(Fourth Album : Released 1972)
OPEN UP/SHE'S GONE/LOOKING FOR MY GIRL/SEE YOU AGAIN/THE DEMON/MY GIRL & ME/SWEET MARY JANE/LADY ROSE/GOING DOWN THE DUSTY ROAD/BRAND NEW CAR/46 & ON
MUNGO JERRY - BOOT POWER
"Ray Dorset has written and co-produced this new Mungo Jerry album and it's a strong musical offering from the band. There are 11 tracks that display the range of Mungo Jerry and it must surely be well received by their many fans".
MUNGO MELT AWAY
"This a kind of sad album. In student days of '70 and '71, it was quite a buzz to go down to the pub, get totally wrecked on cider, put every single Mungo Jerry record on the jukebox, stomp feet and chant along, if a trifle erratically. But by then, the band became a full-tilt Ray Dorset ego boogie and that particular Mungo Jerry charm just melted away. The cover of 'Boot Power' depicts Dorset on the fold-out as Dennis The Menace, and Mungo Jerry as Clockwork Orange types on the front. The songs find Ray tackling heavier topics than in the old days in a more conventional electric rock style. The trouble is that a charming but slight talent has strayed into areas which have effectively erased his charm and left the slightness bared. Sad, but nothing lasts forever".
Charles Shaar Murray.
RAY DORSET DISCUSSES NEW LP...
COMPLETE COMMAND OF MUNGO JERRY
To spend some time with Mungo Jerry's leader is to become enveloped in the Dorset ring of confidence. Ray's sunny smile is not just put there for the TV cameras - it's as much a part of him as his big black wedge-shaped sideboards. Ray's got good reason for looking sunny, with a very good new album - 'Boot Power' in the can, and with the band very much more the way he wants it to be with the line-up on the LP; Jon Pope (piano and organ), John Godfrey (bass), and Tim Reeves (drums).
Remember the days of John, Paul, George and Ringo? Nowadays, all the groups seem to be down to one person very much in control. Try asking the man in the street - even a young one - the names of all the guys in T.Rex, the forerunner of today's mainstream idea of one man virtually being the group.
He now has a virtual dictatorship over the group, and is delighted to be in that position - singer, songwriter, producer, hirer, firer, and financier. "All the hiring and firing's up to me now. I finance the band, but the equipment and so on. The other guys accept the position. The band split up before I planned for it to happen, but I'm really happy with the way things are now. The more you're in control, the better it is. Some of the arrangements are a bit more complex now. I started work on the album with a producer, but after a bit I decided I could do it myself. Barry (Murray) was into the band in the early days, but I don't think he is anymore - he went off on another vein. I left the last single completely up to him, and he had his own arranger, and that was the way 'Open Up' came out. I've done it the way I think it should be on the album.
"With the line-up in the band now, I've got the right vehicle for doing what I wanted. I did my solo album, 'Cold Blue Excursion', to show that I could do more than one type of song, and I used session musicians. I can't read music, and I felt a bit inferior, I couldn't relax properly. Towards the end, I began to realise that they couldn't get the sounds I wanted. I'm a great believer that it's all down to feel. I mean you make a great technical masterpiece if you want to do it, and that's fine, but the public couldn't care a fuck about that."
That the public DO care about what Mungo Jerry has been doing could hardly be more graphically illustrated than by the sales of 'In The Summertime', currently about ten million. "i didn't want to do the follow-up the same. I left that to others." No complaints from The Mixtures or Terry Dactyl and The Dinosaurs, and nothing worse than a wry smile from Ray. I wondered if it was difficult to continue to make the sort of stunning impact that Mungo Jerry had on the Hollywood Festival audience, now that they had become a known quantity. "We've done festivals all over Europe and the reaction's been good. The new Mungo Jerry's just done Holland and two gigs in Hungary with an audience of 15,000 each. The reaction's been fine, in fact, in Hungary, it stopped just short of a riot.
"What did happen was that because of the number one hit, it became uncool to dig Mungo Jerry, but I think people have got over that. Around 1970 was the peak time when critics and reviewers, and even some of the public, intellectualised music, and the thing to do was to lie back stoned and dig it. Now people realise it does you more good to jump about."
Mungo Jerry's next album, 'Boot Power', should surprise a lot of people. It's got lots of variety, a lot of surprises and a wodge of potential singles, though Ray is going to record a single, later in October, probably at the same time as the album.
Why such an aggressive title? "Just that a lot of people can associate with it, the people on the streets. You're always seeing 'Shed' or 'Boot Boys' scrawled on walls.". The sleeve shows a surly looking Mungo Jerry making their way from a greasers caff, while the inner has Ray as a more hirsute version of Dennis The Menace in some Beano-style adventures.
Ray did a quick run through of the tracks;
"This is a re-recording with the new band, and is just how I thought it should be done. I think it's much more alive."
"I went into a demo studio to work out some songs and the tape operator said he liked this one. So i did it."
