With the death last month of the legendary British bluesman, it is fitting that some of his many fine albums are reissued. It Ain''t Easy (1971) features a British blues/rock line-up befitting the man behind the Long John Baldry moniker. This album returns Baldry to a decidedly edgier and hipper audience, with a cast of all-stars on some of the more adventurous material he had covered to date. This is no doubt due, at least in part, to the involvement of superstars Rod Stewart and Elton John. Among their contributions to the project, Stewart and Elton divided the production tasks -- each taking a side of the original album. Immediately, Baldry sheds the MOR blue-eyed pop soul image. The backing band on Stewart''s side include fellow Face and future Rolling Stone, Ron Wood, on electric guitar and acoustic guitarist and Sam Mitchell, who appeared on many of Stewart''s early ''70s solo albums. Features Baldry''s biggest hit ''Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock n Roll''. Highlights from Elton John''s side include Randy Newman''s ''Let''s Burn Down the Cornfield'', which would have fit perfectly on John''s Tumbleweed Connection album. Remastered and expanded. Warner. 2005.
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