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CJwin 3 MUSIC STORE, INC.
The Shakin' Street Gazette Stoff Editor: Gary Sperrazza ! Contents Mott the Hoople ..... .. . . .. . .. . . .. ...... ... . . .. .... . ..... . . ......Page 4 Roxy Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 6 Rockwriters Symposium: Clip and Save!. . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 Long Players ........... . ..... . ..... . ... . .... .. ... . . . ... ... . .. .. Page11 Blue Oyster Cult Coach and Ref: Michael Sajecki Managing Editor : Joe Fernbacher Staffoids: Andy Cutler Jim Bunnell
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Mitch "J .D." Hejna Mr. Potatohead Juicy Lucy Perrone Bob Kozak Chris Sajecki Dave Meinzer Steve Malowski Carol Panaro Melissa Beckman
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Cold Cuts ......... . ...... . ..... . .... . ..... . .......... .. .... .. ..Page 19 Concerts ..... . ... . .... . ... . .... ...·..... . ............ .. . . .. . . . .Page 22 The Shakin' Street Gazette is published by the students of the State University College at Buffalo , 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14222. Located in Student Union Room 420, telephone (716) 862-4531 . Contributions for Shakin' Street are welcome, both from students and non -students, however, we accept no responsibility for their return . --- •··· ·······-·· --- - ----- - - ·-------- 1he Shakin' St. Gazette ........................................................................................ Vol. 1, Number 11
Gary Panetski Michael Gallo Distribution : Ron Camacho Advertising : Dan Bender
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HERE'S AN OPEN INVITATION TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON AT PINE RIDGE AND GENESEE STREET. YOU WONT BE SORRY! STOP IN AND PARTY WITH US. WE'RE NEW AND ANXIOUS TO PLEASE .
your LPeez at the RECORD office from Friday, ·May 3 on._· vw'r~ preparing our spanking new Shakin' St. office as of this writing
DUMB CONTEST RESULTS: The Jefferson Airplane are seen above, laughing at the winners of the entire Jefferson Airplane catalogue: Amy Jaffe and Jill Model (Jill Model? With a name like that, why aren't you on the staff?) of TWR 3. Pick up
No, Mott hasn't changed and yes_, Ariel doesn't fit in. Coming hot on the heels of what many Hooplephiliacs feel is their best album (Mott peaking at No. 33 in Billboard) and an American tour last fall 1 was a growing fear that one of the most superb English bands of the past 10 years w~uld melt under the pressure that commercial success would bring. Mott have skirted this problem by turning themselves into a manufactured symbol, a $5.98 product of rock 'n' roll and the revolution. If only the counterculture would've realized that rock 'n' roll is the revolution, things would've been much different.
Mott have redirected their aggression . Before, it was vented towards everyone; on Brain Capers (still my favorite), it was done towards the very fans themselves. At other times, they would speak past the fans and the Kidz loved it cuz Mott was the only band to react in such a violent manner, while still resigning themselves to their inevitable break-up. When Bowie helped to get them back together (resulting in All the Young Dudes), _Ian began to become self-conscious about his position in a rock 'n' roll band, especially when he took center-stage. Organist Verden Allen, disenchanted with the band's new pop direction, left. Their , sixth LP Mott, is released; high placings in the British charts were achieved with "All the Way from Memp~J.s" and "Honaloochie Boogie;" The band's extraordinary guitarist, Mick Ralphs, leaves to form Bad Company with ex-Free men Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke. Ian Hunter is left, with his discovery of a success formula, a love for rock 'n' roll and a record company, Columbia, anxious to help them conquer the States.
-Early Mott, lookin' for the City Kidz.
-Mott during Dudes: what's so funny?
teenage movement is "fashionable." Let's face it: everybody wants to be young: why do you think we've got fat middle-aged program directors deciding what gets played on what is supposed to be the teenage rock stations? So 1 everything Mott has been striking for is going to end up watered down: this time it won't be the band's fault, it'll be the audience ...... FUCK! For now: back to the band. 'They're playing as good as ever. Morgan Fisher and Mick Bolton toured with Mott last year but only Morgan was kept: one keyboardist is enough. Mick Ralphs is on one cut here, but the rest of the lead guitarist chores are left to Ariel Bender nee Spooky Tooth's Luther Grosvenor. Ariel is a nuisance, much like a fly buzzing around your head, but he's pretty easy to ignore, as Ian doesn't let him surface very oft~n. In fact, Ian's songs don't leave much room for improvisation and soloing: they're tight, concise and effective . "Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll"is the current single; su,ch a feeling of exhilaration, that beautiful richness of sound that is Mott's and Mott's alone. It's very much like "All the Way from Memphis" with sax and background vocals; Ariel does a n_oisy, stupid solo like Ian's puppet-on cue. "Marionette" has Hunter more forceful in his vocals, clasping to intonations his voice Ga[l't handle. But that's OK, like I emphasize, it's the spirit: Hunter's _continuing preoccupation with suppression of the individual through his music. Rock 'n' roll is the power to bring people together. Closely related to "Angeline", "Alice" is about a 42nd street lady who takes her aspirations to Hollywood. Ian removes himself to a vantage point where he then comments on his life, the state of rock 'n' roll, 11nd various characters in the rock 'n' roll culture. The culture is still strong but empty without proper figureheads. I know Ian would like to be one of the figurehead~ (he's achieved it to some degree, being voted as the number four Valuable Player in Creem's Readers Poll) and with the music that the rock 'n' roll culture thrives in being scarce, it depicts a return to earlier days when rock 'n' roll was scarce. "Crash Street Kids" was originally "Bash Street Kids," as was to be the name of the album. here the Kidz are strong and
