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October 27, 1978 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

, October 27, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Looking for the intellectual side of life?



When I first got Stephen Stills' new
album, Thoroughfare Gap, I put it right
on the turntable, anxious to hear the
latest from the rock and rolling part of
Crosby, Stills and Nash. Before the first
track was over, I knew there had been
some mistake.
Last summer, I'd heard about a
mishap where copies of Bruce
Springsteen's album, Darkness on the
' Edge of Town, got packaged in the
Read the Michigan Daily jacket of Barbra Streisand's newest
album, and I was sure that the turkeys
at the record company had put a K.C.
AC Presents
$1 Admission
SAT., OCT. 28 Taping-7:3 'il
Detroit Radio Personality DKP RTAN
Live Entertainment: Frankie & The Ffireballs,*
Kiss-Me-Kate & The Ko-eds
1nd: Rate-A-Record, King & Queen of the Hop, Old T.V. Commercials, Michigan -.
om-Pom Girls, Dinner Prizes.
IANCE CONTEST-Expense Paid Trip for 2 to the UM-OSU Game and many
urprises! Dancing to the best hits of the late '50's and early '60's! *
Videotaped for T.V. BROA DCA ST.
RAVAIL.ABL.E-Come greased and dressed up in '50's garb and get set to Rock & Roll -.
9 *

and the Sunshone Band disc in Stills'
new jacket. But after further
examination of the record, I saw, to my
dismay, that there was no mistake.
"You Can't Dance Alone" is a dyed in
the wool, full fledged disco tune,
complete with horns, strings and vocal
assistance from, heaven forbid, Dave
Mason and Andy _ Gibb, of Shadow
Dancing notoriety. Is Stills vying for the
title of Hardy Boy of the Woodstock set?

BEFORE THE conviction,
however, I decided to hear all the
evidence. There are a few good songs.
But from the author of "4 plus 20,"
arguably one of the best songs from one
of the best albums rock has produced, a
few good songs is not enough.
The title track, "Thoroughfare Gap,"
is the only place on the album on which
Stills picks his acoustic guitar. His
playing is lackluster at best. And
Cheech and Chong and Ronald Reagan
mix better than some of the metaphors
in this oblique and bewildering song.
The only bright spot on this track is
sessionist Al Gould's able fiddling.
The bad news on side one is almost
unanimous, "Beaucoup Yumbo" being
the one exception. Here, Stills sounds
like he did on his first solo album,
Stephen Stills. Bowing to his blues and
cajun influences, "Beaucoup Yumbo"
is a suggestive, slow moving bump and
grind down the muddy Mississippi.
Stills sings a good octave lower than his
usual range, and the effect is nearly
hypnotic. But this hypnosis is a result of
quality, spellbinding music, and not the
boredom found on the surrounding


Thoroughfare Gap
Stephen Stills


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SIDE TWO is a definite step up.
Ironically, for a song writer of Stills
calibre, the two best songs are covers
The first and runaway best song on the
album is Gregg Alliman's "Midnight
Rider." This song is perfect for Stills,
echoing the sentiments so well
expressed in- his Buffalo Springfield
tune "FourDays Gone."
I don 't own the clothes I'm wearing,
Some old bed I'llsoon be sharing,
And I've got one more silver dollar.
A nd I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no.
Not gonna let 'em catch the Midnight
The other good song is a cover of
Buddy Holly's rock standard "Not Fade
Away." Stills growls this out with a
ferociousness not seen since "Black
Queen." His guitar and organ work is
also up to his old standards.
"WdMAN LLEVA" is Stills' fifth
'attempt to incorporate Spanish into a
song. So far, the only successful try has
been "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes."
"Lowdown" has Stills relating his
latest misery, his breakup with his
wife. I don't mean'to sound flippant
about this, but how san one be sincerely
moved when Stills' ovnexpressions are
so contrived?
The last cut is "Can't Get No Booty".
Surprisingly it's not a bad song. Stills
tries out his soul voice, and the sexual
innuendo humor of "Pair Game"
surfsaces again
That Stills is an uncommon talent is
unquestionable. His work with
Springfield, CSN, CSNY, Manassas and
his solo works, Stephen Stills, Stephen
Stills 2 and Stephen Stills Live
showcases his musical and songwriting
But his last three albums have been
poor, poorer and poorest. The musical"
influence of Stills' wife, French singer
Veronique Sanson, and guitarist Donnie
Dacus made Stills 3 and Illegal Stills
nearly three-wat collaborations. But
now that Dacus has replaced Chicago
lead guitarist Terry Kath, one would
think Stills' MOR leanings would've
diminished. No such luck.
THE DEATH OF Paul McCartney's
talent came with domestic bliss, often a
stifler of artistic production. But Stills'
stormy relationship with Sanson proved
no stimulant to his hibernating talent.
Is Stills over the hill? Neil Young, Pete
Townsend and Mick Jagger are all
older, and almost everyone likes at
least one of these gentlenen's latest
So what is wrong? Maybe the answer
is to be found in a recent "Rolling
Stone" interview. When CSN reunited,
interviewer Cameron Crowe asked
Stills if itwas for the money. "It isn't,"
Stills replied, "I mean, there's not one
disco track on this album. How could it
be for money?" There is one on. this
album. Can we conclude... ? No, say
it isn't so.

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