Steven Grossman, 'Caravan Tonight'
This "poignant but not self-pitying" album, in the mode of a male Joni Mitchell, was groundbreaking because of its subject matter: Grossman was gay, and sang frankly about life as a homosexual man in New York City's West Village. Rolling Stone said it made him the first composer/performer on a major label to write about homosexuality "on the everyday level, rather than exploit it as chic decadence or futuristic fantasy." The review worried (presciently) that the subject matter would lead to the album being ignored by radio stations. Grossman died in 1991, age 39, of complications related to AIDS. Although there was a posthumous record (Something in the Moonlight), Caravan Tonight proved to be the only album Grossman released in his lifetime.
What We Said Then: "His vision is every bit as compelling as those of such brilliant mid-Atlantic provincials as Elliott Murphy and Bruce Springsteen. . . . Most important is the purity of Grossman's sensibility. His communication of intense compassion, honesty and tenderness so eclipses the imperfections inevitable in the work of such a young artist (he's only 22) that the ultimate emotional impact of his Caravan is staggering, its appeal to the finest human values universal." — Stephen Holden, RS 161 (May 23, 1974)