win, en masse, as opposed to "Marionette" where the individual, alone, loses. A very scorching rocker, but Ariel's leads stick out here- · so noisy and unfitting. He hasn't the emotional understanding of Ian's songs and hence, can't play just the right things at the right time, like Mike Ralphs. "Born Late" sees bassist Overend Watts' first songwriting' contribution. Although it's a bit untypical of the band, Overend's the real rock 'n' roll star anyway and it's a rambunctiously naive rocker. Ian's ode to his wife, "Song for Trudi", isn't grabbing at first, but its' delicacy and sheer elegance seduces with a soft, loving melody. One wonders which he loves more. "Pearl 'n' Roy" is a roller with solid backbeat a la Wizzard's "Ball Park Incident" and "See My Baby Jive", and perhaps a reference to Wizzard leader Roy Wood in the lyrics ("Roy atta boy"). Rumor even has it that Roy produced some unreleased Mott tunes before Dudes. Ending the album, there is the previous English sfngle (an awfully schlocky "Roll Away the Stone") and a heavily orchestrated "Through the Looking Glass", where Ian's introspection wears a bit thin. Lately, Mott's material have been toysongs like Alice Cooper's singles. And since the best song on Mott was Mick Ralph's "I'm Your Cadillac" (y'know: SONG), this album could've used even one Mick Ralphs track, to round it all out, but alas, he's gonP Rather than speaking to an unknown mass of people, now Mott are .speaking for a new generation. And that new generation •be it ty_pified by a particular age group or simply a school of thou~t-~11 cling to Mott, thus, their own ideals. There is trouble in that the more of an audience the band accumulates, the sillier their "Crash St. Kids" are comin' to get ya'" lines wll sound. Because if everybody likes them, to whom are they directing their lines to? In fact, it's because Mott frequently speaks past their fans that makes Kidz feel like they're caught up in a movement. And as Mott shouts "Don't mess with our sound", no true rock 'n' roller can afford not to submit and bask in the joy of the one and only Mott the Hoople. -Gory Sperrozzol
So with The Hoople, the formula has been achieved: people are coming back to grips with rock 'n' roll and the concept of the punk; so set Ian up as a punk-poet and a symbol of the growing trend, write songs that will rally the fans with them . Mott's popularity rises, Columbia does a massive prbmo push tying in with their U.S. to·ur presently in progress and the LP may even peak at say . . Number 20. So they'll be successful, right? Wrong. Because to garner that much in sales, there better be a lot of rock 'n' roll Kidz out there and I don't think that the ½ million who buy The Hoople will be the Kidz . The movement has just been re-set into motion and it boils down to a ma~ter of timing. Sincethere'snot enough of these Kidz yet, the . kind of Kid that Ian loves to sing about, you're going to get pseudo-hip 20 year-old,s and up who haven't the . foggie~t understanding about what the band represents, but will buy it cuz word got around that the band is "chic" and the whole
l'h o lo by Dag Bumst e ad
Songs from Europe: Roxy music's 'Stronded' -Gory Sperrozzo!
they seem to be amused with the idea and toy with the listener. Even the cover of their newest, Stranded, has Playboy's Playmate of the Year, Marilyn Cole, sweaty and looking ripe for consumption, washed up on a jungle island. There was supposed to be a four foot poster of Marilyn inside, but apparently the idea was scrapped. Stranded is a sparkling collection of driving rock (theirs is among the best around) and deeper, mood pieces evoking "Brian Ferry, once caricaturizing greasy audacity, now envisions himself as some sort of cocktail crooner" -Andy Cutler images of Paris streets at 3 A.M ., New York's gutters before sunrise and an amusement park at midnight. "Street Life," a top British single, is punk-rock in space: excellent trebly guitar playing a four chord riff with Mackay and Jobson overlaying their touches and Ferry slashing out the confusions of a night of slinking. "Just Like You" sports a gorgeous · piano-laden melody that is short and to the point with Jobson and Mackay providing the orchestra and a corny cocktail-jazzy ending. It's important to note the way Andy Mackay is so important in creating the distinctive sound that is Roxy's. Roxy Music, along with Wizzard, are the only pop bands to feature sax upfront, where it belongs, and Mackay (in the process of recording a solo album before Ro_xy's U.S. tour soon) is a joy to hear! He has an emotional and technical mastery of the sax like I've never heard and ever-so-subtley laces the music with just enough of the right notes at the right time and his solos always leave me gawking. "Amozona" is a funky little escapade
with upfront guitaring, dreamy passages and phased frills with Ferry speaking the lyrics a la Maurice Chevalier. Beneath the music is an unclerrurren~ of tape noise adding to the tension. Like I've insinuated before, much care is put into the band's songs an·d when they employ a new idea, it works. Especially now that Eno's experimental excessiveness is gone as opposed to Ferry's calculated subtlety. Eno is ~rthy of attention in his own right, but in this band he created more of a diversion. Ferry's idea becomes a bit strained in "Psalm," a protracted prayer of sorts that, along with "Sunset" on Side two, provide the lower points on the album. But it is there, and only there, that attention wanes. Side two is the better of the sides, with an up-tempo "Serenade." Mention would be made of the excellent production, sometimes employing the same echo-y sound of Roy Wood's Wizzard, both of whom borrowed the idea from Mr. Phil Spector. With Roxy, it simply lends to the dark, dim mysteriousness they like so well to romp in. "Song for Europe" is pure eviden-;;e ~f · this. This particular song is a veritable perfection and since it is a joke on the Eurovision Contest, a competItIon spanning all of Europe for contributions from top composers, it might easily have won if Ferry had entered it. This soundtrack-like extravaganza has Ferry sitting in a French cafe· crying in his coffee over his love. It's a sad but powerful number with majestic breaks and solid backing. When the music builds to its incredible climax with Mackay's sax wailing frustrations, it becomes haunting, chilling even, but Roxy always come through to comfort as they're always
STRANDED Roxy Music (Atco/Atlantic) Class.
