.

album reviews

Bob Dylan

Desire Columbia

Desire is a very special album, although Bob Dylan's adamantly antimusical approach keeps it from greatness. Somehow, though, Dylan's antimusic winds up being very seductive. The real problems with this record lie in other areas. What's most striking about the record is that it is such a collaborative effort. Dylan works as closely with these musicians and singers — among them, violinist Scarlet Rivera, bassist Rob Stoner and drummer Howard Wyeth of the Rolling Thunder c... | More »

Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Head On

Head On focuses on no less than three apologies by leader Randy Bachman for his group's very existence. Even more oddly, Bachman's defense rests on moralistic rather than artistic grounds. According to "Average Man," "Stay Alive" and "Lookin' Out for #1," it's the work ethic that has propelled BTO to the top of the heap. "Average Man" delineates Bachman's somewhat paranoid outlook: They stop and stare at our houses and carsThey settle for less, we reach for the star... | More »

The Kinks

Schoolboys In Disgrace

If one were to simplify the old guard of British rock & roll by drawing a straight line, left to right, between the angelic Beatles and the demonic Rolling Stones, one would probably place the Who slightly to the left of the Stones and the Kinks a couple of notches to the right of the Beatles but well to the left of Townshend and Company. Ray Davies may display a full share of Dionysian darkness and disorder at times, but his craziness is usually admirable and engaging, and the Kinks, if ... | More »

February 26, 1976

Cat Stevens

Numbers

Things aren't going well for Cat Stevens on the planet, ah, polyethylene. Critics keep asking: would you buy a used I Ching from this man? Since Tea for the Tillerman, affirmation has been doubtful. Never a deep thinker and rarely a master of words, Stevens has now turned to the "majik" of numerology, only to have the melodies disappear down the decimal point. In fact, "Call Me Zero" would have been a perfect title for Numbers, an album so breathtakingly stupid that even the most loyal f... | More »

February 12, 1976

Deep Purple

Come Taste The Band

Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple's central force since their creation, left the group after Stormbringer to form his own group; this is Deep Purple's first record with new guitarist Tommy Bolin.   The album takes off in the chunky funk-rock style of Purple's last two albums. Distinctions don't develop until the material becomes familiar. Like Blackmore, Bolin establishes tension between Purple's solid rhythm foundation and his own sustained clarity and agitated u... | More »

Kraftwerk

Radio-Aktivitat

Instead of maintaining an icy detachment from its popularity, which might have been the best attitude to assume, Kraftwerk has attempted to duplicate Autobahn's success with a concept album. Like most concept albums, it's loaded with dead spots. Cuts like "Geiger Counter," "Intermission" and "News" are plain stupid, and no cut on the album comes near the melodic/harmonic sense that pervaded Autobahn or the creative use of electronics on the much earlier album Ralf and Florian, which... | More »

Patti Smith

Horses Arista

Patti Smith is the hottest rock poet to emerge from the fecund wastes of New Jersey since Bruce Springsteen. But Smith is not like Springsteen or anybody else at all. Springsteen is a rocker; Smith is a chanting rock & roll poet. Springsteen's followers thought he was a poet too, at first, because of the apparent primacy of his speedy strings of street-life images. But Springsteen himself quickly set matters right by building up his band and revealing his words to have been what wor... | More »

B.B. King

Lucille Talks Back

B.B. King has built a whole career on the art of ellipsis. To his best work he has always brought an unerring sense of grace, elegance and, above all, economy. Beneath the carefully worked out horn arrangements, the clearly enunciated vocals, the eloquently crafted, always brief, single-string guitar lines, lies an internal tension — a quality that he shares with his early Memphis cohort, vocalist Bobby "Blue" Bland. And it is that tension which gives meaning and power to his urbane, se... | More »

January 29, 1976

Supertramp

Crisis? What Crisis?

Supertramp, whose Crime of the Century was a surprise hit of 1975, are back with a neatly timed followup, Crisis? What Crisis? (with suitably heady cover — a man sunbathing amid rubbish while rain falls and smokestacks blow pollution into already ominously gray skies). The biggest crisis is trying to get through both sides of this record.   Supertramp is led by guitarist Roger Hodgson and keyboard player Richard Davies who are responsible (as in guilty) for all the group's w... | More »

The Band

Northern Lights, Southern Cross Capitol/EMI Records

Cahoots and the oldies LP, Moondog Matinee, weren't exactly auspicious developments in a recording career with beginnings as brilliant as the Band's. Their playing behind Bob Dylan on Planet Waves and Before the Flood as well as on the earlier Basement Tapes has been more accomplished and stirring than any of their own music since The Band, and it is against these efforts as sidemen that their first album of new songs in four years must inevitably be judged. The first few seconds of... | More »

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com