.

album reviews

Elvis Presley

Today

Elvis Presley is the greatest singer in the history of rock & roll. As each of his frustratingly mediocre albums appears, we are forcibly reminded of that fact. There is almost nothing on any of them to keep us listening. But I have never heard an Elvis record which didn't reveal something about the man and his capacities and therefore, somehow, about everyone's. Instinctively and accidentally, Presley's product (with no other artist does that term have such resonance) teac... | More »

June 19, 1975

Kraftwerk

Autobahn

Not to take anything away from Ralf, Florian, Klaus or even Wolfgang — who are probably real nice geezers once you get to know them — but dis ist nicht so gut as Walter Carlos, who hasn't been in the Top Ten in months and months. By the same token, of course, Bachman-Turner Overdrive is no better than 4000 bar bands attempting to induce people to dance to "I Got the Music in Me" in 4000 bars across the length and breadth of these United States even as we speak. Crazy how the ... | More »

Carly Simon

Playing Possum

The cover of Carly Simon's enjoyable new album is an indication of its best songs, which celebrate the body at play. Playing Possum represents a breakthrough of sorts for Simon. Earlier albums, through Hotcakes, depicted adolescent and postadolescent growing pains, family relationships and especially an aching romantic ardor. Simon's new, bolder stance was probably inevitable — it's certainly welcome — since her previous four albums have defined a slow but steady ... | More »

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Nuthin' Fancy MCA

With three full-time electric guitarists, a piano player and a fireplug of a lead singer who looks like Robert Blake's Baretta in a hippie disguise, Georgia's Lynyrd Skynyrd presents an unusually broad front line. And the band's live grand finale ("Our tribute to Du-ane"), the relentlessly ascending "Free Bird," is rock & roll at its most classically enveloping — a must see. On record, Skynyrd, with the aid of producer Al Kooper, approximates its hot live sound by lim... | More »

June 6, 1975

The Rolling Stones

Made in the Shade Rolling Stones Records

Metamorphosis is both interesting and embarrassing, a curio and an outrage. Its 14 tracks consist of jams, outtakes, alternate takes and primitive versions of songs the Rolling Stones later revised into more polished numbers, all recorded (roughly) during their first six years. But one can't really call it a Rolling Stones album. The hideous artwork is the first indication that this album is the product of the Stones' former management, which won the rights to much of the music rec... | More »

The Rolling Stones

Metamorphosis ABKCO Records

Metamorphosis is both interesting and embarrassing, a curio and an outrage. Its 14 tracks consist of jams, outtakes, alternate takes and primitive versions of songs the Rolling Stones later revised into more polished numbers, all recorded (roughly) during their first six years. But one can't really call it a Rolling Stones album. The hideous artwork is the first indication that this album is the product of the Stones' former management, which won the rights to much of the music rec... | More »

June 5, 1975

The Who

Tommy (Original Soundtrack Recording) Polydor

Will I ever succeed in figuring out my all-time number-one rock hero? Here Pete Townshend plays some stunning synthesizer stuff and then allows most of it to be obscured by the singing of people who haven't any business in a recording studio. However effusively film critics may acclaim her for allowing herself to be photographed looking middle-aged and haggard (if not for her actual acting), Ann-Margret simply doesn't sing appealingly and it's hardly any pushover imagining wa... | More »

Jeff Beck

Blow By Blow Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

Jeff Beck seems finally to have figured out that he is not going to replace the great Sixties group which bore his name and featured Mickey Waller, Rod Stewart, Nicky Hopkins and Ron Wood. After some trying moments with a couple of abortive bands whose principal purpose was to give him someone to play with, this all-instrumental album points a newer, healthier direction for the man whose playing is more emblematic of the Yardbirds than either Jimmy Page, who followed him, or Eric Clapton, who... | More »

Journey

Journey (1st LP)

Journey is the third and best group to grow out of the original Santana. Unlike Azteca and Malo, it's not merely a spinoff. Keyboardist and singer Gregg Rolie and lead guitarist Neal Schon — both formerly with Santana — have come up with a more energetic and less contemplative music than Carlos Santana has been making lately. The rhythm section is led by Aynsley Dunbar's complex and experienced drumming, while producer Roy Halee has contributed to the group's origin... | More »

Bad Company

Straight Shooter

Among the members of Bad Company, singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke witnessed the collapse of Free, guitarist Mick Ralphs witnessed the collapse of Mick Ralphs in Mott the Hoople and bassist Boz Burrell participated in King Crimson's stagnation. In the aftermath of their extraordinarily popular debut LP of last year, Bad Company appears determined not to fall into the traps of any of those groups. While retaining all of the spontaneous combustion of the earlier album — wh... | 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

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com