Music innovator of the ’70’s surprising hit of ’07

Josh Rouse

With his orange Gibson guitar and some sweet aviator sunglasses, Joe Walsh was an innovative musical figure in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

This CD, called “Little Did He Know…,” is a greatest hits collection from Walsh’s time with the James Gang, the Barnstorm and during his solo career. While it doesn’t feature any of the hits from his days with the Eagles, it does have some original Joe Walsh themes.

The first track on the CD, which also might be his most well-known, is “Funk #49.” It’s a classic funk song that Walsh played along with the James Gang and, while the name may not be recognizable to a younger audience, the song is unforgettable.

Two other tracks on this CD that are familiar to the mainstream audience are “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life’s Been Good.” The latter of the two is a classic song about the music scene in the ’70s, including jabs at millionaire rock stars who “can’t complain, but sometimes they still do.” It basically combines the blues with acoustic and reggae styles, and the results are phenomenal.

While these songs are legendary in their own respect, I found some of the lesser-known songs to be my favorites on the album. “Turn to Stone” is a song Walsh wrote while with Barnstorm. While not as wildly celebrated as some of the other songs, it has a sound all its own. Using a mixture of guitar and drum effects, the song creates a style that is almost impossible to duplicate. To sum it up: The blues meets metal rock and makes a demon love child in this song.

“Midnight Man” is another song I enjoy, partly because of the twangy guitar effects. Walsh is one of those guys who will use every effect he possibly can to make each song its own. With his high-pitched voice and twangy guitar riffs, this song is a unique classic that quickly begs you to sing along.

“Little Did He Know…” was actually a bit of a surprise to me. The only reason I bought it was because of the three songs it had that I actually knew. However, after listening to it over and over, I found myself singing along to each song on the album.

Perhaps the only flaw in this CD is that I’ll never have room to put all the tracks on my iPod.