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Dr Feelgood

Dr. Feelgood was the ultimate working band. From their formation in 1971 to lead vocalist Lee Brilleaux's untimely death in 1994, the band never left the road, playing hundreds of gigs every year. Throughout their entire career, Dr. Feelgood never left simple, hard-driving rock & roll behind, and their devotion to the blues and R&B earned them a devoted fan base. That following first emerged in the mid-'70s, when Dr. Feelgood became the leader of the second wave of pub rockers. Unlike Brinsley Schwarz, the laid-back leaders of the pub rock scene, Dr. Feelgood was devoted to edgy, Stonesy rock & roll, and their sweaty live shows -- powered by Brilleaux's intense singing and guitarist Wilko Johnson's muscular leads -- became legendary. While the group's stripped-down, energetic sound paved the way for English punk rock in the late '70s, their back-to-basics style was overshadowed by the dominance of punk and new wave, and the group had retreated to cult status by the early '80s.

Brilleaux (vocals, harmonica), Johnson (guitar), and John B. Sparks (bass) had all played in several blues-based bar bands around Canvey Island, England before forming Dr. Feelgood in 1971. Taking their name from a Johnny Kidd & the Pirates song, the group was dedicated to playing old-fashioned R&B and rock & roll, including both covers and originals by Johnson. John Martin (drums), a former member of Finian's Rainbow, was added to the lineup, and the group began playing the pub rock circuit. By the end of 1973, Dr. Feelgood's dynamic live act had made them the most popular group on the pub rock circuit, and several labels were interested in signing them. They settled for United Artists, and they released their debut album, Down by the Jetty, in 1974.

According to legend, Down by the Jetty was recorded in mono and consisted almost entirely of first takes. While it was in fact recorded in stereo, the rumor added significantly to Dr. Feelgood's purist image, and the album became a cult hit. The following year, the group released Malpractice -- also their first U.S. release -- which climbed into the U.K. Top 20 on the strength of the band's live performances and positive reviews. In 1976, the band released the live album Stupidity, which became a smash hit in Britain, topping the album charts. Despite its thriving British success, Dr. Feelgood was unable to find an audience in the States. One other American album, Sneakin' Suspicion, followed in 1977 before the band gave up on the States; they never released another record in the U.S.

Sneakin' Suspicion didn't replicate the success of Stupidity, partially because of its slick production, but mainly because the flourishing punk rock movement overshadowed Dr. Feelgood's edgy roots rock. Wilko Johnson left the band at the end of 1977 to form the Solid Senders; he later joined Ian Dury's Blockheads. Henry McCullough played on Feelgood's 1977 tour before John "Gypie" Mayo became the group's full-time lead guitarist. Nick Lowe produced 1978's Be Seeing You, Mayo's full-length debut with Dr. Feelgood. The album generated the 1979 Top Ten hit "Milk and Alcohol," as well as the Top 40 hit "As Long as the Price Is Right." Two albums, As It Happens and Let It Roll, followed in 1979, and Mayo left the band in 1980. He was replaced by Johnny Guitar in 1980, who debuted on A Case of the Shakes, which was also produced by Nick Lowe.

During their first decade together, Dr. Feelgood never left the road, which was part of the reason founding members John Martin and John Sparks left the band in 1982. Lee Brilleaux replaced them with Buzz Barwell and Pat McMullen, and continued touring. Throughout the '80s, Brilleaux continued to lead various incarnations of Dr. Feelgood, settling on the rhythm section of bassist Phil Mitchell and drummer Kevin Morris in the mid-'80s. The band occasionally made records -- including Brilleaux, one of the last albums on Stiff Records, in 1976 -- but concentrated primarily on live performances. Dr. Feelgood continued to perform to large audiences into the early '90s, when Brilleaux was struck by cancer. He died in April of 1994, three months after he recorded the band's final album, Down at the Doctor's. The remaining members of Dr. Feelgood hired vocalist Pete Gage and continued to tour under the band's name. Former Feelgoods Gypie Mayo, John Sparks, and John Martin formed the Practice in the mid-'80s, and they occasionally performed under the name Dr. Feelgood's Practice. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: I'm A Man (Best Of The Wilko Johnson Years 1974-1977)

1. Roxette

2. Cheque Book

3. Twenty Yards Behind

4. Keep It Out Of Sight

5. Back In The Night (Live Edit)

6. Watch Your Step

7. Rolling And Tumbling

8. Don't Let Your Daddy Know

9. Riot In Cell Block Number Nine

10. I'm A Man (Live Edit)

11. All Through The City (Live Edit)

12. Checkin' Up On My Baby (Live Edit)

13. Everybody's Carrying A Gun (Olympic Version)

14. Lights Out (Early Version)

15. Sneakin' Suspicion (2015 Version)

16. Going Back Home (Live Edit)

x

Track List: All Through The City (With Wilko 1974-1977)

3. Dr. Feelgood

6. Everybody's Carrying A Gun (Olympic Version)

9. I'm A Hog For You Baby (Olympic Version)

10. Roxette (2006 Remastered Version)

11. All Through The City (Live)

13. I'm A Man (Live)

14. That Ain't The Way To Behave

15. Walking The Dog (Live)

20. Keep It Out Of Sight

22. All Through The City

23. Back In The Night (Live)

25. I'm A Hog For You Baby (Live)

28. Bonie Moronie/Tequila

34. Back In The Night

35. Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)

