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Dregs of the Earth/Unsung Heroes/Industry Standard *


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  • This BGO 2014 three-fer rounds up the three albums the Dixie Dregs made in the early '80s, right after leaving Capricorn Records: 1980's Dregs of the Earth, 1981's Unsung Heroes, and 1982's Industry Standard. The latter two were credited to "the Dregs," a sign that the group was attempting to distance itself from its beginnings, which was true. Usually, such a move would signal a shift into the mainstream but the Dregs wound up going full-on into fusion; it made sense to shed the "Dixie" because that suggested they were backwoods, when they were sophisticated. All three records here, even Dregs of the Earth, are somewhat in debt to Jeff Beck's trailblazing Blow by Blow but often the elements are more balanced on a Dregs record, giving more space for every instrumentalist, which helps all three records -- which are all cut from the same cloth -- seem alive and nimble, even if the production and effects do clearly evoke their time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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