Classic Rock Corner

Five Essential Boogie-Rock Albums

Boogie-rock has probably been derided by critics more times than people have torched a doob while listening to BTO. Intellectual types tend to write it off as guys with feathered bangs, mustaches and shirts open to their navel playing songs about cars, girls and partying (and partying in cars with girls), while overlooking the fact that, if done right, boogie-rock can be totally badass.

What else it is, is hard to say. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "boogie" crept into American English around 1917 (though other estimates have it even earlier) as a word used to describe African-American rent parties. By the late '20s, it was a common term for the largely Texas-bred barrelhouse piano style popularized by Jelly Roll Morton, Pete Johnson and Dave Alexander, and translated to guitar by Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly.

From there, it was a short hop into R&B - where John Lee Hooker practically made boogie a proper noun - country and rock and roll. One of the prime boogie-rockers of the past 30 years, George Thorogood, stops by House of Blues tonight after a killer show last year. To mark the occasion, Rocks Off put our heads together and made a list of five albums no self-respecting feathered-bang burnout should ever be without. Chris Gray

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