Liner Note Author: Ian McFarlane.
Recording information: Criteria Studios, Miami, FloridaBobby Colomby (1979-01-??&1979-02-??&1979-); Studio One, Doraville, Georgia (1979-01-??&1979-02-??&1979-); The Fedco Mobile Recording Truck (1979-01-??&1979-02-??&1979-); The Sound Pit, Atlanta, Georgia (1979-01-??&1979-02-??&1979-).
Raven's 2015 double-disc set contains the four albums Mother's Finest recorded for Epic between 1976 and 1979. The set runs somewhat out of order, opening with 1976's Mother's Finest -- their second album named that; the first was a 1972 LP for RCA not included here -- and then comes 1979's Mother's Finest Live, which spills onto the second disc that also contains 1977's Another Mother Further and 1978's Mother Factor. All four albums are steeped in the late '70s, a hybrid of crunching arena rock and post-Sly Stone funk that showcases harmony vocals and guitar theatrics in equal measure. If the records still feel very much of their time -- the lingo and the rhythms date as much as the guitar solos -- they also seem bracingly alive and much harder both in its attack and volume. They're well worth a listen. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine