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Lester Bangs


  • The Bells

    Everybody always talks about the poor homeless orphan waifs, but what about the homeless fathers? The time has come to call the fathers home from the stale curbstone shores. Sometimes they're bad and Take No Prisoners. But who then do they finally hurt but themselves? And when they give of themselves, they reaffirm what great […]

    • Music
  • Pieces Of Eight

    Styx is an arena band from the progressive school. Every gesture's writ huge to the point of flatulence, their pomp is highly circumstantial (it's the only way to get the last row's attention) and around every chorus lurks a whirring synthesizer, if not a pipe organ hauled in from a genuine cathedral. The strategy becomes […]

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  • Wavelength

    Who has not been waiting for the next great Van Morrison LP? Whether you thought his last masterpiece was Veedon Fleece or Tupelo Honey or even (what I think) Moondance, you certainly were never prepared to write him off. Nobody's going to write him off because of Wavelength either, but it's obviously not the album […]

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  • Kaya

    Having seen Bob Marley on the cover of seemingly every magazine in America with a cannabis giganticus planted in his mug finally puts you in mind of Robert De Niro's last words to Harvey Keitel's dealer/pimp in Taxi Driver: "Suck on this!" Island gave Marley the big push — the only push any reggae artist […]

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  • Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ

    Remember P.F. Sloan? ? Sure you do. It was back when every folk rocker worth his harmonica holder was flushed with Dylan fever and seeing how many syllables he could cram into every involuted couplet. There was Tandyn Almer, of "Along Comes Mary" fame ("The psychodramas and the traumas hung on the scars of the […]

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  • The Best of B.B. King

    In spite of 1972 being one of the stalest years in the history of popular music, the spate of reissues from all the major record companies and countless minor ones picks up more speed all the time, and the results (uneven as they are) are generally encouraging. All four of these albums represent attempts both […]

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  • Burning Love

    That Elvis sure is a card! Just when you think he's cashed his last chip and sold so low he can't get no crasser, he comes along with something like this and proves that he and Colonel Bogey are still one jump ahead of the rest of us would-be Barnums. You gotta love him for […]

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  • Long John Silver

    Well, here's another Jefferson Airplane album, and if you thought the last one had them baked into the mold of an absolutely stereotypic Airplane Sound, you may not even care to hear Long John Silver. It's not that they aren't capable of exciting music — the fires that fused albums like Baxter's and Crown of […]

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  • In Concert

    Janis Joplin is gone, by now just one more we've seen succumb in the public arena of the pop marketplace. It's not just that this kind of early death has become a fact of life that is disturbing, but that it's been accepted as a given so quickly. We're getting to the point where we […]

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  • Machine Head

    I just don't understand, as Ann-Margret once sang, why an exciting band like Deep Purple, who consistently hit the top of the charts in Merrie Olde and have taken Europe by storm, remain a comparatively unknown quantity to American audiences. Especially when said audiences have wholeheartedly embraced bands with similar musical aims and not one […]

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