Thorogood, George (1952—)

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Thorogood, George (1952—)

George Thorogood's gritty blues-rock music earned him the title of "today's master of yesterday's rock 'n' roll" and brought a working-class consciousness to the 1980s pop scene. Beginning as a blues guitarist in the vein of Elmore James and Hound Dog Taylor, Thorogood and his group the Destroyers crossed over to a pop/rock audience in 1978 with his cover of Hank Williams's "Move It On Over." In 1982 he released his major-label debut, Bad to the Bone, and its title track remains his best-known single, due in large part to its repeated exposure on MTV.

Though three subsequent albums all went gold, Thorogood's audience began to shrink. His only major success in the 1990s was the single "Haircut," a rebellion against authority figures who urged the song's protagonist to "get a haircut, and get a real job." Thorogood nevertheless continued to tour and record, releasing a "comeback" album, Rockin' My Life Away, in 1997.

—Marc R. Sykes

Further Reading:

Stambler, Irwin. Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul. New York, St.Martin's Press, 1989.