.

album reviews

Van Morrison

Hard Nose The Highway Warner Bros.

Hard Nose the Highway is psychologically complex, musically somewhat uneven and lyrically excellent. Its surface pleasures are a little less than those of St. Dominic's Preview and a great deal less than those of Tupelo Honey, while its lyric depths are richer and more accessible than those of either predecessor. The major theme of Hard Nose is nostalgia, briefly but firmly counter-pointed by disillusion. The latter sentiment Van spews out in the album's one ugly, self-indulgent son... | More »

September 13, 1973

Mott the Hoople

Mott

What an array of weapons this band has: awesome firepower, an ever-increasing depth of expression, timely themes and an artistic way of mixing these qualities on record. In terms of my own bias, Mott the Hoople has been the most productive band of the last three years, with only the Rolling Stones — a significant source of inspiration for Mott — in the same category. In six attempts, Mott has made four excellent albums, and the latest may be the best. The band has long had a near... | More »

New York Dolls

New York Dolls

The album cover hits with a stark black and white photo, title scrawled in lipstick red aross the top. The boys appear on a white satin couch with a strange combination of high pop-star drag and ruthless street arrogance. There's lipstick, eyeshadow and platform boots, but there's also some sinister slipstream flowing here. Remember the earliest Stones's publicity photos? What was scruffy and outrageous then looks so commonplace now — in ten years will this photo seem as ... | More »

August 31, 1973

The Rolling Stones

Goats Head Soup Rolling Stones Records

History has proven it unwise to jump to conclusions about Rolling Stones albums. At first Sticky Fingers seemed merely a statement of doper hipness on which the Stones (in Greil Marcus' elegant phrase) "rattled drugs as if they were maracas." But drugs wound up serving a figurative as well as a literal purpose and the album became broader and more ambiguous with each repeated listening. At first, Exile on Main Street seemed a terrible disappointment, with its murky, mindless mixes and c... | More »

August 30, 1973

Jethro Tull

A Passion Play

A Passion Play is the artsiest artifact yet to issue from the maddeningly eccentric mind of Ian Anderson. Conceived for live performance as much as for disk, its ultimate presentation incorporates a short film, written, directed and edited by Anderson, in addition to the madcap hysteria of the stage show. Having not seen the play, I can only comment on the disk, which is a pop potpourri of Paradise Lost and Winnie The Pooh, among many other literary resources, not to mention a vast array of m... | More »

Donny Hathaway

Extensions Of A Man

Like Stevie Wonder's Music of My Mind, Donny Hathaway's Extensions of a Man, produced by Arif Mardin, is an ambitious breakthrough album that significantly broadens the musical palette of a major black artist, fulfilling in large measure promises long-offered. But whereas Wonder has lately concentrated on expanding the textural definitions of R&B as it has evolved out of Motown, Hathaway shows himself to be a sophisticated traditionalist of great versatility, able to weave alrea... | More »

Cat Stevens

Foreigner

Cat Stevens' first self-produced album, much of it recorded in Jamaica, fails in virtually all of its fuzzy ambitions, the most conspicuous of which seems to have been an attempt to add some meaningfully avant-garde soul sauce to Cat's basically bland Anglo stew. The almost complete lack of integration between these elements is aggravated by Cat's singing, which has become increasingly ragged since Tea for the Tillerman. Cat seems determined to sacrifice the pleasantly hypnotic... | More »

Bob Dylan

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Columbia

Bob Dylan was the source of pop music's unpredictability in the Sixties. Never as big a record-seller as commonly imagined, his importance was first aesthetic and social, and then as an influence. It was from that vantage point that he accumulated unprecedented power and authority, to the point where it must have eventually threatened his peace of mind. Janis Joplin couldn't survive having so many people dependent on her to fulfill their fantasies; fate, in the form of a motorcycle... | More »

Willie Nelson

Shotgun Willie

With this flawless album, Willie Nelson finally demonstrates why he has for so long been regarded as a C&W singer-songwriter's singer-songwriter. Except for the excellent concept album, Yesterday's Wine, his recorded efforts for RCA were debased by the misapplication of Nashville mass-production techniques that drew the curtains over his exceptionally individual style. Since leaving the label, Nelson has moved from Nashville to Austin, Texas, signed up with Atlantic's fledg... | More »

August 17, 1973

Earth, Wind & Fire

Head To The Sky

A dream last week: I was walking through a crowded marketplace in a city that seemed to be Paris although I've never been there. I was singing to myself and everyone I passed was singing the same song, softly to themselves. It was "The World's a Masquerade" from the Earth, Wind & Fire album, especially the repeated final lines, "The world's a masquerade/ Can the whole world be lying?" I thought to myself, "That must be a very popular song," and then the dream moved on to ot... | 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

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com