SWAMP DOGG - "CUFFED, COLLARED & TAGGED" LP
After the lunatic one-two punch of 1970's Total Destruction to Your Mind and 1971's Rat On!, Swamp Dogg aimed for something a bit more earthbound with his third LP, 1972's Cuffed Collared & Tagged, which opens and closes with a pair of contemporary covers and even finds the artist otherwise known as Jerry Williams tackling the Beatles' 'Lady Madonna.' But if this is a somewhat less crazed mixture of R&B, funk, rock & roll, and Swamp Dogg's own trademark world view, it's still clearly his work, especially on the wigged-out Sly Stone parody/tribute 'If It Hadn't Been for Sly' and the stream-of-consciousness wordplay of 'Complication #5.' Swamp Dogg's love of home truths fuel 'You Say You Trust Your Mother,' he's his own kind of love man on 'Captain of Your Ship' and 'Knowing I'm Pleasing Me and You,' he calls out his cheating woman on 'Your Last Dirty Trick,' and he offers a look into the side streets of his own mind on 'My Resume.' This being a product of the era when Swamp Dogg could command a decent recording budget, Cuffed Collared & Tagged is filled with soul-satisfying Southern soul grooves performed by a killer studio band, complete with wailing organ lines and a swaggering horn section that bring Swamp Dogg's tales to funky life. And the covers offer a reminder of what an amazing vocalist Williams was in his prime: his outstanding version of John Prine's 'Sam Stone' cuts to the core of the song's bitter tale of a drug-addicted Vietnam vet, and the eight-minute take of Joe South's 'Don't It Make You Want to Go Home' is emotionally vivid and straight from the heart. This isn't one of Swamp Dogg's crazier albums, but if you want to hear the Mad Genius of Soul deliver some grade-A jams, this is just what you need.
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