.

album reviews

Van Morrison

Tupelo Honey Polydor

Tupelo Honey (Warner Bros. 1950), like all of Van Morrison's albums, is both a synthesis of what has preceded it and a statement of something new. It has the musical compactness of Moondance and some of the spirited looseness of Van Morrison His Band and The Street Choir. It is also the best sounding record he has done so far, thus making up for one of the main flaws on the last album: the inferior mix. Thematically, Van's songs of dedication and devotion to women are elevated and ... | More »

Little Richard

Little Richard: Kings of Rock'n'Roll Series

Little Richard is perfect for the late night TV freak circuit: he's funny, loud, outrageous, superficial even on important issues and willing to talk when he has absolutely nothing to say. Sometimes he'll even sing, but that's not necessary because, just as Raquel Welch is more a Star a "Personality" than an actress, Little Richard is now more a Star than a singer. That's show biz. When you're the King of Rock and Roll you can talk about your clothes and mug your way ... | More »

Jeff Beck

Rough And Ready Epic

Let's get a little perspective on this one. In 1968 ex-Yardbird Jeff Beck combined the hitherto unmined talents of vocalist-extraordinaire Rod Stewart with the powerful rhythm section of Ron Wood and Mick Waller and came up with what was, quite simply, in its time, one of the best rock bands in the world. That year they released an astounding first album. Truth. which featured Beck's flash pyrotechnics on guitar and Stewart's bluesy abrasives. and made two ovation-filled tours... | More »

November 11, 1971

Jefferson Airplane

Bark RCA

Jefferson Airplane have been a subject of some contention ever since they abandoned their Summer of Love posture for music that aspired at once to both topicality and a degree of experimentation. If you love them, you know that they are one of the four or five most consistently vital American bands. If you hate them you're at least partially justified on any rational man's terms, given the rather squishy politics and pretentiously inane sense of humor. And if you're one of thos... | More »

The Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead

To avoid any possible disappointments for those who once had visions of saving the world through the music on Anthem of the Sun and any number of live performances, it might be nice to think of this album as an interlude for the Grateful Dead, a resting place where they've stopped over to brace themselves for the next series of atmospheric excursions. Despite some heartening knew-they-could-do-it-all-along moments, it has all the earmarks of such a betwixt and between record–produc... | More »

Jerry Garcia

Hooteroll?

I just found out last Friday that Jerry Garcia buys his comics from the same little shop in Mill Valley that I purchase mine at. As I was searching through some old Marvels, looking for a few that I'd missed last summer. John (the cat that runs Village Music) strolled in and lazily noted that he's been selling more comics than records lately (which didn't overly surprise me) and then off-the-cuffly remarked that he'd just sold ninety dollars worth of old EC's to Jerry... | More »

The Band

Cahoots Capitol

Run away — run away — it's the restless age, sings the Band at the beginning of Cahoots (Capitol SMAS 651) and they mean it. They also mean it when they sing of the endlessness of the river, admonishing the listener that "You can ride on it or drink it,/Poison it or dam it,/Fish in it and wash in it,/Swim in it and you can die in it, run you river run ..." Cahoots is about finding a place for yourself in the restless age. The mood of the album is filled with a "tinge of exti... | More »

November 10, 1971

Chuck Berry

Live At Fillmore Auditorium Mercury

How strangely a matter of fate it is that the first album recorded live in San Francisco should be at the Fillmore Auditorium, that it should be of Chuck Berry who created this all and that he should be backed up by a group of musicians who have learned it from him, grown up and migrated to San Francisco to breathe new life into what Berry and all of them laid down so many years ago. The promotion man laid a slightly defective copy of it on us, so we can't hear all of Bill Graham's... | More »

October 28, 1971

James Brown

Hot Pants Polydor

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh hot pants! Nobody but James Brown could make a great song about hot pants. Thing is. James Brown could make a great song about mouthwash or high-heeled shoes or sweet potato pie. Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh sweet'tato pie! Gotta have it/in the mornin' uh/late at night/ain't it good to ya. Brown's lyrics are secondary to his sound and their force as words with literal (literary) meaning is negligible compared to their more evocative, allusive, poetic qualities and the... | More »

Dr. John

The Sun, Moon & Herbs

This album was recorded while Dr. John was stranded in London; it was clearly born of his intense homesickness for New Orleans. As on his first album, this is Dr. John the pseudo-folklorist squeezing local color out of a tube that is fast drying up. Without vulgarizing it or describing it explicitly, Dr. John manages to suggest the whole voodoo culture in all its aging, fading, exotic seedy Creole backroom glory. Next to Dr. John, other culturerevivers are lightweights. The Kinks trying to b... | 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

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com