|Studio album by Little Feat|
|Studio||Amigo Sounds, Sunset Sound
TTG Studios, Los Angeles
|Genre||Southern rock, blues rock, roots rock, swamp rock|
|Little Feat chronology|
|Rolling Stone||(favorable) |
Sailin' Shoes was the second studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1972.
The album is notable for several reasons. First, it introduced the cover artwork of Neon Park to the group. Second, it marked a shift from the sound of the band's first album, Little Feat, to that of their next album, Dixie Chicken. Third, it marked the last album appearance of original bassist Roy Estrada.
Highlighted by a reworked group version of "Willin'," the track that had led Frank Zappa to sack guitarist and vocalist Lowell George from The Mothers of Invention, it also featured such enduring tracks as "A Apolitical Blues," "Easy to Slip" and the title track, all by guitarist and lead vocalist Lowell George, the second co-written with Martin Kibbee, credited as "Fred Martin", a former bandmate from The Factory, and the first appearance of the "George/Martin" credit on a Little Feat record.
The track "Texas Rose Cafe" is a tribute to a post-Houston concert visit by Lowell George and others to the hippie restaurant/club/beer garden. During refreshments upstairs George had said that he liked the place so much that he was going to write a song about it and it would be on their next album. It turned out to be true and not just so much "beer talk".
It was the last full Little Feat record to be produced by an outsider until 1977's Time Loves a Hero, with each of the three interim albums being produced almost entirely by Lowell George.
Noted Los Angeles-based session percussionist Milt Holland played percussion on "Easy to Slip" and "Trouble" and he also played tabla on the follow-up album Dixie Chicken. Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels played rhythm guitar on "A Apolitical Blues" and Debbie Lindsey provided the female vocals on "Cold, Cold, Cold" and the title track.
In 2008 the album was released as Gold CD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.
With his design for a "sailing shoe" of a cake swinging on a tree swing, the album's front cover by Neon Park seems to be an allusion to The Swing by painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Park himself said of the cover: "The Sailin' Shoes cover was inspired by Louis XIV. I'd just seen Rossellini's film about Louis XIV. And it seemed to relate a lot to Hollywood. A situation ruled by someone who kept everybody under his thumb by keeping them in hock from buying fancy clothes seemed to relate to Hollywood somehow. Actually, the only thing that was missing was the Hollywood sign, which I was going to put in the background. I thought that would be gauche. But I had a chance to pick up on that later with The Last Record Album.
- All tracks by Lowell George, except where noted.
- "Easy to Slip" (Lowell George, Fred Martin) – 3:22 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Cold, Cold, Cold" – 4:01 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Trouble" – 2:19 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Tripe Face Boogie" (Richie Hayward, Bill Payne) – 3:16 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Willin'" – 2:57 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "A Apolitical Blues" – 3:28 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Sailin' Shoes" – 2:53 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" – 2:13 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Got No Shadow" (Payne) – 5:08 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- "Cat Fever" (Payne) – 4:37 (lead singer: Bill Payne)
- "Texas Rose Café" – 3:42 (lead singer: Lowell George)
- Lowell George - guitar, lead (all but 10) and backing vocals, harmonica, baritone saxophone, drum machine
- Bill Payne - Hammond organ, backing and lead (10) vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano, piano, accordion
- Roy Estrada - bass, backing vocals
- Richie Hayward - drums, backing vocals, percussion
- Milt Holland - percussion on "Easy to Slip" and "Trouble"
- Sneaky Pete Kleinow - pedal steel guitar on "Willin'" and "Texas Rose Café"
- Debbie Lindsey - backing vocals on "Cold Cold Cold" and "Sailin' Shoes"
- Ron Elliott - rhythm guitar on "A Apolitical Blues"