Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Good Rats- 'From Rats To Riches' 1978 LP Vinyl RIP

Took me a while but I finally broke down and bought this LP on E-bay last week. It isn't even available from the Good Rats website, so I'm going to share it here for all my fellow Good Rats fans out there. Would have been something to see these guys and Crack the Sky together on one bill...

By the time of their fourth and best album - From Rats To Riches - (which was later issued on Radar in the UK), the line-up was the gruff-voiced Peppi Marchello, Mickey Marchello (guitar), John 'the Cat' Gatto (guitar), Lenny Kotke (bass) and Joe Franco (drums). This album was recorded on Long Island in late 1977 with Flo And Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) producing. Although their place in the market was never clear they were essentially a good old-fashioned, basic US rock 'n' roll band."

A1 Taking It to Detroit 3:36
A2 Just Found Me a Lady 2:50
A3 Mr. Mechanic 3:39
A4 Dear Sir 3:12
A5 Let Me 4:45
B1 Victory in Space 3:06
B2 Coo Coo Coo Blues 4:37
B3 Don't Hate the Ones Who Bring You Rock & Roll 6:38
B4 Could Be Tonight 2:54
B5 Local Zero 5:08

For fans of The Greatest Band That Was Never Known, Tasty & From Rats to Riches were arguably their best. By 1978 the five man combo of Peppi Marchello-Vocals & Harmonica, Mickey Marchello-Guitar & Vocals, John (The Cat) Gatto-Lead Guitar, Lenny Kotke-Bass & Vocals and Joe Franco-Drums had coalesced into a solid unit mixing balls-out Rock & Roll with barbershop harmonies and turning that into great music that (dammit) should have translated into national fame. At their height in the late '70s and early 80s The Good Rats had performed at Madison Square Garden, the Philadelphia Spectrum, the Nassau Coliseum, the Hammersmith Odeon in England, the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ (a late great venue) and New York's Central Park. The Good Rats had also played most of the major showcase rooms in the country including the Bottom Line (RIP), Paradise in Boston, Whisky in L.A., well... you get the point! They headlined and opened up for such groups as Twisted Sister, Rush, Aerosmith, Meatloaf, Ozzy, Grateful Dead, Kiss, Journey, Heart, Springsteen, Styx and many others.
With Tasty (1978) and From Rats To Riches (1978) the band was at the top of their form. Ranging from power ballads (Songwriter, Let Me) to witty ditties (Fred Upstairs and Ginger Snappers, Coo Coo Coo Blues) to Heavy Rock Injun Joe, Takin' it to Detroit) The Good Rats with their carefully blended harmonies, great (IMHO) writing and stellar musicianship had everything they needed to put themselves among the greats of their day. Dammit, they should have made it, but despite being Picked up by a minor Capitol label and picking up Flo & Eddie for producers, they never made it to the charts, much less got airplay. Still, their albums hold up to this day, and give me a charge every time I put them on. The entire Catalog has been re-released on CD, and if you can find them, buy them...especially these two!

74Mb, MP3@320, 37 Minutes

Here is a low bitrate but decent bootleg of the Good Rats from April 9 1979.


Anonymous said...

Good rats rule! Thanx for the show. Any idea what the track list is? Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I have been listening to The Good Rats since high school (a long time!) and they are truly under rated. Thanks for the bootleg show. Do you have a set list for the show? Thanks.

WVKayaker said...

Sorry, no set list

Anonymous said...

If anyone's interested, this show is from a Rochester, NY radio broadcast.

Anonymous said...


WVKayaker said...

Thanks for the it is...

The Good Rats
Penny Arcade
Rochester, NY

1. Taking It to Detroit
2. Does It Make You Feel Good?
3. Tasty
4. Rat City in Blue
5. Beat Up Rambler
6. Fireball Express
7. Coo Coo Blues
8. Dear Sir
9. Reason to Kill
10. Local Zero
11. Let Me
12. Mister Mechanic
13. Injun Joe
14. Yellow Flower
15. {Interview}

lead vocals Peppi Marchello
drummer Joe Franco
bassist/vocalist Lenny Kotke
guitarist/vocals John "The Cat" Gatto
guitarist/vocals Mickey Marchello

AMG Biography by Greg Prato:

While countless rockers started their careers in the New York suburb of Long Island before going on to worldwide success (Billy Joel, Twisted Sister, Steve Vai, Brian Setzer, Blue Öyster Cult, etc.), there have been countless acts that appeared poised for a breakthrough, but for whatever reason, fell short. Many longtime followers of Long Island-based rock would probably agree that tops on the 'woulda/coulda/shoulda' list were the Good Rats, a group who played at some of the East Coast's best-known/biggest venues (Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum, the Philadelphia Spectrum) during the '70s, while opening for such big names as Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Journey, Heart, Styx, Meat Loaf, and Rush, among others.

Specializing in a tough form of bar band/hard rock (comparable to Led Zeppelin early on, before getting more commercial), quite a few bandmembers have waltzed through the Good Rats' ranks since their formation during the late '60s, but through it all, lead vocalist Peppi Marchello has been present. Originally consisting of Marchello, drummer Joe Franco (later briefly a member of Twisted Sister), bassist/vocalist Lenny Kotke, plus a pair of guitarists/singers, John "The Cat" Gatto and Mickey Marchello. Debuting in 1969 with The Good Rats, a frustrating trend would soon follow for the group -- their albums would be well-received by their large, local fan base and regional radio, but would fail to connect to other parts of the continent.

