artificial tries at rock and , roll. The remaining 20% is brilliant, as brilliant as only ·Elton can be but this brilliance is so limited it hardly seems practical to buy the album. Such is the case of his latest release, Yellow Brick Road, a two-record . set which could have been a killer of a single album and his best to boot, had it not been beefed up with unnecessary filler cuts. Some gems sparkle through the gloom but they are pushed into the background by the overabundance of waste. ' . 'Jamaican Jerk-Off' is one of the worst;musically competent but Elton's pompous treatment of the lyrics demean and insult reggae as a musical form. 'Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding', an 11 minute, two-parter is . · perhaps the best cut. The first part is a . Walter Carlos-inspired synthesizer excursion,•the second part is a lamen of a lost fove. The title cut is a curious blend ·of Elton, Gilbert O'Sullivan and the . Carpenters, a country boy's refusal to be swept under the glittery carpet of the Big City. At first, 'Your Sister Can't Twist' seems to be in · the synthetic vein of 'Crocodile Rock' but on closer listen proves to be a time trip back to the days of weekend garage bands belting out 'Louie Louie''and the like. Here Elton has a .great Farfisa organ solo, accompanied by a surf-type 'ooo-eee-000-000' chorus. "Social Disease" ranks up there with the Kinks "Alcohol" for best boozer·song awards. Leroy Gomez adds a gutsy sax solo to this get-up-and-guzzle-fall-down- drunk ditty. Elton and Bernie take on the guises of salty dogs in "Sweet' Painted Lady" directed at waterfront hookers. Del Newman's orchestration, including the ·old world sound of the accordian is predominant here and adds to the -feel of the song. Also inclµded is the AM rocker "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting". with pure punk guitarwork by Davey Johnstone and some great macho-kill lyrics, even though it's hard to picture pudgy Elton . and Bernie as tough asskickers. Pl9wing through the sediment, some cuts such as the afor~mentioned pop up but still the poorer ones g~t in the way. ) )''know it's a drag pulling out the album, playing a cut onqn~side and then jumping up and flipping the side. What can ya do? Elton's stuck on himself and if he wants four sides, he gets 'em! Enjoy the gooduns here and thumb yer nose at the rest. • -Andy CutJer

comes. He becomes self-conscious•, not wanting to strike out, yet not content to play the standard slide/runs typifying rriost pop song solos. That strength will surely come as he .gains more experience and his material is so good that the wait won't be long._ I wonder if he realizes how many new fans he's going to get with this album? Live American appearances (and I'm corivinced his live show must be great) would help immensely. What separates Comic Boo~ Heroes from the mainstream of ·6ther albums is its vinylization' (well, it ain't crystal, honey) of all the good things about pop music. It has power, drive, ,infectious harmonies', striking choruses and a freshness that makes ·this album breathe with vitality. It's the type of aibum you like on first listen. , All evidence shows Comic Book Heroes to be an album directed toward a younger audience, the Kidz. He is to be commended for his purpose, if this is it. Let's hope he doesn't start complaining in interviews that he "doesn't get enough respect" and he "wants to appeal to an older audience." There's no need for this kind of crap from a talent like Springfield. He'll never have to compromise: let the oldsters come to him. In this magazine, he has all the respect he could want. -Gary Sperrazza!

it was great. The people all started to wake up . They started ,talkin', singin', laughin' and playing ring around the rosey around Snuffy the insomniac, who wuz still asleep, I sat down, exhausted but triumphant. And yo~ kn~w .wh'at? The Dead are great on 45. All these years I , thought it was Garcia and Weir and Lesh and the rest of them guys. .I was wrong. ,It was' Alvin and the Chipmunks in disguise. , Remember that whole trip? Wasn't it kinda funny , the way_ the Chipmunks disappeared after their , Christmas song , and their caFtoon show? Why did Alvin ' wear his wristwateh on his left paw when • w~ all know that Alvin was left-handed? · Huh? Well, my theory is tha,t the Chipmunks got pissed off at Dave Seville, their manager, dumped · him, and decided to form a rock I and roll band. Rather than having to beco~e ~stablished, they decided to abduct a real good rock band and slip into their places. Smart little critters, eh? But they couldn't find no good rock bands cause there wasn't any . to be found in ·Hanna Barbera studios. '.J'hen th.ey saw the Dead, all umpteen of um walkin' arm in arm down tne street; needless to sc1y they got ' the · Dead, dumped um in Lake ,Erie and tbok their places. The' only prolDlem . wuz, that th(?Y . sounded like Chipmunks when they sang. Chipmunks just can't do country or blues ,or folk-rock junk, .or nothin' like that and expect to be taken seriously. So they recorded, changed the speed, and then recorded again. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs. They grTw beards, grew their hair, developed pot bellies, wo~e work ·shirts and jeans and toured the country .with 'the Band, who are · ~eally the ' Katzenjammer .Kids and Rocky and Bullwinkle in·disguise. (But that's another story.) · But the reason that it's all so obvious is that the chipmunks didn't quite get the imitation ~bwn pat. We all know the Dead ain't as bad as this new album of theirs makes them sound. So if you change · the sp·eed, _you · hear the real culprits, them screwY., little chipmunks, and they just do freak out jams. They get Felix the Cat to play viflin on "Mississippi \ Half Step Uptown · Toodeloo," which is suppdsed to be one of those typical D_ead folk-rock numbers. But when played on -45, it turns into a hype, neurdtic country org-y:. . On the second cut, "Let me sing your