plain old Art (No L'accent grave, puhleeze). Quite a winning combination. So the story continues: the band's sales were practically nil in the States and Warner Bros. issues the Ultimate Insult by dropping Roxy Music from their label. Bryan Ferry gets solo LP itches and records an album of his favorite songs. These Foolish Things was a highly amusing, enjoyable LP (sort of a Roxy Music Plays the Hits) and it showed it's riot what Ferry does, but how he does it. Ferry stamped his voice (as distinctive as Family's Roger Chapman, but higher and more quivering with a self-conscious campiness) on "It's My Party," "Don't Worry, Baby," "You Won't See Me" and had a hit in Er;igland with "The Times "Roxy Music would make a great comic book" -Andy Cutler They Are-A Changing." Meanwhile, becoming increasingly unnecessary as the band solidified, Eno leaves the band to persue his experiments. He recorded a solo LP with King Crimson's Bob Fripp with the intention of making "an album you can play at any speed ." No Pussyfooting was just that: Fripp plays a guitar note and Eno synthesizes it for 20 minutes. This is avant-garde? Eno then made an album with the Winkies called Here Come the Warm Jets, and as his contribution to pop, it's quite a listenable collection of short tunes. Which leads us back to Roxy Music, who recruited ex -Curved Air violinist Eddie Jobson, leaving it up to each member to synthesize their own instruments. At this stage, Roxy has carved for themselves a very Continental fee·J, shrouded in mystery. Decadent? Mayhaps, but quite self-conscious and
Lyrics from "Do the Strand" on For Your Pleasur~.
The kind of full-blown charismatic joy that seemed lost since Marlene Deitrich, Bogart and Gene Vincent. In pop music, the polished sparkle of tight musicianship, superb arrangement, a tinge of tackiness and, most importantly.a sense of humor. We've got Roxy Music. Well-educated Britons come together to channel their intellectual capacity to rock music .• Bryan Ferry, a teacher-scholar and OJ (he played the Move's "Fire Brigade" every night) meets with Andy Mackay. a sax and oboe player from the London School's Symphony Orchestra. Then comes Eno, experienced in the use of tapes and synthesizers, weaned on the avant-ga.-disms of John Cage and Terry Riley. Guitarist Phil Manzanera is next, replacing ex-Nice man David O'List. Rounding out the band is Paul Thompson, a solid, steady drummer who came to the band as a result of a Melody Maker ad. The band releases Roxy Music to the accompaniment of heavy coverage in the British press. Then comes a single, "Pyjamarama," not on any album, which promptly r.ises to the tops of the British charts. A huge following is Roxy's by the ti me For Your Pleasure had been released. By this time.the audience had looked beyond the initial flash and seen the core of Roxy's music: taking the essence of 50's rock 'n' roll and filtering it through a 50's conception of 1990, with one eye on the melodrama and glamour of Hollywood and another eye on 'intelligent' artistic triumphs, whether it be in the cinema, the theatre, literature or
"There's a new sensation. A fabulous creation. A danceable solution. To teenage revolution.
Do the Strand love. When you feel love. It's the new way. That's why we say: Do the Strand.
Tired of the ~,:,go? , Fed up with fandango? Dance on moonbeams. Slide on rainbows. In furs or blue jeans. You know what I mean... Do the Strand. Bored of the beguine? The sambo ain't your scene? Weary of the waltz. And mashed potato schmaltz. Then do the Strand. The Sphinx and Mona Lisa. Lolita and Guernica. Did the Strand.
-Andy Mackay, in Shcuke Singapore."
"The Sax that
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Roxy are a flashy band, just oozing style and class . Their stage show is a gaseous fantasy and they 're as tight and rich live as on record - largely responsible for this is Paul Thompson's always perfect drumming. "Thomas Mann in Buddenbrooks characterizes the decline and dissolution of a prominent family with the increase in its members' interest in art and learning." Nonetheless, Ferry (now · recording a follow-up to These Foolish Things) seems a bit distressed at those who read of the superficial flash (I'm sure he'd admit, it does make for good press) and think Roxy have no real m'usical substance. Roxy Music are probably the most creative force in rock, a satisfying blend of intellect and gut-churning rock, much more effective than, say, an Electric Light Orchestra or a Proco! Harum. Ferry is, on one revel, intrigued by high art and has a knowledgable grasp of it. But on the other, he is moved by the craziness of pop art, the crude humor of Chuck Berry, the tartan jackets of Bill Haley, with sax • players standing on their heads, jiving around. And it is that chameleon-like ability which makes U.S./Americana, Europe/Continental interchangable in Roxy Music .
