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Paul Nelson


  • Venus and Mars

    As time goes by, John Lennon's importance to the Beatles becomes more and more self-evident. The same old story we've been hearing for years — that Lennon's wit and abrasive probing were needed to balance Paul McCartney's melodic charm and sweetness — is obvious but true; Lennon's career has certainly had fewer ups and downs […]

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  • Body Wishes

    After listening to Body Wishes, Rod Stewart's latest and surely one of his least, you get the feeling that this singer is sorely in need of what comedian Henny Youngman calls "a charisma bypass." Except for the album's opener, "Dancin' Alone," a Chuck Berry-style rock & roller that's both lively and witty, there's nothing here […]

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  • Always on my Mind

    When, in the finale of Always on My Mind, Willie Nelson claims he "wasn't tryin'," he seems to be summing up his attitude toward this whole sorry album. Let's hope so anyway, because almost nothing works here. Nelson's hammy performances and Chips Moman's hothouse production somehow manage to inflate understatement to the point of pomposity […]

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  • Tonight I'm Yours

    Like most rags-to-riches stories, this one's both predictable and messy. From 1974's Smiler through 1980's Foolish Behaviour, Rod Stewart has too often played a singularly buffoonish Falstaff to his own backward Prince Hal, dragging himself down artistically while consolidating a strong commercial fortress comfortably isolated from such initial masterpieces as Gasoline Alley and Every Picture […]

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  • Shot Of Love

    When I first heard it, Shot of Love sounded like Bob Dylan's most interesting record in a long time. Interesting, not good. Though many of the songs seemed wretchedly written, the artist's churning mixture of ultimate love (God's) and ultimate hate (Dylan's), positiveness and paranoia, missilery and martyrdom, struck me as perhaps deliberate — as […]

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  • The Crackup and Resurrection of Warren Zevon

    How he saved himself from a coward's death

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  • The River

    There's something wrong with beauty — don't you know that? If it could stay inside, if it didn't touch the world, why then it would be fine. But it makes its way into your heart and then you burn. Can you take a live coal into your heart and not burn. — Jonathan Valin, Final […]

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  • Jackson Browne: The Rolling Stone Interview

    On love, marriage and the girl in his songs

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  • Glass Houses

    Glass Houses, Billy Joel's all-out attempt at a rock & roll album, is just about as convincing and exciting as Linda Ronstadt's recent Mad Love, though the latter sounds a lot more game and likable than the former ever will. Ronstadt may never understand what songwriters like Elvis Costello and Warren Zevon are talking about, […]

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  • Rust Never Sleeps

    For anyone still passionately in love with rock & roll, Neil Young has made a record that defines the territory. Defines it, expands it, explodes it. Burns it to the ground. Rust Never Sleeps tells me more about my life, my country and rock & roll than any music I've heard in years. Like a […]

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