Nov. 28 Festival East presents the Pointer Sisters and Martin Mull (Martin Mull???) at Kleinhans. Tickets are $6, $5, $4 at all Festival ticket outlets. OK, everybody? emotion;l voice to give this· ~umber the degree ofinvolvemert needed_ to carryJ t · through with committment. An intense "Why Are You Waiting" and an airy "Believe In Me" lead to Side one'.s closer, a pure knockout called "Misty Water Woman." Del Newman's violin-stabs contrast well with the delicate piano opening, Springfield's voice ' comes in softly and rises 'with the music to a thunderous peak, followed by a .highly infectious ch'orus that you'll find yourself humming in no time. Wouldn't it be nice if a popstar took all the best points of 'the Yes/Genesis school of 'rock,' cleaning and simplifying them to a point where it would appeal to 1 a younger, less fanatical audience?_It may be possible that S'pringfield is flashing his influences on Side two. "The Liar" and "Bad Boy" are thickly polished up-tempo ballads where Springfield even sounds like Pete Gabriel (of Genesis), especially in his pronounciation of 'rock and roll' (and Foxtrot followers know exactly of what I speak). "The Photograph" is out of the . Left Banke-baroque_style of pop and in · "Born Out of Time," Rick exhibits a sense of movie star theatrics similar to Bowie. The showstopper of Heroes is Side two's closer, · "Do You Love Your Children." A sense of tense expectation , ices 'its' first few minutes and the whole thing bursts into a cutting Yes-type riff underscoring an extended e:horus where 'the

·The Grateful Dead · WAKE OF THE FLOOD GRATEFUL DEAD (G.D. Record~) It wuz a great party,.you know what r mean. Warm pepsi, ·potato salad, ice ·cream, cream chicken. The vibes wuz good, and everybody wanted' to hear the Dead. I didn't want to do it man. I knew what was coming. Jerry Garcia and his astral cowboys, non-existent ,pf,lrcussion, slow-tempo tunes, blah, blah, blah. But people started to chant, we want the Dead. Diimn, some people never learn. So I got it on, you know what I mean. It started to play qs I put on my ear muffs and ran into the closet for cover. It was bad, real bad. They started to keel oiler, one by one, thf,lit faces fallin ,, into their bowls of ice cream. A sleepiri' epidemic if you ever seen one. Ice ·cream· all over the place. What a mess. Shit, I had to do something. The party ·• was fallin' apart. Everybody was snoring. · ' Even Snuffy the insomniac fell ·asleep. I was in a jam. Steel guitars, violins and . saxyphones; ·saxyphones even! The Dead go together with saxyphones like CHatlie Brown k akin' it with Aretha I , ,Franklin. And Garcia, man he's been dead for years, but he don't know it yet. Some people say that the Dead are a-. livin' myth. I don't know man 1 I could hear the snoring through my ear mufrs. Just Jhen I got •a great idea.' Kill two birds with one stone. Save the party and help out the Dead at the same time: ! 'put on my wool mitties and approached the stereo with an air of confidence and commitment to my purpose: You'll never guess what I did. I changed the speed. Yup, I put it on 45. My reason being that the Dead play so damn slow, they probably don't know the diffe~ nce no more. But let me tellya,

"People say I'm .the life ,of the party cuz I te)l a joke or two.!' When. Genesis is in town, ' the city changes its tune. Find out why Dec. 1 when ' Buff State's SUB presents Gene.sis with no dilutions. blues away," they got Pogo the alligator to play saxophone and make them sound like Ike and Tina Turqer jammin with a roller derby team. , ' On "Stella Blue," the chipmunks do some cute harmonies ·and sound like a. bunch of Nashville cats speedin'. "Row Jimmy" was pretty bad on 45 so I moved it up to 78. It V'.'.as heaven. The chipmunks flipped out, playin' bongos, and steel guitars with their teeth. . With "Weather Report Suite," the chipmunks prove that ,even du~critters can be progressive. They 'got the Hollywood ,strings and Chicago to ·back, em up and Theodore sang the lead vocals cuz Alvin wuz guzzlin' beer. ' . Th 1 e album ended, the party was nice, Snuffy is still sleepin', (I hope he thanks ' rrie for this someday, when he wakes up.) and a great mystery Vf'dS solved.' I knew the Dead were dead, and that their records couldn't be as bad as lotsa people think. But the chipmunks got a little too cute this time around. They sounded too much like the ol'd Dead, on. 33. Someday, somebody is gonna have to abduct them andduinp 'emin Lake Erie. Like, maybe the Cosby Kids or somethin' like that. -Michael Sajecki

El ton John - GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD ELTON JOHN '(MCA) Over the past few years since Elton John established himself as a major force in contemporary music, his work has been. sliding downhill fast . It seems that '. 40% of his recent ~ aterial is devoted to pre-sw~etened odes to whatever turns lyricist :~ernie 'raupin on and 40% to



- STRAIT , .15 NOVEMB·ER 197 3



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