, is sickly sweet but you can see why it was a hit. A couple of wines and you will be singing along. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Little_Bit_More
- The Radio – (D. Locorriere, S. Silverstein) – hmmm
- Up On The Mountain – (J. Comanor, S. Silverstein) – old school Dr Hook doing their country funk
- If Not You – (D. Locorriere) – whoa, very, very sticky
- Jungle To The Zoo – (S. Silverstein) – okay. A statement the music industry? Marriage? Life? Or, all of the preceding? Dr Hooks country funk at work again..
- Bad Eye Bill – (H. Smith) – this seems to have been written for Dr Hook.
- What About You – (J. Anglin, J. Wright) – Johnnie Wright (1914–2011) and Jack Anglin (1916–1963) were American country duo Johnnie & Jack. They released this track as a single in 1949 but it was compiled into the album "Hits By Johnnie & Jack" in 1959. Mushy here but a traditional country lament.
- I Need The High – (D. Locorriere, R. Sawyer) – a love song – the double meaning would, no doubt, have amused Dr Hook.
- A Couple More Years – (D. Locorriere, S. Silverstein) – whoa, very sweet
Too sweet … tape a few and sell.
1976 A Little Bit More #11
1976 A Little Bit More #15 US Adult Contemporary
1976 A Couple More Years #51 Country
1976 If Not You #55
1976 If Not You #26 Country
1976 If Not You #21 US Adult Contemporary
1976 A Little Bit More #62
1976 A Little Bit More #18 US Country
1976 A Little Bit More #2
1976 If Not You #5
1976 A Little Bit More #5
1976 A Little Bit More #10 Australia
1976 A Little Bit More #4 Canada
1976 If Not You #69 Australia
1976 If Not You #56 Canada
Canada 1976 A Little Bit More #69
Denmark 1976 A Little Bit More #1
More Like The Movies
A Little Bit More
Up On The Mountain
If Not You
Jungle To The Zoo
Bad Eye Bill
What About You
I Need The High
A Couple More Years