37. Time And The Devil

46. Riot In Cell Block Number Nine

47. Walking On The Edge

50. You Shouldn't Call The Doctor (If You Can't Afford The Bills)

x

Track List: Dr Feelgood - BBC In Concert (14th January 1975)

1. She Does It Right (BBC In Concert)

2. Twenty Yards Behind (BBC In Concert)

3. The More I Give (BBC In Concert)

4. Don't You Just Know It (BBC In Concert)

5. Boom Boom (BBC In Concert)

6. All Through The City (BBC In Concert)

7. Roxette (BBC In Concert)

8. Talk To Me Baby (BBC In Concert)

9. Route 66 (BBC In Concert)

x

Track List: BBC In Concert (1st December 1977)

1. Looking Back (BBC In Concert December 1977)

2. Stupidity (BBC In Concert December 1977)

3. You'll Be Mine (BBC In Concert December 1977)

4. You Upset Me Baby (BBC In Concert December 1977)

5. Homework (BBC In Concert December 1977)

6. Baby Jane (BBC In Concert December 1977)

7. The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'n' Roll (BBC In Concert December 1977)

8. That's It I Quit (BBC In Concert December 1977)

9. Lucky Seven (BBC In Concert December 1977)

10. She's A Wind-Up (BBC In Concert December 1977)

11. Lights Out (BBC In Concert December 1977)

x

Track List: BBC In Concert (25th March 1974)

1. I Can Tell (BBC In Concert)

2. She Does It Right (BBC In Concert)

3. My Baby Your Baby (BBC In Concert)

4. I'm Talking About You (BBC In Concert)

5. One Weekend (BBC In Concert)

6. I Don't Mind (BBC In Concert)

7. Rock Me Baby (BBC In Concert)

8. Bonie Moronie (BBC In Concert)

x

Track List: The Complete Stiff Recordings

Disc 1

1. I Love You, So You're Mine

2. You Got My Number

3. Big Enough

4. Don't Wait Up

5. Get Rhythm

7. Play Dirty

8. Grow Too Old

9. Rough Ride

10. I'm A Real Man

11. Come Over Here

12. Take What You Can Get

13. Don't Wait Up

14. Something Good

15. Rockin' With Somebody New

16. What Do You Think Of That

17. See You Later Alligator

Disc 2

1. Hunting Shooting Fishing

2. Break These Chains

3. Heartbeat

4. (I Wanna) Make Love To You

5. Highway 61

6. Hurricane

7. Quit While You're Behind

8. Nothing Like It

9. Spy Vs Spy

10. Crack Me Up

11. Lights Of Downtown

12. A Touch Of Class

13. Don't Underestimate Your Enemy

14. Crash Your Car Megamix

x

Track List: Classic

1. Hunting, Shooting Fishing

2. Break These Chains

3. Heartbeat

4. (I Wanna) Make Love To You

5. Highway 61

6. Hurricane

7. Quit While You're Behind

8. Nothing Like It

9. Spy Vs Spy

10. Crack Me Up

11. Lights Of Downtown

12. A Touch Of Class

13. Don't Estimate Your Enemy

14. Crash Your Car Megamix

x

Track List: Brilleaux

1. I Love You, So You're Mine

2. You've Got My Number

3. Big Enough

4. Don't Wait Up

5. Get Rhythm

6. Where Is The Next One?

7. Play Dirty

8. Grow Too Old

9. Rough Ride

10. I'm A Real Man

11. Come Over Here

12. Take What You Can Get

13. Don't Wait Up (Extended Version)

14. Something Good

15. Rockin' With Somebody New

16. What Do You Think Of That

17. See You Later Alligator

x

Track List: Private Practice

1. Down At The Doctors

2. Every Kind Of Vice

3. Things Get Better

4. Milk & Alcohol

5. Night Time

6. Leta*S Have A Party

7. Take A Tip

8. It Wasna*T Me

9. Greaseball

10. Sugar Shaker

x

Track List: Sneakin' Suspicion

1. Sneakin' Suspicion

2. Paradise

3. Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)

4. Time And The Devil

5. Lights Out

6. Lucky Seven

7. All My Love

8. You'll Be Mine

9. Walking On The Edge

10. Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut)

x

Track List: Be Seeing You

1. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)

2. She's A Wind Up

3. I Thought I Had It Made

4. I Don't Wanna Know

5. That's It, I Quit

6. As Long As The Price Is Right

7. Hi-Rise

8. My Buddy Buddy Friends

9. Baby Jane

10. The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock 'N' Roll

11. Looking Back

12. 60 Minutes Of Your Love

x

Track List: Stupidity

2. 20 Yards Behind

3. Stupidity

4. All Through The City

5. I'm A Man

8. Going Back Home

9. I Don't Mind

10. Back In The Night

11. I'm A Hog For You Baby

13. Roxette

14. Riot In Cell Block No.9

15. Johnny B. Goode

x

Track List: Malpractice

1. I Can Tell

2. Going Back Home

3. Back In The Night

4. Another Man

5. Rolling And Tumbling

6. Don't Let Your Daddy Know

7. Watch Your Step

8. Don't You Just Know It

9. Riot In Cell Block No.9

10. Because You're Mine

11. You Shouldn't Call The Doctor (If You Can't Afford The Bills)

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