‘I Keep It To Myself’: A Generous Helping Of Wilko

January 6, 2017
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‘I Keep It To Myself’: A Generous Helping Of Wilko

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. With the man born John Peter Wilkinson, however, we know exactly what we’re lucky to have: a pioneer, a survivor, and one of the most beloved musicians of his generation.

Known to most as Wilko Johnson, the one-time Dr Feelgood guitarist cultivated a raucous, R&B-indebted style that helped presage punk in the mid-70s, before going on to play with Ian Dury And The Blockheads and lead his own Wilko Johnson Band throughout the 80s. Johnson’s live shows have long assumed legendary status among his fervent fanbase, while his insatiable thirst for gut-bucket R&B, shot through with his own electrifying, bone-rattling stylings, has bequeathed a litter of compelling songs.

Who frontman Roger Daltrey knows a thing or two about unique guitarists, and a number of his collaborations with Wilko, on the UK No.3 album Going Back Home, which was released in 2014, appear on the forthcoming 2CD Wilko Johnson collection I Keep It To Myself, which is due for release on 24 February. While the Daltry songs – among them ‘Turned 21’ and ‘Ice On The Motorway’ – bring Wilko’s musical story up to date, the likes of ‘Roxette’ and ‘She Does It Right’ are newly recorded versions of Wilko-penned Dr Feelgood classics on which the guitarist gives his past a few fresh new licks.

As The Stranglers’ bassist, Jean-Jacques Burnel, puts it: “… there is a bridge between the old times and the punk times. That bridge is exclusively the Feelgoods.” And the foundations of that bridge are Wilko Johnson.

I Keep It To Myself is out on 24 February. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting and order the album here:

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Disc One
‘Roxette’
‘She Does It Right’
‘I Keep It To Myself’
‘Ice On The Motorway’
‘Back In The Night’
‘Turned 21’
‘Paradise’
‘Barbed Wire Blues’
‘Dr Dupree’
‘Sneaking Suspicion’
‘Living In The Heart Of Love’
‘Some Kind Of Hero’

Disc Two
‘Twenty Yards Behind’
‘Out In The Traffic’
‘Cairo Blues’
‘The Hook’
‘Keep On Loving You’
‘All Right’
‘When I’m Gone’
‘Come Back And Love Me’
‘She’s Good Like That’
‘The Beautiful Madrilena’
‘Underneath Orion’
‘Down By The Waterside’
‘I Really Love Your Rock’n’Roll’

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8 comments

    1. Jason Draper (author)

      Yes, you’re entirely right. The robot who wrote this piece has been disassembled and its component parts scattered into the sea while someone sings ‘He Does It Wrong’.

  1. John Kilby

    Wilko and Jean Jacques shared a flat back in the day and Wilko and his band toured with the Stranglers about 5 tears ago.

    They’re mates who were both influential in the pub rock transition to punk.

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