Highlights / Recommendeds / Avoidables (04/30/75)

Highlights in Wax
The Golliwogs/Pre-Creedence (Fan­tasy 9474); the remains of seven singles (’64­-’67) by the Golliwogs, later Creedence. We follow the American response to the British Invasion as the boys attempt to catch the sounds of the Beatles, the Zombies (detour to the Beau Brummels), Them (detour to the Shadows of Knight), and the Stones. Then they find their own sound, and the hesitant demo-feel of the first cuts turns tough. John takes over the singing from Tom, and with the original version of “Walking on the Water,” the band makes a claim on you. I enjoy this record a great deal, partly because it reminds me that rock ‘n’ roll does not have to be made by $100,000-a-year sessionmen. A must for fans of the best band in the history of the Bay Area; everyone else, of course, will claim that the group could never play, but that’s their problem…

City Recommends: That you check out page 31 of the May issue of Creem magazine for a picture of Olivia Newton-John that will knock your eyes out and possibly even make you change your mind about her music… Party Down (Cat Records 2604), a fine album by Little Beaver, the guitar wizard behind George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby,” Betty Wright’s “Tonight Is the Night,” and other recent landmarks of Miami soul… Tuning in your AM radio for a taste of Freddy Fender’s current smash, “Until the Last [sic] Teardrop Falls”; there hasn’t been a song so brilliantly maudlin since “Love Me Tender,” or maybe it was “Sylvia’s Mother”…

Common Sense (Atlantic SD 18127) by John Prine. Disguised as the first rock ‘n’ roll bicentennial album, the songs are ambitious in conception, almost willfully slight in execu­tion, and badly overproduced. Common Sense suggests John Prine as Tom Paine, but the reality here is John Prine as a hip, intelli­gent, worldly-wise John Denver. Saddening, because Prine could have pulled this project off, as anyone who’s heard his wonderful “The Great Compromise” knows. (“I used to sleep at the foot of Old Glory/And awaken at dawn’s early light/But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes/I was the victim of the Great Compromise”—the only love song ever inspired by Henry Clay, I bet). You can find that on Prine’s Diamonds in the Rough (Atlantic SD 7240); if you want some music that does live up to the spirit of Tom Paine, get out your copy of John Wesley HardingThere’s One In Every Crowd (RSO 4806), by Eric Clapton. Exactly the same patterns as on Clapton’s Number One LP of last year, 461 Ocean Boulevard, but in every case, just a bit less inspired, a bit less pointed, and when the music is as close to sleepwalking as 461‘s was, that little bit makes all the difference. There are a few breathtakingly lovely moments in the song “Opposites,” but all in all, the dullest album I’ve heard in months… Unrequited (Columbia PC 33369), by Loudon Wain­wright III. Wainwright’s albums have never been easy to pin down, even for fans like myself, but in this case he’s done the job for me. Unrequited is just how I feel after listening to this record several times and finding myself unable to recall a single lyric, tune, or nuance…

City, April 30, 1975

One thought on “Highlights / Recommendeds / Avoidables (04/30/75)

  1. Pingback: CHASING OLIVIA… | The Round Place In The Middle

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