The James Gang: “Walk Away” (1971)

A hit single that might have turned a less humble band’s head.

Kronomyth 3.1: Walk this way.

While Joe Walsh was undeniably the centerpiece of The James Gang, drummer Jim Fox was its linchpin. I would tell you that his drum riff on Walk Away is even more memorable than Walsh’s guitar. It’s what makes the song for me, like the opening drum riff on Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run” or Joey Kramer’s backbeat on “Walk This Way.” That *snap* of the guitar and drums in unison is pure rock & roll magic.

For some reason, the labels cut out the guitar solo in the middle of the song, trimming it down to under three minutes for the single version. I’m pretty sure thirty seconds of Joe Walsh soloing wouldn’t have killed anyone. For the flip side, the instrumental Yadig? was pressed into service, a jazzy excursion featuring Fox on vibes. In Japan, Midnight Man (one of my favorite songs from Thirds) was the B side.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Walk Away (Joe Walsh) (2:50)
B1. Yadig? (Jim Fox/Dale Peters/Joe Walsh) (2:30)

Original 7-inch single version (Japan)
A1. Walk Away (Joe Walsh)
B1. Midnight Man (Joe Walsh)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in May 1971* in the US (ABC, 45-11301), the UK (Probe, PRO 533), Denmark (ABC, PRO 533), Germany (Probe, 1C 006-92 510), Italy (Probe, 3C 006-92510) and Japan (Probe, IPR-2949) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #51 on the US charts. (*First appeared in 5/8/71 issue of Billboard.)

Walk Away 45 rpm sleeve
1971 Japan Probe IPR-2949 picture sleeve

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