Five tracks to remind us just how great Philly's favorite rock heroes actually are.
This month marks 33-and-a-third years since the Hooters played their first show in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're celebrating with a blowout show Saturday night at the Electric Factory. It's a safe bet we'll hear all the greatest hits from Philly's legendary rock ensemble — who'll follow the show with a trip to the state capitol on Tuesday to be officially honored by the Pennsylvania state Senate for their decades of musical goodness. Here at PW, we thought we'd take a little break from the local media's obligatory spins of "And We Danced" — yes, we get it, it was a big hit — to pull out five amazing songs that offer a more well-rounded picture of why the band that Eric Bazilian, Rob Hyman and David Uosikkinen founded in 1980 deserves all the kudos. Because a ton of their great work, together and in various collaborations, isn't on actual Hooters albums.
1. "Graveyard Waltz" (The Hooters, One Way Home, 1987). Though their major-label debut, Nervous Night, made them a national hit, it was the followup album, One Way Home, where the Hooters' hybridized folk-blues-reggae-Cajun-Celtic-rock sound really crystalized. Here's their gothic blues epic, "Graveyard Waltz"—echoes of which would be heard again a decade later when they crafted Joan Osborne's classic album, Relish:
2. "Kiss the Rain" (Billie Myers, 1997). This juicy guitar lick made a ubiquitous radio hit for English singer-songwriter Billie Myers in the late '90s. That's cowriter Eric Bazilian on guitar, thus cementing his rep as a hitmaker after having penned "One of Us" for Joan Osborne:
3. "Gimme a Stone" (Largo, 1998). The Dvorak-inspired concept album Largo started its life as a potential Hooters record before morphing into a massive folk-rock supergroup in which Rob Hyman and longtime Hooters producer Rick Chertoff corralled amazing performances by Taj Mahal, Cyndi Lauper, Levon Helm, Joan Osborne, the Chieftains, Carole King and others. Helm shares lead vocals with retro-doo-wop songwriter David Forman on "Gimme a Stone," a rollicking biblical hoedown that we wish to God the Hooters would put into their regular setlist already:
4. "Frontline" (Medicine Man, online-only). Three cheers for internet archaeology: Myspace (remember Myspace?) is the one place where you can listen to some tracks from Medicine Man, an ephemeral hip-hop-soul-rock project Bazilian worked on in the early 2000s. You may never have wondered what Hooterized hip-hop would sound like, but the answer is, it sounds pretty damn good: http://www.myspace.com/music/player?sid=23436745&ac=now
5. "Boys of Summer" (The Hooters, Time Stand Still, 2007). For all that Hyman and Bazilian are both Grammy-nominated songwriters, it remains true that few things thrill any live-concert audience more than being surprised by an unexpected cover of an old favorite. When the Hooters decided they were going to rework Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" into a lush new arrangement, slowly building the band's instrumentation up from a hush to an anthem over the course of five minutes, they found a new standard to match "And We Danced," "Time After Time" or "All You Zombies" for its ability to resonate well after the final chord is strummed:
The Hooters play at the Electric Factory on Sat., April 27. 8:30pm. $29.50. 421 N. 7th St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.com