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November 19, 1976 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-11-19

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rts & Enterta in m ent Friday, November 19, 1976 H NPage Seven
.s.un.s.as.:..:ee. s::.....iun". ' k ocTar.a! " ".ne SL:.'6 Ifl ivli.oeT:..z*'y 77..



Elton John
Over a million people have

a id lyri: ist B rnie T'i pin is
gig.i co-credit for two of the
In recent years, the remark-
able m e l o d i e s and sensitive
lyrics of Elton's first few al-
bzims have been replaced by a'
more rockified approach that
decreased the emphasis on ly-
rics and melody. Blue Moves is
thus somewhat of a comeback.

hend, ,Bit Your Lip (Get Up
a ad ''MaeV is a seven minute
:li he.
ON OCCASION, Taupin dem-
oistrates the ability to write
gcod political satire. Although'
the music to "If There's a God!
.in Heaven (What's He Waiting
For?)" is nothing special, the
words succeed.


sounds as if Reed simply didn't "okra" h tr ab uk ti
get around to writing words for1 opera singer who learns to sing, one is.
it. ~~~~rocka n'ril, thanriintmn

is aske Tonasymis
--Mike Taylor

it. rock 'n' roll, is a brilliant blend
"Ladies Pay" is a feminist of classical influences and hard
song about women suffering rock. The song is essentially a
from the frustrations of a male guitar oriented rocker, but op-
world. It's a relatively lengthy eratic vocal passages are in-
number, and Fonfara's piano is tegral to its structure. In the
especially effective. "Vicious classic tradition, Lynne has used
Circle" has Reed's vocal mixed rock as a metaphor for sex:
right up front; emphasizing hisr'
sense of horror as he finds his. Well we were 'reelin' and
sese ororasrokin' all through the
friends are his worst enemies night
Unfortunately, the melody is; night
dull. y Yea we were rockin' at the
Two songs are satirical in a opera house until the break
way Reed has rarely been be- of light,
fore. "A Sheltered Life" is a# And the orchestra were playin'
jazzy blues about Reed's "in- all Chuck Berry's greatest
jazz blus abut Red s m-, tunes,
experience in the world: te
And the singers in the chorus


I ;


already bought Elton' John's There is not a real rocker But it means to me / That He showy horn section featuring Bird" finds Skynyrd at their'
new album, Blue Moves (MCA- among the eighteen songs: most leads his lambs The Breaker B others and Da- most revealing; singer Ronnie
ROCKET2-11004). Most of them are . quite soft, with well-de- To the slaughter house / Not vid Sanborn, backs up lyrics VanZant wailing "I'm as free
probably love it, and in that veloped melodies. Although they the promised land. concerning the rise and fall of as a bird . . . I can't change,"
respect the record is an unqual- say nothing new, Taunin's ly- Graham Nash and David a star. Whether Elvis, or Elton while the guitar army (a three
ified success. Elton is a first- rics are also quite good. Crosby contribute eerie back- himself, or some nameless star, man attack) plays a blistering,
class entertainer and Blue ground vocals to the haunting it's a moving song. sometimes sloppy, and furious
Moves is one of his most palat- A JOLLY instrumental, "Your "Wide - Eyed a n d Laughing." , lead break.
able entertainments. Starter For . opens the Featuring Davey Johnstone's si- But Not all is well with the re
It's been said before about album brightly. Written by gui- tar, it's a song of lost love. they cant take him / To Nease ig Een with thre-
other albums, but this two-rec- tarist Caleb Quaye, mandoline, "Someone's Final Song" has , guitarists, Skyn rd's version of
ord set could have been an ex- glockenspiel, and Elton's piano sensitive lyrics and a rich mel- Cos they made him and "rss, Sknrd'y verin
cellent single album had some- are highlighted. It's a nice be- ody reminiscent of "Someone : they' waste -him the same fervor that Eric Clap-
one had the nerve to cut it down ginning. 1 Saved My Life Tonight," if not And I don t believe that I ton and Cream attained. Too, if
to size. None of the lesser songs Three songs, "Tonight," "Sor- so dramatic. The effects of ag- ; ant to watch them. you're bold enough to play all
are as bad as some of Elton's rv Seems to be the Hardest ing is its theme. Blue Moves will not make four sides at one sitting you're
recent efforts have been, but' Word," and "Between Seven-; many critic's ten best lists, but likely to feel that someone's
by being merely mediocre they teen and Twenty," are blue "OUT OF the Blue" and it's still quite an enjoyable al- been at work on your head with
add nothing o the record. tales of rejection. "Tonight," "Theme from a Non-Existent bum. It's an uneven one, but a hydraulic drill.
with its beautiful piano and or- TV Series" are both inventive the highlights number among Rock 'n roll, however, was
IN A FEW ways, Blue Moves chestra introduction, would be instrumentals. The former is a Elton's best efforts. In addition, never meant to put you to sleep.
is a positive step forward for right at home on Elton's six long piece with an eerie mel- the increased complexity of the -Jim Shahin
Elton. On last year's disastrous year old Elton John album. For- ody; Quaye's superb electric instrumentation opens hope for
Rock of the Westies his newly mer Beach Boy Bruce oJhnson guitar and Elton's jazzy piano better future work.
extended band, which includes has arranged some imaginative dominate the track. The latter -Mike Taylor
a second keyboardist and a sec- backing vocals for "Between! is an inspired ditty scarcely Lou Keed
ond guitarist, was wasted on Seventeen and Twenty." longer than a minute. All sorts
tepid songs and 'limp arrange- A few songs are fairly fast- of instruments, including elec- Earlier this year, Coney Island
ments. This time, the band has paced, if not very loud. "One tric harpsichord, synthesizer, L fly U Baby re-established Lou Reed
been used to create a great Horse Town" begins softly and and marimba have been used to as one of rock's more brilliant
variety of moods and textures. then explodes with excellent create this all-purpose number.- talents. His new album, Rocki
Three tracks are instrumentals, guitar and synthesizer playing. Perhaps a sequel to "I'm Go- and Roll Heart (Arista 4100) is
and well - played instrumental It's a tune about being stranded ing to be a Teen-Age Idol," (rjta 4100, is
passages abound. In addition,', in a small town, and the music, "Idol" is the album's finest mo- 'Had nothing better to do one a highly enjoyable record, al-
most of the band members have if perhaps overly melodramatic, ment. Jazz-rooted music, featur- Friday night, so 1 decided to though not quite up to par with
contributed to the songwriting, is quite satisfying. Oq the other ing Elton's tinkling piano and a check out the state of the art. its predecessor.
< In addition to handling the