It was the group's sophomore effort, 1974's Tasty, that would spawn one of the Good Rats best-known songs: the jazzy title track, which remains a staple on Long Island-based classic rock radio. It was also around this time that the Good Rats caught the attention of guitarist Tommy Bolin (through a mutual friend), who was earning raves at the time due to his flashy guitar work for the likes of Billy Cobham and Deep Purple. Bolin was so impressed with the group that he had the management of one of his favorite clubs, Denver's Ebbets Field, hire the group, which resulted in a jam session with Bolin and drummer Carmine Appice on a rousing cover of Cobham's "Stratus," which would appear years later on the Bolin compilation Bottom Shelf (Bolin sadly died from a heroin overdose two years later). Although some groups would have quickly given up because of all the turbulence the Good Rats experienced, Marchello and company admirably continued to soldier ahead -- continuing to issue strong yet overlooked albums (1978's Rats to Riches and Birth Comes to Us All, 1979's Rat City in Blue, and 1981's Great American Music, the latter of which featured future Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick).

After laying low for a few years, Peppi put together a whole new version of the Good Rats in the early '90s, featuring his son, guitarist Gene Marchello, who was a member of the short-lived-'80s pop-metal outfit, Marchello. After their rebirth, the Good Rats began issuing all-new studio albums, including 1996's Tasty Seconds and 2002's Play Dum. The original lineup of the Good Rats has been known to sporadically reunite for gigs, such as a pair of shows in Rochester, New York, in October of 1998, which saw the 'new' Good Rats open for the original Good Rats.

01. Taking It to Detroit
02. Does It Make You Feel Good
03. Tasty
04. Rat City in Blue
05. Beat Up Rambler
06. Fireball Express
07. Coo Coo Blues
08. Dear Sir
09. Reason to Kill
10. Local Zero
11. Let Me
12. Mister Mechanic
13. Injun Joe
14. Yellow Flower
15. Interview

gruebane said...

I just got back this morning from seeing the Good Rats reunion show last night (4/26/08)- original line-up played two sold-out shows back to back at B.B. Kings Blues Club, New York City. Some guys looked a little worse for wear, but they kicked ass. Peppi recognised me from my several concert attendances, and shook my hand on stage in the middle of the show.
This album and almost all others are easily available from See you at RatStock X this summer!

Anonymous said...

I flew in from Tampa, Florida to see the reunion show at BB Kings. They were every bit as good as they were back in the late 70's. Pepis voice is still incredible. The band ROCKED!!!
I saw the second show. It was longer than the first and I heard it was better. Well worth the price of the plane ticket. RAT ON. I brought my brother who had never seen them, but heard the music. He was glad he finally got to see them and loved the show.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Wow, two comments from attendees of the The Good Rats show in NYC...I am sure they were awesome!
Thanks for the feedback guys...

Arthur said...

I attended the second show at BB King's with my brother. In fact, we were standing outside on the que line waiting for the doors to open, coincidently standing with "Anonymous" and his brother from Florida. The second show was way better as I was able to view most of the first show's performance on YouTube. They managed to perform every song from the "Tasty" album, sprinkled throughout the set. They delivered the goods by giving the same 110% they have always given at their shows. Another "reunion" show is scheduled for Oct 4 at the Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale, NY.

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks if I could only get them to Annapolis!

Anonymous said...

I just come to know this group.
Greettings fron Spain (Europe).


Camarillo Brillo said...

you're welcome...enjoy!

Anonymous said...

True fans ...check these links :

Long live the good rats !!

Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks for the links! This is why we blog!
You rock dude!!!

Anonymous said...

just wondering... how much did this LP cost on ebay??

Camarillo Brillo said...

I don't remember..probably $10 with shipping I guess

Anonymous said...

thank yo grew up to these guys brings back many memories !!!!

Camarillo Brillo said...

you're welcome

Anonymous said... has a lot of Rats material on CD - especially Tasty Seconds, which is hard to come by otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see another Good Rats Fan. Thanks a lot for the Album. I love the pics of your record collection also : )

Peace to you.


Camarillo Brillo said...

Thanks Danny

What This Is All About

I've been collecting live music from various sources since the mid to late 70's. Radio shows, TV broadcasts, radio show pre-FM CD's and vinyl LP's and some trades. Most of the shows posted here, I recorded and ripped myself. I always had top of the line stereo equipment and cassette and open reel recorders for those on air broadcasts.

I've downloaded plenty of bootlegged concerts from various blogs. As a rule I will only post stuff from my collection and not what is already available out there.

I also post out of print CDs and LPs from my collection.
I will repost from my readers anything someone sends me as long as it is either out of print or something that's not from someone else's blog. If you want to share a link for a cool item on your blog, or someone else's, please feel free to post it in the comments........

Enjoy and please leave a comment and pass this blog along.

Can you believe that so many out there are starving for the old WHFS? Amazing!

If you leave a comment, how about using a nickname instead of Anonymous. At least make up something please. Thanks!

I have reconsidered my position...and will re-upload dead links, so long as you go to that particular post and make the request from the comments page...

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