Home Read Classic Album Review: Earl Slick | Zig Zag

Classic Album Review: Earl Slick | Zig Zag

The superstar guitar slinger enlists a VIP cast for this long-overdue solo outing.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Legendary guitar slinger Earl Slick has played on so many albums over the decades, I bet even he couldn’t remember them all.

But with Zig Zag, he’s finally remembered to make one of his own for the first time in over a decade. And as you might expect from a guy who’s backed up everyone from David Bowie and Ian Hunter to John Lennon, Slick gets by with a little help from some very capable friends (if sometimes surprising) on these 10 cuts of sophisticated post-glam guitar rock. The Cure’s Robert Smith pours his romantic melancholy all over Believe, Spacehog’s Royston Langdon glams it up on the title cut, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott unleashes his pipes on the hooky Psycho Twang, and bossman Bowie pitches in on the spaced-out Isn’t it Evening. The revolving-door vocals — along with Slick’s apparently ingrained habit of playing as unobtrusively as possible — give the disc a disjointed feel, and sometimes leave him seeming like a sideman instead of the star. But Zig Zag still has enough high points that you — and hopefully Earl — will remember it for a while.