Looking For My Girl
I wrote the tune to this about six years ago, but the words were from another song, which I wrote about a year ago. I'd never had the words for the old tune, and eventually I realised that these lyrics fitted. Originally, it was called 'Looking For Myself'."
See You Again
"This was just the result of going home one night and fiddling around. This is what I came up with."
"I was sitting in the flat in Hackney and thinking about a lot of strange things, like about when I was in Australia. The humidity was so great that you couldn't see anything and it caused everything to blow up, so there was a power cut."
My Girl & Me
"I used a Simmatone copy of a National Steel guitar on this one - a nice sunny sound."
Sweet Mary Jane
There is only me and John Godfrey on this one, plus a flute player. It's very light with a Trini Lopez type rhythm. I wrote it in Italy."
"'Lady Rose' hasn't been on an album before, only a cartridge. Again, it's re-recorded, and has a high Pinky and Perky-ish voice on the end."
Blowin' Down That Old Dusty Road
"I found this on an old album of Woody Guthrie's 'Dustbowl Ballads'. I've done it on stage, and I thought it would be nice to get it on record. It's a traditional Mungo Jerry-type number."
Brand New Car
"I thought it would nice to do an original rock'n roll song for a change. A lot of people take a lot of time and trouble on their cars - hence the song."
46 & On
"This one is my life to a degree, but not just my life, it could be anybody. I think the song says a lot for a lot of people. I got the idea from talking to a lot of people about, 'Do you remember Gobstoppers and all that."
REVIEWS FROM THE INTERNET...
"Mungo Jerry's first album following the departure of Paul King (already onto his second album by the time this was released), Boot Power's imposing skinhead cartoon cover is an exact match for the music within. Fears that the recent departures (keyboard player Colin Earl departed alongside King) might disrupt the band altogether were dashed when "Open Up" emerged to give them their fourth undisputed classic hit single; indeed, with his control over Mungo Jerry's creative output now complete, Ray Dorset was finally free to expand the group in the directions he saw fit, a lusty, lucid, but most of all good-time party band whose folky jug roots were intact only till the beer ran out. After that, anything could happen -- and usually did. The five-plus-minute "Demon," the revisited "Lady Rose," and the plaintive, wrecked "Looking for My Girl" all trail "Open Up" to the album's peak, but in truth, the group barely put a foot wrong all album, turning in a set that didn't simply please the fans, it absolutely astonished the critics. Sales were low, however, and morale in the band turned out to be lower. It would be four long years, just a couple more hits, and a near-fatal deluge of obituary-writing best-ofs before another Mungo Jerry album finally appeared, by which time Boot Power's brilliance was ancient history -- and its artwork seemed even more archaic. The album was worth a lot more than that".
Stand Up and Dance
"Mungo Jerry" is not a one-hit wonder: it shows the ignorance of self-proclaimed musicologists and/or critics. The brilliance of the music cannot be measured by statistics only. Cheesburger or BigMac might be also the most consumed fast food in the world, but it doesn't mean that it tastes best. 'Boot Power' is the fourth album of British heavies "Mungo Jerry" (released in 1972, and preceded by 3 superb albums - debut "Mungo Jerry", "Electronically Tested"Electronically Tested and "You Don't have to be in the army"You Don't Have to Be in the Army. Ray Dorset again came with a string of excellent songs ("Lady Rose", "Dusty Road", "Open Up") ranging from foot-stomping music to hard rock. Former members Colin Earl (piano) and Paul King (guitars, harp, banjo) were replaced by Tim Reeves and John Pope. To me it's just another fireball of concentrated raw energy and honest to God rock. Worth every cent". Re-issued in Japan as a mini-LP in comes with a leaflet in Japanese (very handy) and lyrics - in English.
"May not have a lot of hits but all of the songs are good. It's a very solid album. I'm surprised there's no reissue. Japan edition here is a nice package with sturdy fold-out 'mini-LP'cover and great sound (20-bit mastering).
...AND THE FANS SAY...
"I've got to be honest. I was devastated when Mungo Jerry broke up early in 1972, they were such a magical band. However, the new line-up, which now saw Jon Pope on keyboards, and Tim Reeves on drums joining Ray and John Godfrey came up with a truly fantastic album in 'Boot Power'. Not one bad track on the whole LP, not one! And several classics contained within - a new vibrant, hard-hitting version of that years earlier single, 'Open Up', still the best recording of the song for me. 'She's Gone', an underrated gem, 'Looking For My Girl' which could have been a single. 'My Girl & Me' and '46 & On', that were released, on the sixth maxi-single, albeit short versions. Unfortunately, this line-up was short-lived and broke up almost as soon as it was formed and it would be, strangely, the last Mungo Jerry album until 'Impala Saga' in 1976. In later Fan Club Polls, 'Boot Power' was considered by many fans to be the best ever Mungo Jerry album - and that's saying something!