Bill Wray
For a first album, Bill Wray
(MCA-2188) is surprisingly good.
It's been some time in the mak-
ing; three songs were recorded
four years ago. But Wray has
a lot' going for him-he can
write strong melodies and in-
telligent lyrics, and his voice
is equally adept at crooning and
shouting. Furthermore, his band
is competent and creative.
The songs from four years
back are so weak that it's puz-
zling that they're even included.
"So Far From Home"' is a sad
love song with decent lyrics but
a dull melody. "Lover" has the
dubious distinction of Randy
Bachman on guitar, and that's
the best thing about the song.
In this case, neither the melody
nor the lyrics work.
"SAILIN'" is a cut above,
It has a dense, almost wall-of-
sound arrangement and some
interesting percussion, as well
as some compelling lyrics about
the link between total freedon


Never been to England, Never
been to France
Never really learned how to
I've never taken dope, and
I've never taken drugs
I've never danced on a bear
skin rug
I guess it's true what all those
people say
I'm going to have to lose my
hometown ways
I guess I've led a sheltered

all got off on singing blues.{
"So Fine" and "Livin' Thing"
are each pop masterpieces. The
former dreams up a utopia and
features a delightful instrumen-
tal bridge. The latter has an ab-
solutely irresistible hook; it's
about the power of love.


stranger to another is exploredI
in "Tightrope."- Interestingly,
enough, Lynne concludes that
at times people can be very
nice to each other. "Telephone
Line" is more pessimistic; it
refers to our dependance on the

"ROCK AND Roll Heart" is
a great song. The tune is as
catchy as they come and the
lyrics sum up a perfectly ac-
ceptable view of rock, even if it
isn't really Reed's.I
I don't like messages or some-
thing that they say
And I wish people like that
would just go away
I guess I'm just dumb
Cause I know I ain't smart
But deep down inside
I got a rock and roll heart
Ever since his Velvet Under-
ground days, Reed has been
striving to capture critical suc-
cess at the same time as com-
mercial popularity. Thus far,
only his live album, Rock 'n'
Roll Animal, has achieved this.
important blend. Rock and Roll
Heart, with its general level of