intelligence, they're great teasers, flirting with the classics and will entice you just enough to submit, then they'll shock you. Some people Ii ke the surprise, others don't. Roxy's basic line-up of guitar, drums, keyboards, violin, sax and various synthesizing toys provide the ideal set-up for dabbling in any area they want. Not surprisingly, they've opted to create their own distinctive sound, a mean feat these days. It's teenage-y, yet adult; commercial yet progressing, silly yet intelligent. They've h~d trouble getting a steady bass player. The first LP had Rik Kenton, the second had Little Feat's John Porter, Strand.ed has John Gustafson, bass player from an excellent group called Ouatermass (with one Harvest LP) and another called Hard Stuff (with two LPeez), he's since rejoined Ouatermass' Pete Robinson in Shawn Phillips' backing band, leaving Roxy bass-less again. Interesting is the fact that Bryan Ferry is not the effete pseudo-intellectual one would expect from a band with such educational discipline in the music and the artistic, literary references in the lyrics. Ferry doesn't pretend to know, he does know ai:,d his choice to apply it to
conscious of the effects they're achieving and rarely get bogged down in the excessiveness that hampered "Psalm" and "Sunset." To break out from the melancholy remembrances of "Song," next is "Mother of Pearl," a bouncy punk-like rocker that sizzles and slides with a double set of lyrics sung simultaneously. "Eno once busied himself amplifying the travel of earthworms." -Andy Cutler One set has Ferry yelling things like "Turn the lights down, the music up, it's a crazy scene" and the other is Ferry, introspective, wondering of his future. He says Yes, the other side says No. Back and forth. Ferry sings in his Jello-voice, "Well, I've been up all night (again) party-time wasting is too much fun/ Then I step back thinkirig_o_f life'~ _inner meaning and ·my latest f-llling." It's funny, yet serious at fhe same ti me . Maybe you've yet to hear of this extraordinary band. Some of the people " that have heard them like to throw words Iike eSQteric, submerged, pretentious (Boy, am I tired of that word) in · describing ' the band . Yeah, it's much easier to dismiss them than to take the time to listen to what's going on here . Christ, they're not obscure-a, Rox.y are just not ,ts ,iccessible as to insult your
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SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE Long Ployers Bil E ()' ~rEH (:l 1:r SE<'.nl·TTHE \JIFS and split homeward with visions of oyster shells dancing in my skull.
l ou"d like to do it l<1 ffl) daughtt'r?
Any ole way you choose it, the Oysters are the best thing that's happened to rock 'n' roll since the Velvets. Cause boy , they are so powerful that e11en Howdy Doody would shit his brains out after listenin' to those twisted lyrics of such bourgeois tunes as "Hot Rails to Hell" (from their second album , Tyranny and Mutation) in which Buck and Alan viciously chirp and the guitar solos wc_:>uld "burn your eyes out." Secret Treaties follows the same format of Tyranny and Mutation. The songs keep comin', one after another and before your mind can peak, climax and shudder from one listening, another tune immediately takes your brain on another mad romp. That's what I like about the Cult, no bullshit, just straight nonsense and hard reelin'. Like my friend the Dylan freak went apeshit tryin' to find out what some of these lyrics mean . Ha! Sandy, Richard , you mad minds have done us in again. Then you've got drummer Al Bouchard belting out the lyrics in a mad battle in "Dominance and Submission," with even some nicey-nice nostalgia and three part harmony. The heavy metal roller coaster ride to oblivion continues with "ME 262," about the deadliest German fighter plane of WW 11 . "Cagey Cretins" is all about the assholes on Capitol Hill, "Harvester of Eyes" was written after having seen a TV commercial about cancer of the eyes. Skip the drugee song and it all ends with the mild ballbuster "Astronomy." You Cult freaks will eat this cosmania right up. Oh yeah, you can't miss the album cover, just look for a sketch with a bunch of enigmatic hunks of flesh who appear ready to hijack the German Luftwaffe and land it on your girlfriend's bed. Actually I lied before, I stole this here album but what the hell, this album is great. I wouldn 't risk getting caught shoplifting for just anything, y'know. -Mitch Hejna
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Blue O'Cult SECRET TREATIES Blue Oyster Cult (Columbia)
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I wearily trudged into the nearest rip-off record dealer tightly grasping in my sweatly little palm the last of my scant income. Th ings were really bad 'cause I even had to go so far as to extinguish the reserve funds for my zit creme lotion. I began looking defiantly at the little bastards until I couldn't stand it no more. "Awright, which one of ya' am I gonna take home with me?" Since nobody answered, I continued my search . Ya see, reco r ds don't have any personality, they just sit there and cause a lot of frustration . It's like you walk into the ozone shopping for the lost chord and what you end up finding is a whole shithouse full of lost chords (Yeah, I dream of days when I'II get up enough nerve to roll one of those little ole ladies that save their pension checks in wax paper) . But outa the corner of my eye, I glanced at and immediately pawed the lone copy of Secret Treaties (Ya see , they're so good that it makes the decision for ya') . Hav ing been complete ly sat isfied with my choice, I began prancing around with th is big shit-eaten grin on my puss gazing at various other gems of vinyl I'd like to rip er, own someday . Afterwards, I planked down the coins
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SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE
SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE
take the word in the wings and buy it. Really, I don't believe there will be a Next Big Thing. At least, not till we stop looking for it, which means we ain't gonna get it this year. And so Big Star ain't the Beatles and Aerosmith ain't the Stones. But as surely as the Brain Caper Kid is the R. Meltzer of the 70's, (The Brain Caper Kid writes a c;olumn entitled "Caged Onstage" (the RECORD), , ' then you should try both the Big Star Radio City and the Aerosmith Get Your Wings albums . Cause if'n you don't, you 're only -cheating yourself - out of 1974's greatest hits. -Bob Kozak.
