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George Thorogood has always found his blues-rock guitar inspiration from Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and Chuck Berry. George Thorogood never earned much respect from blues purists, but he became a popular favorite in the early '80s through repeated exposure on FM radio and the arena rock circuit.
George Thorogood's music was always loud, simple, and direct - Thorogood's riffs and licks were taken straight out of '50s Chicago blues and rock & roll - but his formulaic approach helped him gain a rather large audience in the '80s, when George Thorogood's albums regularly went gold.
George Thorogood was originally a minor-league baseball player but decided to become a musician in 1970 after seeing John Paul Hammond in concert. Three years later, Thorogood assembled the Destroyers in his home state of Delaware; in addition to Thorogood, the band featured bassist Michael Lenn, second guitarist Ron Smith, and drummer Jeff Simon. Shortly after the group was formed, Thorogood moved them to Boston, where they became regulars on the blues club circuit. In 1974, they cut a batch of demos which were later released in 1979 as the Better Than the Rest album.
Within a year of recording the demos, the Destroyers were discovered by John Forward, who helped them secure a contract with Rounder Records. Before they made their first album, Lenn was replaced by Billy Blough. Thorogood & the Destroyers' eponymous debut was released in early 1977. Thorogood & the Destroyer's second album, Move It On Over, was released in 1978. The title track, a cover of Hank Williams' classic, was pulled as a single and it received heavy FM airplay, helping Thorogood & the Destoyers' album enter the American Top 40 and go gold. Its success led to MCA's release of Better Than the Rest, which the band disdained.
In 1980, Ron Smith left the band and the group added a saxophonist, Hank Carter, and released their third album, More George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Following the release of More George Thorogood, the guitarist signed with EMI Records, releasing his major-label debut, Bad to the Bone, in 1982. The title track of the album became his first major crossover hit, thanks to MTV's saturation airplay of the song's video. The album went gold and spent nearly a full year on the charts. Thorogood's next three albums after Bad to the Bone all went gold. Between Bad to the Bone and Thorogood's next album, 1985's Maverick, the Destroyers added a second guitarist, Steve Chrismar.
By the beginning of the '90s, George Thorogood's audience began to decrease. None of the albums Thorogood released went gold, even though the title track from 1993's Haircut was a number two album rock hit. Despite his declining record sales, Thorogood continued to tour blues and rock clubs and he usually drew large crowds; subsequent efforts include 1997's Rockin' My Life Away, 1999's Half a Boy/Half a Man, and Live in '99.
Goerge Thorogood and the Destroyers released two retrospective albums in 2000; Encore Collection: Extended Versions and Anthology.
Thorogood released two more albums in 2003; Rounder Heritage Series: Who Do You Love? and Ride ‘Til I Die
And again in 2004 Thorogood release two more albums; 30th Aniversary Tour Live In Europe and Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock.
In 2006, George Thorogood and the Destroyers continue the deluge of album releases with The Hard Stuff.
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