Robert Gordon – Hellafied (Blue, Purple Colored Vinyl)
Rockabilly and rave-up revivalist Robert Gordon passed a couple months ago, but he’s still gifting fans
with new music.
The bulk of Hellafied was recorded in 1998 for an album that never came out. Gordon worked
extensively on getting the tracks ready for release before his death in October. Like most of Gordon’s
catalog, Hellafied is heavily indebted to Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Elvis Presley.
While Gordon was unashamed to borrow from the early sounds and styles of rock and roll, he also made
a significant impact on the scene. Album opener and Gordon original, “One Day Left” sounds like
something Chris Issac would do. Later, the tough “I Saw a Smile” could have been lifted from a Stray Cats
Elsewhere, the hard-rocking “Middle of the Night” sounds like a demo from a 1980s Whitesnake album,
while “Girl Like You” could have been a Cars outtake. On “Don’t Let Go,” Gordon and his band – which
includes guitarist Chris Spedding and former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard – make the
most of the Bo Diddley beat.
Spedding and Gordon were frequent collaborators over the years and the axeman lives up to the co-
billing he receives on the album cover. Nimbly shifting between styles and textures, Spedding’s playing
here is a master class in how to bring out the best in a vocalist.
Hellafied is billed as Gordon’s final album. It remains to be seen if Gordon’s vault holds any other gems,
but Hellafied is a great parting gift to longtime fans.-Joel Francis