The essential 'Q'

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By Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / June 5, 2011

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Without question, the appeal of NRBQ is best understood by seeing them perform live. The band never plays with a set list, so each show is a wild and unpredictable blend of rock, jazz, Tin Pan Alley, and whatever else strikes their musical fancy. But over the course of 40 years, NRBQ has released several fine albums, including “Scraps,’’ “At Yankee Stadium,’’ and “Tiddlywinks.’’ While Terry Adams is the band’s most prolific writer, Joey Spampinato and Al Anderson also made major contributions to the NRBQ catalog. Here’s a highly arbitrary selection of some essential NRBQ tunes — or, in a few cases, tunes by others recorded by NRBQ.

1. DO YOU FEEL IT? from “Scraps’’ (Terry Adams)

2. MAGNET from “Scraps’’ (Adams/Joey Spampinato)

3. ONLY YOU from “Scraps’’ (Spampinato)

4. AIN’T IT ALRIGHT from “Scraps’’ (Adams/Steve Ferguson)

5. RIDIN’ IN MY CAR from “All Hopped Up’’ (Al Anderson)

6. GREEN LIGHTS from “At Yankee Stadium’’ (Adams/Spampinato)

7. I LOVE HER, SHE LOVES ME from “At Yankee Stadium’’ (Spampinato)

8. IT COMES TO ME NATURALLY from “At Yankee Stadium’’ (Anderson)

9. GET RHYTHM from “At Yankee Stadium’’ (Johnny Cash)

10. ME AND THE BOYS from “Tiddlywinks’’ (Adams)

11. YOU CAN’T HIDE from “Tiddlywinks’’ (Spampinato)

12. RAIN AT THE DRIVE-IN from “Grooves in Orbit’’ (Adams)

13. ROCKET IN MY POCKET from “Diggin’ Uncle Q’’ (Jimmie Logsdon)

14. LITTLE FLOATER from “Wild Weekend’’ (Adams)

15. HOUSEKEEPING from “NRBQ’’ (Adams/Spampinato)

From the new album, "Keep This Love Goin'."
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