a n d loneliness.
the melody just

isn't very re-


first time in montns. A-l a-- u----t--*--* - L1116
Lots of pretty faces. KC and production himself, Reed
the. Sunshine Band, Abba, and added saxophonist Marty F
the Bay City Rollers. More and keyboardsman Michaell
smiles than a Jimmy Carter fara to his band, thus repla
photo book. Blown-dry and sty- the professionally crisp s
lized, it was an adventure in and simple instrumentation
wholesomeness. Coney Island' Baby with
WHATEVER happened t o warmth and instrumental
rock, let alone 'n roll? sity unheard since Berlin.
Lynyrd Skynyrd probably nev- result is a rhythmic, oftenj
er thought about it. If you en- tinged work. .
joyed that In Concert or regret
missing it, then you can stop SOME OF the songs have
reading. Lynyrd Skynyrd prob- melodies, and a few have l
ably wouldn't like you either. indicative of Reed's skill,
Which is to say that daquiri's there is nothing in the clas
and disco ain't their cup of tea. "Kicks" or "C o n e y,. Is
They play music like they drink Baby." Most of the numbers
whiskey-straight and hard. for less than three minutes
Skynyrd's latest is a live two- lowing the rare pleasure
record offering titled One More twelve songs on one alb
From The Road. It's not pretty. Unfortunately, the shortnes
It's rough and it's raw. And if due to a lack of proper dev
you're not careful you might ment; the lyrics are o
even like it. sparse and the melodies
SEE, Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn't often weak.
care much for taste. They're "I Believe in Love" is a fu
blunt, gritty, simple, and basic- opener for the album. A sir
ally too honest to be fashion- song with a catchy tune, it'
able. They were proud of their about the value of "good-
Southerness long before the! rock 'n' roll." As in muc
"New South" came along to the material, Fogel's su
validate that emotion. It's no saxophone playing almost d
formula. They don't pose in neo- nates the proceedings.
Allman ala Marshall Tucker, A rather hateful love st
Wet Willie and. Charlie Daniels. "Temporary Thing" succ
They make it on their own or because of a good beat an
not at all intriguing melody. "Follow
For a live recording, From. Leader" ismandextremely
The Road generally succeeds. tempoed number about Re
It's a fair representation of love in New York. The w
skynyrd at their most natural. lessness of so many famous
Without the inhibiting sterility ple is the theme of "Clain
of a studio, "Sweet Home Ala- Fame," a song with one of
bama" burns. It's not as defiant ter melodies on the album.
as it used to be ('cause they
know it doesn't have to be), now AN INSTRUMENTAL, "Cl
it's more an enthusiastic state- er and the Chosen One,"
ment of fact. "Workin' for sax passages lifted straight
MCA" (their record company) of Springsteen's "Spirit in
is a good example of their in- Night." It's a pleasant tune
telligence and style. "Free turing acoustic guitar, bu

m of
h a

ss of-
, al-
e of
ss is
s all
time .
h of1
d an!
v the
m to

instrumental excitement, shoul4
succeed commercially; and it's
far from a critical failure. Reed
used to make better albums,
and hopefully he will in the fu-
ture, but although it has flaws,
Rock and Roll Heart has a lot
going for it.
-Mike Taylor
It's not hard to fall in love]
with the new Electric Light Or-'
chestra album, A New World
Record (United Artists UA-
LA679). There are nine songs
on this album, and each of them
is superb. In addition, in terms
of vocals and instrumentation,
ELO is one of our finest bands.
The seven members of ELO
play with great skill a huge
variety of instruments, and be-
cause most of the group sings,
backing vocals have been used
as a particularly imaginative
instrument. This is a very rich
sounding album.

telephone. This song uses back-'
up vocals especially creatively.
,One of the best singles 1972
gave us was "Do Ya" by the
Move, the British group then led
by Lynne and Roy Wood. It took
six albums, but this classic love
story of sorts has finally been'
re-recorded by the group the
Move subsequently evolved into.
The chunky "I Can't Explain"
chords are still there, but the
instrumentation is more com-
plex and the vocals more sen-
sitive than the first time around.
Unfortunately, while this new
"Do Ya" is a richer musical
experience, it lacks the spon-
taneity and raw power the orig-
inal version had.
The record's closer, "Shangri-'
La," however is one of Lynne's
finest achievements. From the
synthesized beginning to the soft
electric piano ending, it's a
beautiful song. Its melody is
breathtaking, and its sad lyrics
are an excellent example of ef-
fective poetic compression.
My Shangrita has g o n e
away / Faded like the
Beatles on Hey Jude /
She seemed to drift out on the
That came in somewhere soft-
ly from the blue
JEFF LYNNE has demon-
strated his love of ;he eBatles
numerous times in his songwrit-
ing. "The Minister," from the
last Move album, Message From
the Country, was a musical re-
write of "Paperback Writer,"
and Eldorado's "Mr. Kingdom"
was similarly d e r i v e d from'
"Across the Universe." In ad-
dition, "Day Tripper" used to
be a staple in ELO's live per-
formances. t
With A New World Record,
Lynne has come his closest yet
to evoking the Beatles legend.
This, is a dazzling album,.jam-
med full with marvelous melo-
dies and clever lyrics, just. like
the Beatles used to do. In fact,
if the "fabulous four" ever do.
make another album, we will

