Shaking up the rock established order – archive, 1977

by Lionel Casey

Nineteen seventy-seven is proving a high-quality yr for rock tracks. The feared protection pin brigade is liable for having shaken up what became a complacent industry. So earlier than looking on the long-awaited new albums using such mounted heavies as Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Yes, I’ll start with a plug for my personal favorites of the month, which appear to be singles, and new wave singles at that.

St. Vincent performs at O2 Apollo Manchester in October 2017 in Manchester, England.

Jonathan Richman’s Roadrunner (Berserkly BZZI) is a piece of honestly outstanding music, as lively, optimistic, and lyrically imaginative as one of the Chuck Berry classics. Against an easy, repetitive riff, Richman bounds enthusiastically thru a surreal anthem to the joys of boating around in a vehicle at night time, listening to the radio, and feeling in contact with the energies of urban society – “I’m in love with the cutting-edge global, got the radio on.”

That may sound trite (specifically to the ones who’ve by no means had a threat to pressure in America at night time, listening to perfect radio), but be assured that the consequences are superb. Also magnificent – in a completely distinctive, English, non-optimistic manner – is the Sex Pistols’ Pretty Vacant (Virgin VS 184). Six months ago, I’d by no means have believed I’d be praising Mr. John Rotten’s musical abilities, but there’s no denying that that is a single nearly as much as early Who standards. As the Pistols aren’t allowed to play everywhere at a gift, and indeed are in hiding after a sequence of attacks on them, it’s not possible to inform if they may repeat this on the level, or just how much the experienced producer Chris Thomas turned into chargeable for the sound. No matter, it’s sneering, slyly humorous, and has a great chorus line.

As the music enterprise all at once realizes that the new wave received’t go away, and each person attempts to jump at the punk bandwagon, there’s additionally an awful lot of terrible new music emerging (Celia and the Mutations are all proper, as an instance. However I’m no longer eager on Venus and the Razorblades). One thrilling sampler of it all is The Roxy London WC2 (Harvest SHSP 4069), a compilation of stay sets from the Covent Garden club wherein it all started. There’s too much dull target audience chat, however in any other case, an honest mix of the good and the terrible inside the do-it-your self-tune increase.

From New York’s new wave golf equipment, there’s an outstanding band called Mink DeVille, who has reputedly been around for years and were genuinely steeped in rhythm and blues earlier than adding a harsh new veneer. Their first album, Mink DeVille (Capitol EST 11631), sounds just like the missing link among Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, and The Drifters. Willy DeVille hasn’t Springsteen’s intensity. However, his material is outstanding, often echoing the Velvet Underground, on occasion the Philly bands, and on occasion sounding Spanish. Like Tom Petty and Bob Seger, DeVille knows his rock records, but he’s no longer simply repeating.

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