Little Feat: “Easy to Slip”
As long as this blog goes on, it’ll never cease to amaze me how much great music there is. I can post hundreds of great songs, rarely duplicating the same band or solo artist, and yet I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what is out there. And that doesn’t even count the bands that suck. (I’d need an even more extensive blog to cover all of those, sadly.)
Take Little Feat, for example. I’ve only mentioned them once, in relation to the cover of “Sailin’ Shoes” done by Robert Palmer. Yet they were one of the best bands of the ’70s, and their leader, Lowell George, one of rock’s great songwriters, period. But then again, I have yet to post a Bob Dylan song, so I guess he’s not alone.
Lowell George may have died far too young (at 34, in 1979), but his music is likely to live on for a very long time. Depending who you ask, Little Feat has at least 3, and possibly 4, totally classic albums. I’ll abstain from declaring one way or the other, but I will say that their second album, 1972’s Sailin’ Shoes, is most certainly one of them. “Sailin’ Shoes” and the much-covered “Willin'” are probably the two best-known songs on the album, but the lead track, “Easy to Slip,” probably isn’t far behind. It’s a melancholy rocker about dealing with the aftermath of being left:
Well I don’t want to drift forever
In the shadow of your leaving me
So I’ll light another cigarette
And try to remember to forget
“Easy to Slip” does what an album’s lead track is supposed to: kicks things off a burst of energy and great songwriting, raising expectations for the rest of the songs, and setting the stage (hopefully) for the album’s sequence. Many albums have achieved a great lead track only to falter midway through (or sooner!), but Sailin’ Shoes was not one of those. Its songs may get softer or louder, but they never fail to enthrall. George and Little Feat were in peak form.