musician into a fat cat. With Foreigner, many people felt that Cat Stevens was just about ready for a return to the land of Tuberculosis, for said two years. Whether this is really the explanation for Buddah And The Chocolate Box I ~on't know. The Cat realized all the mistakes of his last venture, and Jliminated them this time around, production-wise of course. The album itself is flawlessly produced for a number of reasons. First, the return of Alun Davies on guitar and vocals, rather than using un-emotional studio people like Phil Upchurch (The newest candidate for the C.B.S. House Band). Two, the Cat has re-enlisted the aid of Paul Samwell Smith for production purposes; he was conspicuously absent from Foreigner. Three, the procurement of Del Newman, who you should all have heard of by now, for string arrangements. And four, gluing Jean Rousell's fat ass to the piano stool rather than letting him mess up the production or string arrangements, which he has a marvelous knack for. The album exists on two levels, I I suppose; as a concept album for college kids, especially dead hippies and fat, ugly mammas. On this level, the album is a big zit, just ripe enough for Siddarthian ribbings, and _smart-ass criticisms about Cat Stevens kissing little Buddah's ass. You really can't blame this type of reaction much, in fact, how can you escape it with lyrics Ii ke "Oh very Young, what will you leave us this time, We're only dancing on this earth for a short while. .. " On another level, the album is a child's fantasy, an album for minds from ten to twelve years of age. On this approach, the Cat has scored a marvelous coup . It still is a concept album about something or other, and we really didn't need another one of those melted Milky Way bars. But the Cat was always stupid enough to believe in what he was singing, which eliminates pretentiousness to some- degree. So, the little yo-yo can write lyrics as silly as he wants to (which he does) but nobody minds. There is nothing especially innovative about the Cat's melodies . As many of his earlier melodies were cute so are some of these. Especially worth noting are "Sun . C/78" with some haunting keyboa rd effects by none other than Rou ssell, who is secretly the Budd ah of Cat Steven's
two releases are the only albums 1 've heard with this much fire and excitement since the MC5's last release, High Time, back in 1971. You know a band's got something when they can make you sweat by just having you listen to the album. In fact it might be best to say that each member of Aerosmith is his own man-child, lord of the thighs. The only trouble with this album is that the boys let Alice Cooper-producer Bob Ezrin and a couple of his hacks produce it, the result being that Joe Perry's lead guitar ends up sounding like Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, and I already had enough of them on Muscle of Love and ~ock 'n Roll Animal, all three LPs produced by the Ezrin Camp. I much preferred Adrian Barber's raw production on the first album, butcha can't have everything. Other than that, this album is a humdinger ear-ringer. "Train Kept a Rollin" (and don't bug me with any "Stroll On," "Honey Hush," "Hi Ho Silver" arguments; the riff's good enough to go around a few more times) is great, with even a fake-live part so good that if it hadn't have been painfully obvious that the lead guitar was overdubbed, they could have fooled me . "Seasons of Wither" could be another "Dream On;" I go under everytime 1 hear that twelve string at the climax . (By the way, whoever invented wind sound effects for rock groups must be making a fortune .) "Pandora's Box" - Yup, that's what it's about - contains some great liries: "Everytime Pandora comes my way, I get high, can't explain the sensations .. To get it on, I have to watch what I say, Or I'll catch Hell from Women's Liberation." The rest of the songs willgrab you, stab you, move you and groove you, too, so
Aerosmith GET YOUR WINGS Aerosmith (Columbia),
-Buddahland never had it so good. dreams in disguise. Also, "Jesus" (it ain't as bad as all that, remember, stay away from the lyrics and you won't melt) with some really neat little oriental tinklings here and there. The cut that really tips you off as to what the man is up to, is "A Bad Penny," (Sheesh, Sometimes I think he's asking to be panned); where he sings, "Oh No. Don't say those same idol lies (get it? idol = Buddah). I've heard them before, oh this fool who left half his heart on an early train won't buy no more" Wasn't that fun guessing what he's up to? No more "Peace Trains." And I just know the little ones will derive an- ecstatic pleasure from connecting the Cat's lyrical ramblings with the amateurish art work on the back side of the cover. (Remember the good times we had with the Sgt.Pepper's cover and the dead Pauly deal?) Buddah and the Chocolate Box is an enlightening experi-ence for anyone who's been out of touch with reality for the last twelve years or so. And even though flawless production is poor criteria for judging an album in itself, this didn't stop every reviewer from here to Buddah's crotch from praising the Ringo Starr crapzoid. You can't really tear a children's record to tiny bits and pieces. Th is record is too well crafted, to neatly calculated to be a purposeless bomb. It has to be a purposeful one . I know Cat Stevens is waiting with baited breath for all the reviews which will start out something like this: Once upon a time, in the land of Buddahs, a chocolate Cat Stevens was swallowed whole by a pudgy smiling Buddah whose name is A&M. And I
believe the Cat will have the last laugh this round.
