10 NRBQ Songs Everyone Should Know

NRBQ Songs

Feature Photo: acme401, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Formed around 1965, NRBQ, initially known as the “New Rhythm and Blues Quintet,” sprang into the music scene with founders Terry Adams on piano, Steve Ferguson on guitar, and Joey Spampinato wielding the bass. This was a band that was sort of a cult band in the 1970s. Everyone in my high school in Smithtown, Long Island, used to talk about them. They were a fabulous live band. Over the years, sadly, many of the original members have passed away. The current ensemble features the talents of pianist and founding member Terry Adams, bassist Casey McDonough, guitarist Scott Ligon, and drummer John Perrin. Over the years, the band has seen a rotating cast of talented musicians, including Joey Spampinato, Tom Ardolino, Johnny Spampinato, Al Anderson, Steve Ferguson, Frank Gadler, Tom Staley, Ken Sheehan, Pete Donnelly, Conrad Choucroun, Bobby Lloyd Hicks, and Joe Camarillo.

# 10 – Howard Johnston’s Got His Ho-Jo Working

We open up our 10 NRBQ Songs Everyone Should Know list with the fabulous song “Howard Johnston’s Got His Ho-Jo Working.” Boy do I miss Howard Johnston’s. I loved going there with my parents on our vacation trips as a kid in the 1960s. I’m pretty sure they are all closed down. Nonetheless, this really should be about the song, but oh man, they had such great ice cream. I guess all ice cream is fantastic when you’re 7.

The song “Howard Johnston’s Got His Ho-Jo Working.” was released on the album Scraps  which was released in 1972 through Kama Sutra Records. The album features Terry Adams on clavinet, piano, harmonica, and vocals,  Joey Spampinato on bass, acoustic guitar,and vocals, Al Anderson on both electric and acoustic guitars, Tom Staley on drums, while Frank Gadler on additional vocals. Kenny Sheehan makes a special appearance on the guitar.

# 9 – I Want You Bad

I may be a little biased toward this song because I grew up in the Bronx, pretty close to Yankee Stadium. Any rock band that puts the stadium on their album cover and calls the record At Yankee Stadium has my undying loyalty. I know you understand. You would feel the same for your team’s home stadium too. Nonetheless, despite the personal story, in the end, this is a rocking NRBQ tune that we wanted to make sure got some love on our NRBQ songs list. Oh and by the way, as of this writing, the Yankees are 6 and 1 starting the 2024 season out. Can you say Juan Soto?

# 8 – Me And The Boys

In the eighth spot on our 10 NRBQ Songs Everyone Should Know list, we present the riff-filled song “Me And The Boys.” The song was originally released in 1980 and written by Terry Adams. If the song sounds familiar to you, you might remember the version that Dave Edmunds did in 1982. You may also remember the cover version done by Bonnie Raitt. Great songs are covered by great artists.

# 7 – Over Your Head

In the number seven position on our 10 NRBQ Songs, Everyone Should Know list is the hard-rocking song “Over Your Head.” The band has never shied away from writing about current events. That’s why so many people loved the band. The song “Over Your Head” was written about the Gulf War. The song “Over Your Head” was released on the album Message for the Mess Age. The record was released in 1994. Guitarist Al Anderson lays out a smoking guitar solo in the middle of the track.

# 6 – Get That Gasoline Blues

Do you remember the gas shortages of 1979 and 1973? What a nightmare that was. I was graduating high school in 1979 when many of my friends could not get to my graduation party because the country would only let you buy gas on odd or even days depending on the last number of your license plate. The NRBQ song here was written about the 1973 crisis. I was 12 at the time, and it didn’t really matter much to me because I was living in the Bronx, where not many people drove. And I was 12. But for many, the 1973 gas crisis was a nightmare. NRBQ tried adding a little humor to it.

# 5 – Wacky Tobacky

At the halfway point on our 10 NRBQ Songs, Everyone Should Know list is the tripping song “Wacky Tobacky.” I mean, how could you not love a song called “Wacky Tobacky?” I mean, it is pretty clear that what they are talking about is a joint. It’s a pretty original way of explaining it. I love it. The song “Wacky Tobacky” was issued on the album entitled Kick Me Hard. The album was released in 1979.

# 4 – Captain Lou

The song “Captain Lou,” composed by Al Anderson and Terry Adams, is a tribute to the famous wrestler Lou Albano and showcases the well-known sense of humor associated with NRBQ. This lively, party anthem is featured on the album Tapdancin’ Bats, released by the band in 1983. The album is unique in that it is comprised entirely of archival material, offering fans a glimpse into the band’s history and evolution. Adding to the song’s charm, Lou Albano himself contributes some amusing spoken word segments, further cementing “Captain Lou” as a fun and memorable track that embodies NRBQ’s distinctive style and playful spirit.

# 3 – It’s A Wild Weekend

The opening riff on this one always reminded me of a sped-up version of the Cars “My Best Friend’s Girl. The song “It’s A Wild Weekend” was released on the album also titled It’s A Wild Weekend. The album was released in 1989. It’s sounds almost out of place in 1989. It definitely has more of a 1970s groove and melody, almost Dave Edmunds like. There is some great soloing in the middle of the track.

# 2 – Magnet

This one just makes you feel good. I love the piano solos in the middle of the song; the way it just flows over that mid-tempo groove is just so captivating. The entire Magnet and Steel premise in the song reminds me of Walter Egan’s massive summer of 1978 hit “Magnet And Steel” that featured Stevie Nicks on backing vocals. NRBQ’s “Magnet” was released in 1972 on their sophomore album Scraps.

# 1 -Ridin’ In My Car

We conclude our list of 10 NRBQ songs everyone should know with the exceptional track “Ridin’ In My Car,” arguably the band’s most beloved song. Its enduring popularity is well-deserved; it’s a song that uplifts your mood while simultaneously stirring a sense of nostalgia. “Ridin’ In My Car” epitomizes the quintessential theme of the one that got away, making it a timeless piece in NRBQ’s repertoire. The song was released on the album All Hopped Up, which was released in 1977.

10 NRBQ Songs Everyone Should Know article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
System Of A Down Songs
Top 10 System Of A Down Songs
Mastodon Songs
Top 10 Mastodon Songs
Paul Simon Songs
Top 10 Paul Simon Songs
Doors Albums
The Doors Albums Ranked
Rod Stewart Albums
Top 10 Rod Stewart Albums
Rock Supergroups that released only one studio album
15 Rock Supergroups That Released Only One Studio Album
Kiss Albums
Top 10 Kiss Albums
Aaron Leigh of Y&T
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 2 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
Peter Frampton
Frampton, Foreigner, Ozzy, & Dave Matthews Band Voted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Best Of Bruce Springsteen
2024 Best Of Bruce Springsteen CD Comes With No Rare Tracks
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
Nathan Salsburg Interview
Singer/Songwriter Nathan Salsburg on His New Record, ‘All Gist’
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Glenn Frey Albums
Complete List Of Glenn Frey Albums And Discography
The Cure Albums
Complete List Of The Cure Albums And Discography
Bob Seger Albums
Complete List Of Bob Seger Albums And Discography
ZZ Top Albums, Discography
Complete List Of ZZ Top Albums And Discography
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review