SPIN’s 20 Best Reissues of 2013!
Swamp Dogg “Total Destruction to Your Mind” & “Rat On!” (Alive Natural Sound)
Total Destruction of Your Mind hailed as some “real gritty shit” by music critic Kid Rock in our revealing profile of its creator, Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams, is the Freak Out! of progressive funk. Reissued with its equally quirky follow-up, Rat On! (of rat-wrangling cover fame), Swamp’s 1970 debut combines sardonic soul sociology (has any songwriter gotten more out of custody issues than Swamp does in “The Baby Is Mine” and “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe?”) with superfine arrangements knocked out of the park by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Swamp himself was a triple threat — masterful gospel-doo-wop piano, Brill Building songwriting skills, and coruscatingly rendered lyrics (“Friendship’s like acid / It bur-ur-ur-urns as it slides away”). He also pioneered a sort of African-American country protest music in tracks like “Remember, I Said Tomorrow” and “God Bless America For What.” R.G