I -Michael Sajecki
Lotsa speculation in the music biz these days. Ya see, it's 1974 and everyone's waiting for the Next Big Thing, 'cause the Last Big Thing, the Beatles, showed in '64 and Elvis, the First Big Thing, showed in '54 (give or take a few months, but you probably aren't old enough to remember anyway, so fake it). "You know" sez Steve Tyler ii:, the grooves of Aerosmith's first album, "dat history repeats itself." He just might be right. So if Big Star are this decade's Beatles, the Sweet likewise(The Who, and Eliott Murphy natch for Bob Dylan, then I guess you could say that Aerosmith are the 70's counterpart to the Rolling Stones. After all, Dylan's been dead for some time now. I'm almost praying the Beatles don't get back together and prove they're just as human and fallible together as apart (which they come dangerously close to proving on their last couple of albums before the break) . The Who are so old and tired they have to take 2½ year rests between albums. And if the Stones's next album is half as bad as Goat's Head Soup, I'll ignore them forever . So why can't we have substitutes, or rather, new blood who happen to have counterparts in the rock age long gone. Especially if the new bands like Aerosmith, are practically as good, or better, than their predecessors. It may be a Iittle inaccurate to cal I Aerosmith a Rolling Stones-type band. A dose relative might be the greatly mourned MC5. That comparison possibly seems a little off the mark at first , Boston and Detroit being world's apart, but I
Cot-olepsy BUDDAH AND THE CHOCOLATE BOX Cat Stevens (A&M) A fat, golden little Buddah sits cross-legged upon the cover of Cat Steve ns' latest: one hand is mystically waving hello to the li'stener (howdy, believer!) and the other with palm out-stretched for the coinage necessary to procure this above mentioned Easter egg . Whether this be the correct positioning for transcendental meditation is left for the listener to deliberate upon. As you all know very well by now, Cat Stevens last venture, Foreigner bombed pitifully , and wa s panned by every music critic from here to Bombay. But what you might not reali ze is that the Cat has already reached a sizeable stature in th e pop-rock music fi eld , a·nd he knew the album would turn to gold the minute it hit the stands. Th is prior-to-release knowledge must do strange things to a musici an's head, just as th e knack for writing "Wild World's," "Peace Train's" and "Moon Shadows" could turn any
Eog les ON THE BORDER The Eagles (Asylu m/Elecktra)
A lot of people have mixed country music with rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' 'roll of course got its start in country music, with Bill Haley and the Comets (formerly the Saddlemen, a C&W band) and Elvis. When they attempted to do cover versions of Black Rhythm & Blues numbers for white audiences, the mixture of influences created Rock 'n' Roi I. The Beatles recorded country music, usually with Ringo singing, and the Monkees had a heavy dose of C&W (courtesy of Mike Nesmith) in their albums, most notably Headquarters, still one of the best pop a Ibu ms ever. A few months after Headquarters, Dylan did John Wesley Harding and the Byrds followed with Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Country Rock was here to stay .
m,1!-t' it m,iinly because Aerosmith's first -These Aero-punks gotta line on you!
- ---- 15th STREET their musical desires, and do this with as much finesse as they have evidenced on , Exotic Birds and Fruits, they will once again be a force to be reckoned with. -Michael Sajecki
SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE_
SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE just ain't as funny as the earlier stuff like "Brown Shoes" and "America Drinks and Goes Home," and the music is just incidental. Zappa was at least silly with Flo and Eddie but th is new stuff isn't cute or silly, it's wretched. Frank Zappa once the figurehead of Ugly Music has lapsed into tacky trendiness; the curse may be forthcoming. -Andy Cutler
their grandiose orchestrated productions, and their gothic grotesqueries. With the personnel problems that Gary Brooker had at that time, one could see the necessity of above mentioned production techniques to fill in the gaps of a sound executed by a shakey line-up. With Exotic Birds ~nd Fruit, the transition from elaborations to tightly executed band productions has been achieved, and Procol Harum have given us their most impressive album since Salty Dog. Insofar as variety of sound is c~ncerned, the album reminds one of their very first album, A Whiter Shade of Pale, as Brooker never seems to· run low on melodies, and Keith Reid's lyrics are as intellectually insulting as ever. The , band is a tight, solid unit as they have never been before, with Gary Brooker on piano and vocals, B.J_. Wilson on drums,' Chris Copping O"!~rgan, Alan Cartwright - bass and Mick 'Gral;)ham on lead guitar. Their exuberance and boisterousness is neatly employed on the first track of the album, "Nothing But The Truth" which seems to set the pace for the whole album scheme. Brooker's vocals have become crisper and more varied, as he tangos and teases his W.9y through "Beyond The Pale " an apache-dance of sorts, bringing to mind images of sleazy, French bars. There remains still a tendency to use music as an intensifying experience within Procol's sound, as evidenced by a monstrous music.al build-up in "The Idol," and the neurotic, squirrel, paced jibberings of "The Thin End of The Edge." But don't worry, the band sti II knows how to rock as only they can (The Procol Harum fanatics will recall such numbers as "Power Play" and "Whiskey Train") and they prove it with "Monsieur R. Monde," a blisteringly paced little tune which .gives the whole band a chance to shine (pay particular notice to Grabham's guitaring, as he has just won the Robin Trower sound-alike contest). , Also worth :mentioning is the title track of the album, which is a whimsical, humorous musical romping. There is nothing \which is sacred insofar as exotic birds or fancy fruits are concerned, and Procol Harum, rather than over-dramatizing this, choose to run the rough edges surrounding the realm of their collage-like sound. If Procol Harum can continue to achieve the towers of
: -Proco! Harum, standing in the shadows of love.
- rhe Eaqles with Jackson and Linda. Quiz: which one isn't a girl? ----~~------------------'-------------------------·---- Now we have the Eagles, whose first Earlier I mentioned the Monkees. album was good, but spotty. The second, Many people never really listened to them Desperado, was a landmark. Their third, because they were too "commercial." On the Border falls only slightly below The Eagles too have . been called Desperado, but only because they commercial, and On The Border is sacrifice a little class for pop appeal. probably the most commercial thing They use a little of everything. "My they've done since "Peaceful Easy Man" is a vocal ballad in memory of Feeling." It's hard to imagine them Gram Parsons (the man most responsible winding up in the same bargain bin pop for Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the star graveyard as the Monkees; they're whole California Country Rock scene too good for that. But then so were the that spawned the Eagles). "Midnight Monkees. Time just isn't kind to Flyer" is a Bluesgrass rock number with the underrated. lightning fast banjo and slide guitar, "On the Border" has soul music elements. -Dave Meinzer (I'm a star, really) Bruce on bass and the reemergence of the original Mothers of Invention vocalist, Ray Coll ins. Frank likes to tell funny stories. Ha Ha. The album is divided into four such stories. The first one takes up most of Side one, starting with "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," the trials and tribulations of an Eskimo in a society which refuses to curb their dogs. I think Nanook (He's the Eskimo, get it,' Ha Ha) eats it finally on the way to "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" where people do the funky Alfonzo and smile at Father O'Blivion blissed out in the corner. Frank. punctuates the story with some guitar here and there. Terribly predictable. "Cosmik Debris" rounds out the side. There are some neat sound effects accompanying the spoken lyrics but nothing earthshaking.
