Swamp Dogg: Total Destruction to Your Mind

SwampDogg_TotalDestructionToYourMindLost soul classic lost no more

Industry veteran Jerry Williams, Jr. unleashed his alter ego on this 1970 masterpiece, spelling out his unconventional views in groove-heavy soul music. He makes good on the title’s brag with catchy, original songs that touch on environmental decay, social isolation, dystopian visions, racism and questions of paternity. Williams’ lyrics are often Zappa-like in their surface absurdity, but there’s a gripping observation or lament at each song’s heart. His voice has the pinched, keening sound of the Showmen’s General Norman Johnson, but with a rounded richness that suggests Jackie Wilson. Recorded at Capricorn Studios in Macon, GA, his band is soaked in the horns, low bass and guitar riffs of Southern soul, and touched by the propulsion of West Coast funk. It’s hard to imagine how this record (as well as the follow-up, Rat On!, an album better known for its cover than its content) has remained so obscure and hard to find. A two-fer on Swamp Dogg’s S.D.E.G label has been available off-and-on since 2000, but Alive’s digipack remaster should give this five-star gem the broader circulation it deserves. It’s a shame new liner notes weren’t included to provide the album’s history and context; the booklet does reproduce the song list, personnel credits, a few “relevant quotes,” and a short, typically absurd, autobiography. Analog fans will be happy to find both this and Rat On! are also being reissued on vinyl [1 2]. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

Swamp Dogg’s Home Page
A 1997 Interview with Swamp Dogg

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