27 items by Ken Tucker

  • Let's Dance

    Let's Dance | ALBUM REVIEW

    As a pop-culture changeling flitting from pose to pose, David Bowie is overrated. Ultimately, there isn't that much difference between Ziggy Stardust and the Elephant Man — they're both ugly misfits who want to control their worlds....

    June 17, 1997 12:00 AM ET
  • Get Closer

    Get Closer | ALBUM REVIEW

    Linda Ronstadt's voice has never sounded better than it does on Get Closer. It's an uneven album, to be sure, but its spirit is unassailable. Ronstadt's ringing soprano vibrates with clarity and authority on the record's best...

    November 11, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Parallel Lines

    Parallel Lines | ALBUM REVIEW

    In Blondie's third album, Parallel Lines, the band drops the brooding artiness of its previous records and comes on like an ambitious pop-rock group. Or rather, a rock & roll band with an ambitious pop vocalist named...

    November 3, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Raise!

    Raise! | ALBUM REVIEW

    With each new album, Earth, Wind and Fire remain relatively true to their original sound: elaborate, neatly orchestral funk, influenced equally by American and African sources. But the band also keeps its ear to the radio. Accordingly,...

    February 4, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Blondie

    Blondie | ALBUM REVIEW

    These bands achieved their initial notoriety while playing in the same place (an esophagus of a bar called CBGB, in lower Manhattan) and have been lumped together with other habitués of this joint as purveyors of "punk...

    April 8, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Trust

    Trust | ALBUM REVIEW

    It's not going too far to say that Elvis Costello's career depends upon our misunderstanding him. Impatient and agonized, his image flickers: good guy, then bad guy, then good guy. It's impossible to get a fix on...

    April 2, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Dirty Mind

    Dirty Mind | ALBUM REVIEW

    Dirty Mind is a pop record of Rabelaisian achievement: entirely, ditheringly obsessed with the body, yet full of sentiments that please and provoke the mind. It may also be the most generous album about sex ever made...

    February 19, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Fleetwood Mac Live

    Fleetwood Mac Live | ALBUM REVIEW

    This double-album, in-concert set (which features three new songs) documents the pervasive role that Lindsey Buckingham now holds in establishing Fleetwood Mac's mood. Buckingham embodies the band's extremes: on the one hand, he's an accomplished technician of...

    February 19, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Remain In Light

    Remain In Light | ALBUM REVIEW

    Seldom in pop-music history has there been a larger gap between what black and white audiences are listening to than there is right now. While blacks are almost entirely uninterested in the clipped, rigid urgency of the...

    December 11, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Doc At The Radar Station

    Doc At The Radar Station | ALBUM REVIEW

    Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, thunders through the rock & roll jungle like some mythological beast, a fantasy creature with the body of a burly monster and the head of a vaporous poet. Like its creator,...

    November 27, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Storm Windows

    Storm Windows | ALBUM REVIEW

    In the course of making an album of deceptively slap-happy folk-rock songs. John Prine has managed to slip in some of the most delicate, compressed wordplay of his career. Indeed. Storm Windows strikes a stunning balance between...

    October 30, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Come Upstairs

    Come Upstairs | ALBUM REVIEW

    On Come Upstairs, Carly Simon's instincts are bold, but her music betrays her. Confronting a self-imposed semiretirement, declining disc sales and the pervasive peppiness of the New Wave, Simon has responded with a comely perversity by writing...

    September 4, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Flesh + Blood

    Flesh + Blood | ALBUM REVIEW

    Flesh + Blood is such a shockingly bad Roxy Music record that it provokes a certain fascination. The line on early Roxy (when Eno was a member) was that the band radiated high-tech decadence, and Flesh +...

    September 4, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • 21 at 33

    21 at 33 | ALBUM REVIEW

    We're now into the fifth year of the Elton John crisis, and frankly some of us here on the Elton watch are getting worried. Ever since 1975, when the anti-John backlash set in and the piano pumper's...

    July 24, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants (Soundtrack)

    Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants (Soundtrack) | ALBUM REVIEW

    Begin at the end. Stevie Wonder's Journey through the Secret Life of Plants is so uneven, so full of tiny pleasures and bloated tedium, that for some assurance that Wonder hasn't lost his touch, you ought to...

    January 24, 1980 12:00 AM ET
  • Fate For Breakfast

    Fate For Breakfast | ALBUM REVIEW

    It would seem as if Art Garfunkel's latest solo album exists for the sole purpose of showing that he has a sense of humor. The evidence isn't in the music but in the packaging. First, there's that...

    June 28, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Desolation Angels

    Desolation Angels | ALBUM REVIEW

    Mick Ralphs, Bad Company's lead guitarist, has been quoted as saying he left Mott the Hoople because he "wanted to play a ballsier kind of rock & roll." There you have it. Ralphs' description captures the strengths...

    May 3, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Dire Straits

    Dire Straits | ALBUM REVIEW

    Dire Straits, an English quartet led by singer songwriter Mark Knopfler, plays tight, spare mixtures of rock, folk and country music with a serene spirit and witty irony. It's almost as if they were aware that their...

    January 25, 1979 12:00 AM ET
  • Do It All Night

    Do It All Night | ALBUM REVIEW

    Do It All Night is Curtis Mayfield's flimsiest solo album yet, an indifferent collection of flaccid disco music. God knows, Mayfield has usually been uneven, but until now he's always managed to crank himself up at least...

    October 5, 1978 12:00 AM ET
  • I Would Like To See You Again

    I Would Like To See You Again | ALBUM REVIEW

    In recent years, Johnny Cash has made some poor music. He's recorded songs that didn't suit his peculiar, coarse subbaritone and struck saintly postures that couldn't help but look foolish on such a craggy tough guy. While...

    July 27, 1978 12:00 AM ET