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Ken Tucker


  • Let's Dance

    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. However, as a pop musician, endlessly experimenting and exhausting new styles, Bowie is unduly neglected. He has been […]

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  • Mark Knopfler: Fearless Leader

    Dire Straits' driving force takes command

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  • Get Closer

    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 songs, and sometimes she uses her voice like a daring rock & roller: she yells until it hurts […]

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  • Parallel Lines

    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 Deborah Harry. In the past, Harry has always managed to make a virtue of her stiff, severe crooning, […]

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  • Raise!

    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, Raise! reflects the current wave of street-gritty black pop, from Lakeside to Rick James. Most of the tracks […]

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  • Blondie

    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 rock." In their self-consciousness and liberal open-mindedness, these bands are as punky as Fonzie: that is, not at […]

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  • Trust

    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 him, easy to be confused by what he says and does. The distance he maintains from his fans, […]

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  • Dirty Mind

    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 by a man. Like the good lovemaking he celebrates, Prince is both subtle and forceful. His voice is […]

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  • Fleetwood Mac Live

    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 both the guitar and the recording studio; on the other, he's an onstage eccentric, grimacing through extended solos […]

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  • Remain In Light

    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 New Wave, it's doubtful that more than a small percentage of Rolling Stone's predominantly white readership knows anything […]

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