-Frank's doin' the "I- love- you- you- love- me- I'm- OK- You're- OK- the- leaves- turn- brown- they- fell- off- the- trees- the- wind- was- blowing- it- got- cold- it- rained- it- stopped- raining- you- went- away- my- heart- broke- you- came- back- and- my- heart- was- OK" blues (Everybody's doin' it, everybody knows they should).
Trower BRIDGE OF SIGHS Robin Trower (Chrysa Iis/Warners)
But it's the rockers that set the pace. "Already Gone" opens the album, and displays their newest member, guitarist Don Felder, who plays a nasty ripping lead. He also adds to "Good Qay in Hell," · but came along too late to have a hand in much else, so his real contribution will be hard to judge until next album. "James Dean" and "01 '55" are nostalgia songs, one hard, one soft. Their subject matter is obvious from the titles, and "James Dean," co-written by Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and John David Souther will probably stand as a classic. It's so corny and hackneyed it can't miss. "01' 55," written by Tom Waits, is probably the best cut over all, with its slow, well thought out arrangment, and is the only one that doesn't suffer from a sort of lyrical languor. There are two other acoustically briented· ballads. "You Get the Best of My Love" is smooth and well done but "You Never Cry Like a Lover" is excessive and overdone.
Most people's knowledge of Robin Trower comes from the fact that he once played guitar with Proco! Harum and that he contains a gurtar style and musical outlook similar to that of Jimi Hendrix· when he ruled the rock music world. However, many groups from Blue Cheer to Montrose have had similar aims, yet none have reached the level of intensity and erotic involvement I to that of Robin Trower's band. To their credit, the band stays away from the themes·of death and satanism usually considered standard fare for the heavy m ital genre. Not that this i; any good time music; if you want "bright-eyed optimism," be advised to look elsewhere; it's just that the themes . \ of their best songs revolve around subjects much closer to home, like cosmic love and sex. This · is- all done in Jim Dewar's Paul Rodger-ish voice over some
"Uncle Remus" is the only "song" on the albu[ll and George Duke shines on l)iano, making it stick out even further. For those out there who enjoy trashing cars, people, hours, etc., "Remus" has some good lines about going out to Beverly Hills at dawn and "knbcking the little jockeys off the rich people's lawns." "Apostrophe" is the requisite jazzy instrumental. It's not quite the soundtrack muzak that distinguished Waka Jawaka and Grand Wazoo but Frank manages to salvage some of his credibility as a musician with it. ".Stink Foot" tells of the perils of wearing python boots, and other sundry facts of life you weren't aware of. ' 1 'm disappointed with this album, with its too obvious commerciality and simplistic structure. Zappa's little stories
,Procol Horum EXOTIC Bl RDS AND FRUIT . Procol Harum (Chrysa Iis /Warners) It is a pleasure to see Procol Harum back on their feet, as Exotic Birds And Fruit, their latest album, evidences. As you recall, on their last album, Grand Hotel, Procol were criticized for
APOSTROPHE (') Frank Zappa (Discreet/Warners)
Apostrophe is more or less Part 11 of Zappa's latest phase as started with Overnite Sensation. The line-up is basically the same with a few alterations: Napoleon Murphy Brock on saxes, drummer irreparable Jim Gordon, Jack
SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE
SHAKIN' ST. GAZETTE
of the most intense music ever performed since Hendrix himself walked the boards, which is where trouble began on Trower's first album, Twice Removed from Yesterday. Save for the fine "Man of the World," the album tended to drag, especially the unnecessary instrumental interludes breaking the flow of "Hannah" and "Sjnner's Song." On this album, some of the problems have been corrected. Rockers like "The Food and Me," "Lady Love" and the others are as good as anything else here. The only extended ·guitar solo, on "Too Rolling Stoned," is placed at the end of the song, and in that manner doesn't break the flow. However, the band is still probqbly best at the intense, dream-like, erotic pieces. And, although Bridge of Sighs never quite reaches the absolute peaks of the first album, cuts like "In This Place" (notice how Trower's simple but effective wah-wah guitar fills in the spaces), the title cut, and my personal favorite, "About to Begin" are among the most beautiful pieces on the album. At this point it might be pertinent to mention the lyrics. Considering the band seems to have been built around Trower's guitar, it might be surprising to find that the lyrics are consistently excellent and poetic, even if occasionally obscure or moralistic . Mention also must be made of the production job by another ex-Proco! Harum-ite, Matthew Fisher. He's done an excellent job on both albums, and his occasional organ playing is modest and restrained. Jim Dewar's vocals are beginning to develop a character of their own, and his bass playing is real fine. Drummer Reg Isadore is especially impressive; always putting in the unexpected and keeping the listener on his toes. There are still faults to be ironed out. For instance, the choruses of "Bridge of Sighs" and "Lady Love" show marked similarity to each other and to that of the earlier album's "Hannah." And, as mentioned above, the lyrics are often a little obscure. But Robin Trower's music, on the whole, is too beautiful to be ignored for long. -Bob Kozak
the goodtimey feel of rock and roll. Where Overdrive expounds on loud screaming guitars and heavy riffs, the Guess Who roll along smoothly making the AM listener perk up and take notice. Canadians arise, replace the beaver with rock and roll. Sure, rock and roll isn't too good at gnawing at trees or posing for postagestamps , but anything that makes you feel good can't be all bad. -Andy Cutler
Vinyl Pucks? Rubber Records?? ROAD FOOD Guess Who (RCA) II Bachman-Turner Overdrive (Mercury) Warners), they added Tim and recorded as Overdrive. Their first effort fares better than the Brave Belt fiasco but somehow things just didn't click in the U.S. which, ironically, can make or break a Canadian band.
