Cold Cuts CHRIS JAGGER (Asylum)
Pick Up the Pieces-Hudson and Ford (A&M) When the Strawbs split recently, Richard Hudson and John Ford struck out on their own and Cousins reformed the Strawbs. "Pieces" is a fine electric folk-rocker that is currently high on the British charts and should do well here. My Music-Loggins and Messina (Columbia) "God knows that I love my music, Ain't no one gonna change my tune," sing L&M. And the tune hasn't changed: sub in the words to "Your Mama Can't Dance" and what you get is a carbon copy follow-up to their preview hit. Smokin' in the Boys Room-Brownsville Station (Big Tree) "Sittin' in the classroom, thinking it's a drag, listening to the teacher just ain't my bag, Noon bells ring, you know that's my cue, I'm gonna meet the boys and head over to Smoking in the Boys Room." Brownsville Station have captured what is essentially a ritual of High School kids. Backed by a fine rockin' boogie rhythm, this band, very much involved with the punkier styles of · the new Teenage music, may finally get the hit they so well deserve with this rocker. Rock On-David Essex (Columbia) We played it at 33 and it sounded like War. We played it at 78 and it sounded like "Rock Steady." We played it at 45 and we can't understand what a white English kid is doing trying to sound like something out of Dakar Records' ' catalo~e, ·but if was number 3 on the British charts, and we're baffled at the way hits are made there, anyway.
BLUE SKY BARRY GREENFIELD (RCA)
. Otherwise titled, everyone's got to get mto the act, brother Chris offers us a selection of tunes, some showing ~emendous potential, others wallowing m a brassy lake of quicksand. Mick makes a cameo appearance on one track with Carly SiII1on, other than that, it's Chris' show. Whether Chris Jagger falls into the offensive, brassy pitfalls of the Rolling Stones, or he continues to write good tunes which he has already shown potential for, remains to be seen. One big negative insofar as Chris Jagger is concerned, he will be connected with his satanic counter-part for all his life although Chris' voice is much stronger ~d actually easier to listen to. Too bad he couldn't have had a name like Chris Lennon, or something obscure like that. PRETTY MUCH YOUR STANDARD RANCH STASH MICHAEL NESMITH (,RCA) . It's sad that, while receiving a lot of ·attention in the country world, Nesmith has yet to be accepted in the rock world. I guess his association with the Monkees did more to hurt him than if he surfaced from nowhere as a solo artist. This 'ishis sixth album since the Monkees (three with the First National Band) and it follows in the tracks of the first five as a fine, fine album of country rock. His humor is still infectious and the music will stand longer than most other sleazos now making record charts a farce. There is a certain uniformity of sound in all Billingsgate releases (the German band central label for the U.S.), which could lead one to fantasize that maybe all these records are being put out by the same individuals under different guises. Well, no matter.. .if Lucifer's Friend is Germany's Uriah Heep and Neu is Germany's King Crimson, then Frumpy is Germany's Grand Funk. Since all are good albums, plan your buying with the above comparisons in mind. Recommended. BYTHEWAY FRUMPY (Billingsgate)
Another in our series of gas-pumpers-turned-rockers. This guy is Barry Greenfield, one of the 1300 singer/songwriters who debut each month out of the Loggins and Messina school of folk and country/folk/rock. As usual, he needs session men. As usual, it's the CBS House Band (probably ousted the same time as Clive), y'know: Larry Carlton, Russ Kunkel, Joe Osborn, Milt Holland, Larry Knechtel, etc. The House Band is proficient, but not too inventive and hence end up backing all these jerks who can't do anything else but sing and beat around the bush. At one point, what's-his-name sings: "Suicide is so easy at times like these." With all the excitement generated on this album, who needs a bottle of sleeping pills? This is such a disappointment it hurts to talk about it. Aside from being an accomplished vocalist along with her stint with the Blackberries backing up Humble Pie, she is quite an attractive young lady, but here she's reduced to a poor man's Diana Ross doing dredged-up soul tunes hardly worthy of her and even her sexy voice can't save this album from the bargain bins in two months time. Blues purists beware. S-S Band has been around awhile and cut many records, but they've failed to attract much attention. This fact is painfully realized with 953 West. Utilizing different facets of De Blooz (country blues Chicago blues, Delta blues, etc.), S-S Band present an album that is fair background music for anything, but is too boring and noncommital for real enjoyment, and proves to be just another thorn in the side of any devoted Blues follower . BROWN SUGAR CLYDIE KING (Chelsea/RCA) 953 WEST SIEGAL-SCHWALL BAND (Wooden Nickel/RCA)
Li I'S p r O u t
• pro_vi~es the background for Brian's moog whmmg, snappy electric piano and organ, and strikingly pretty melody. I love it, and it could do Auger's long and productive career a world of good. Here Comes Sunshine-Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead Records) I'll (yawn) try one more time. This is the first from G.D. Records, their own label. Jerry discovers a far -out 5 second lick, so, in true Dead form, they lengthen it out to 4 min. 37 seconds (Be thankful, in the Dead's younger days, this song could've been the new dead album. "Sunshine!' would insult any music style if I attributed it to one, so to avoid stepping on anyone 's taste, I'll say that it's...typical Dead, and I've already devoted too much space to it. Flip is "Let Me Sing your Blues Away" with Lame Quote of the Week: "Only two things in the world I love, that's rock and roll and my turtledove." Yugh.
Wig Warn Barn-Sweet (Bell) While Bell continues to avoid the issue of releasing "Hellraiser" as the next Sweet single (I think you got the message in the Sweet review 2 issues ago), this Chapman/Chinn tune , taken from the Sweet album, will easily do. Closer to ~'.L'il Willy" than "Blockbuster," "Wig Warn Barn" is to the Sweet what "You Talk Sunshine I Breathe Fire" was to the Amboy Dukes. A fine hi-energy rocker with those luscious Sweet harmonies lyrics dealing with Hiawatha's sexual activities down by the silver stream. As I've said before, the Sweet are masters at the art of the 45 and the Sweet album is still the best thing I've heard in the 70's. What more· can I say? By the way Bell, don't keep us .waiting long for "Ballroom Blitz!" Here Comes Sunshine-Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead Records)
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Happiness is Just Around the Bend-Brian Auger's Oblivion Express (RCA) With a heavy push from Papa Record Co., I can safely predict that this could turn into a powerful quality hit in the Easy Listening charts. The "Rock" charts, well, maybe trouble but then again, Deodato made it the~e. A very relaxed rhythm, a la the ,aforementioned group and Steely Dan's "Do It Again ,"
STRAIT, 18 OCTOBER 1973
STRAIT, 18 OCTOBER 1973 f.'
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