Blackfoot – “Siogo” (1983)

BlackfootBlackfoot were a ramblin’ band out of Jacksonville, Florida.  They were fronted by the wild-eyed Rickey Medlocke.  Blackfoot reached their commercial peak with the ’79 album Strikes (now certified platinum).  But the two studio albums that followed — the excellent Tomcattin’ (1980) and the solid Marauder (1981) saw the band’s sales decline.  Southern rock was considered all but dead by those who considered such things for the rest of us.  Blackfoot (an especially hard rockin’ Southern rock band) needed to adapt or die.  They added keyboardist Ken Hensley (ex-Uriah Heep) to help bring the Blackfoot sound into the eighties.  With Hensley in the mix and label pressure to deliver a more commercially viable record, Blackfoot wound up losing a little of their edge and quite a bit of their southern flavor on Siogo.  Nevertheless, Rickey and the boys were still cooking with some fire, and Siogo (which is an acronym for “suck it or get out”) wound up being a pretty serviceable Blackfoot record.  Now let’s not get crazy, as nothing here matches the majestic heights of past Blackfoot gems like Warped, Good Morning, or Every Man Should Know (Queenie), but Siogo will still do in a pinch.  Unfortunately Siogo failed commercially and Blackfoot (and their label) went into full-on panic mode for its follow-up Vertical Smiles (1984).  My score: B


2 thoughts on “Blackfoot – “Siogo” (1983)

  1. i dug this lp out from my collection to listen to the the other day and the production sounded excellent and i am still hearing “send me an angel” ringing through my head, superb song. i enjoyed it so much i thought i would retry “vertical smile” thinking that maybe through time passing that i maybe be able to appreciate it more!! well I quite enjoyed side A but could not handle the overtly commercial sounding 2nd side. so of it went back into the collection

  2. The last great Blackfoot release. The inclusion of Ken Hensley works surprisingly well and I didn’t mind the more commercial direction as the songs were well written. And ‘White Man’s Land’ is classic BF all the way. Btw, check out Charlie Hargrett’s website for some great insight into Blackfoot history, particularly this period as the band, pressured by a changing musical climate and MTV becoming more important, slowly lost the plot (w/ Charlie bailing out in the early stages of ‘Vertical Smiles’ – what a HORRIBLE album that was!). P.S.: There is a raw sounding but great live CD from the ‘Siogo’ tour, originally a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast, which includes a ripping cover of Uriah Heep’s ‘Easy Livin”. Usually can be had for a buck or less on Amazon (there at least 3 different versions of the same thing).

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