Link Wray – Be What You Want to Polydor PD 5047 (1973)
After releasing the lo-fi cult classic Link Wray, recorded in a converted chicken coop on his family’s farm, Link Wray made overt efforts to produce a more commercially palatable sound on this, another of his albums for a major-label contract with Polydor. He had done that before. The new recordings on Yesterday — Today leaned toward the hippie rock of the Woodstock generation, and earlier Link had made forays into the teen idol realm. It’s hard to blame him, because he was always better than his sales and popularity reflected. Just don’t come to Be What You Want to expecting the wild rockabilly of his 1950s and early 60s output. This is country-rock — comparisons to Squeeze and Behind Closed Doors (both released the same year) are appropriate. Yet Link, as usual, gives it just enough twists to keep it interesting. Though this may try to be a fairly generic country-rock outing, complete with guest spots from Jerry Garcia, Peter Kaukonen, and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, the results are above-average. The highlight is probably the title track.