Picks and Pans Review: Born to Be Bad

updated 02/29/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/29/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

George Thorogood & the Destroyers

Too bad Eddie Murphy had first dibs on Raw because that title captures precisely Thorogood's brand of buzz-saw blues. Handle this album with heavy gloves. It's raucous, after-midnight party music filled with screaming guitars, a driving beat and Thorogood's tequila-gargle voice. The highlights are an Elmore Jamesian rumble down Highway 49 and a gritty Smokestack Lightning, but there isn't a mellow moment in the bunch. Which is also a problem. ZZ Top has proved that it's possible to bang away at the same hard pace without dulling the edge. However, even though this may be Thorogood's best record, the cumulative effect of his rugged style is wearing. He has only one speed: flat-out. His style has a lot more natural energy and a lot less calculation than Roth's, and Thorogood will sweep you along with him. But you'd better be in the mood. (EMI-Manhattan)

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