The band recorded B-T6 II and released "Let It Ride" as a single and hit paydirt. "Let It Ride," rasped out by Turner, is a classic top 40 hit: loud raucous with a constant beat and derivative as hell. The kids love it. Although the rest of the album is more of the same, B-TO 11 is a great comeback vehicle for Randy Bachman, who was partly responsible for pushing the GW out of the Prairie Provinces and into the U.S. charts. Road Food is a classic Guess Who album: Burton Cummings' crisp, clear voice and competent piano laid over a tight rhythm section. As the sticker on the cover so ostentatiously asserts, the latest hit single "Star Baby" is included. While "Star Baby" is a nice infectious AM tune, the title cut, a more sophisticated rocker and the latest in a long line of complaint songs about life on the road, would be more ap~ropriate as the hit. "Straighten Out" and a re-make of "Don't You Want Me"' (from Rockin') feature some great background singing and better than average guitar work. "Clap for the Wolfman" has the Wolfman Jack himself, mumbling vague clusters· of words and a bouncy beat. The GW is a great pop band, totally professional and producer Jack Richardson makes the most of it on wax. These guys go to show that complexity doesn't necessarily spell dollars in Canadian or American money. Both B·TO and the Guess Who radiate
Stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic and as far north as the A'rctic Circle, Canada has a lot of land in-between. One of the main problems with this vast country is the lack of significant population to turn Canada into the dreamed of (but never spoken of) Superpower its hardy populace would like it to become. Adding to this frustration is the fact that the U.S. is a legitimate superpower and could annex Canada by force in the amount of time it takes to say "beaver" or "hockey." Also a major amount of private landholders in Canada are Americans. Aside from the obvious pastimes of Canadians, rock and roll is a widespread form of amusement for millions of Canadian youths. Surprised? You shouldn't be, after all, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and Lorne Green are all Canadian. Now just what do those four have to do with rock and roll, you might ask? Nothing really but the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive do. The Guess Who are Canada's premier rock band and no wonder, what with a string of hit singles as long as your arm. B-TO consists of Randy Bachman ex-GW guitarist, his brothers Tim and Rob, guitar ·and drums respectively and bassist C.F. Turner. Overdrive began with Brave Belt, which Randy formed with Rob and C.F. after he split from the Guess Who. With two inferior albums as Brave Belt (on
-Bachman-Turner Overdrive relax in their backyard. Keith Richard sounded like Jagger in "Coming Down Again" from Goats Head Soup. You know that ain't the original, but, then again, maybe he's just got a cold .. All the cutesy inflections that Bowie throws into his singing are there in Mick's vocals, especially in "Growing Up And I'm Fine," which might be one of jhe reasons it's so good. And in the latter half of "Pleasure man/ Hey Ma Get Pa," a song penned by Ronson (along with Bowie, of course), the similarity is unbearable.
Ronson SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE Mick Ronson (RCA) Well well, what have we here? Ah yes, the intrepid Mick Ronson, undaunted Bowie guitarist in his long-awaited solo album. Hmmmm ... Or is it another Bowie album without Bowie singing? Or is that Bowie singing? Anyway, to sum it up in one clear bit of ingenious thinking, Ronson wasn't ready to do a solo album when he did this one. Oh sure, there are some good things, yeah. "Growing Up And 1 'm Fine" is a helluva fine tune (written by Bowie, of all people). And that's RCA's first mistake, putting old Elvis hit "Love Me Tender" out as a single instead of this one. Ronson's mistake superdrummer Aynsley was having Dunbar and dynamic pianist Mike Garson as sidemen, cuz after a while you find yourself forgetting that this is Mick's album in the first place. Spider Garson, who tinkled the keys so brilliantly on Aladdin Sane, takes over completely on the last cut, the instrumental "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue." And Dunbar steals the show on "I'm The One," with Mick's embarrassing vocals barely coming through. Ronson sings as much like Davey as
I figure that if David Bowie could do so much for Lou Reed in launching his solo career, friend Bowie better go see what he can do for friend Ronson, or else cash in on "Growing Up And I'm Fine" by recording it himself before ol' Mick has a big hit on his hands. Jim Bunnell
Okay, so he sings like Bowie, but what about that wild guitar of his? It isn't here. Except for maybe parts of "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue." The rest of the albvm is filled with repetitious riffs and some flashy intermittent notes which garnish most of the songs between words. As far as the rest of the songs themselves go, "Love Me Tender," the opener, isn't too bad, but is still a poor joke. "Only After Dark" rocks but bores; "Music Is Lethal" is, despite sporadic good moments.."I'm the One" clots the air with some poor recording, and again becomes boring after the first coupla minutes, only to be saved by Dunbar's drumming. The medley "Pleasure Man/Hey Ma Get Papa" is nearly nine minutes long, five of which blare with excruciating mediocre ... noise (?).
-Yugh. What's happened to you, Ronno?
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