The rest of the record is all
uphill. A fast-paced song filled
with guitar reminiscent of mid-
dle period Doobie Brothers,
"Takin' My Time",is ironically
about Wray's need for things to
move slowly. He concludes that
this allows him more time to
enjoy life, hopefully making it
seem longer.
"I'm in Love" has a simple,
almost irresistible melody. It's
a soft song that fortunately nev-
er becomes saccharine, thanks
to sensible lyrics. This one is
everything McCartney's "Silly
Love Songs" should have been.
TWO SONGS are powerful
rock 'n' roll anthems. "River
City (Rock 'n' Roll)" is an as-
sertive number about Wray's
roots. "Tonight's the Night" is
a "Saturday Night's Alright for
Fighting"-type rocker, complete
with Elton John sound-alike vo-
Easily the best song on the
album, however, is "(Can You
Believe In) Magic?" Every bit
as good as the Lovin' Spoon-
ful's classic, "Do You Believe
in Magic?," Wray uses a catchy
melody, clever lyrics, imagins.
tive playing, and excellent back-
up singing to create a pop mas-
terpiece. Slight bells, gongs, and
synthesizer are used to great
Can you believe in the magic
in the stars
Care what sign you are
Get scared when a cat runs in
front of your car
Believe you can see youi
future in the cards?
WRAY ISN'T sure he be-
lieves, but he is sure that a little
luck won't hurt.
This is by no means a great,
nor significant album, but it's
an enjoyable one. "(Can You
Believe In) Magic?" fully de-
serves to be a hit, and the rest
of the record's over-all com-
petence indicates that major
work may be forthcoming. In
any case, Bill Wray is hopefully
just the start of a successful
-Mike Taylor

bet LEADER Jeff Lynne's new,
1 sonsg are stunning. All are fill-
ed with creative melodic ideas,
'hoos- and most are extremely catchy
has as well. In addition, for an al-
t out bum so clearly dominated by
the the quality of the music, the
fea- lyrics are unusually thought
ut it provoking.

Elton John


comes up with Peterson on cla-' 'Planet. (MR 5063). Amazingly
vichord. While it's certainly dif-; V S , Jefferson's been singing for
ferent it's .difficult to swallow. more than 30 years but with1
Peterson's unabashed and free What Muse Records may lack only five albums to his credit.
style seems cramped by the in quantity is more than made He's enjoying another upswing

m e 1 o d i c, attractively wistful lo Maria Giulii and the Phil- proves to be a very sensitive
vein. The Quintet is Burton's harmonic Orchestra in a per- interpreter.
regular working group - Bob formance of Johannes Brahms BUT, WHEN this approach is
Moses, Steve Swallow, Mick .Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Mi- tried on the bubbling rondo-fi-
Goodrick, and on electric 12- nor, op. 15. - nale, it fails utterly. Again the
I _~~~iy ng:. is.. supero., t I t is 9..an~

tinny clavichord and the whole
session sounds too strained for

Porgy and

The resurgence of Porgy and Dizzy Gillespie and Machito
Bess is now taking place in; certainly aren't cramped on
many forms. In recordings RCA Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods (Pablor
is leading the way with an ex-1 2310-771). It's a generally spon-
travaganza featuring Ray Char- taneous affair with Machito's
les and Cleo Laine. (RCA CPL Orchestra, Gillespie, and a few
2-1831). Producer Norman Granz of the latter's friends such as
also worked on the 1956 versionI drummer Mickey Roker. The
with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis music's mostly centered aroundj
Armstrong, also now available the Cuban rhythms of composer,
as a Verve Reissue. conductor, and arranger Chico
Most numbers receive a O'Farrill.
double treatment by orchestra, The main piece "Oroi, Incien-
arranged and conducted by so y Mirra" is a sophisticated,
Frank DeVol, and vocals by concoction of many different in-1
Laine and/or Charles. In addi- fluences including polytonality
tion to singing their appropriate on top of its Cuban melodies.
numbers, Laine and Charles The "Three Afro-Cuban Jazz
sometimes do songs sung ori- Movements" have been a little
ginally by the other lead. For more pjolished by Clark Terry
&ample, Cleo Laine's version and Gillespie since written by
of Porgy's "They Pass By Sing- O'Farrill in 1970. It's more di-
in' " is one of the most exhilar- rectly accessible with more La-
ating from the opera. tin jazz and rock built in.
IN ADDITION to his oWn sing- Also new this month from,
ing, Ray Charles is all over the RCA and Pablo is the impec-
nlace on the instrumental nieces ,,M -+*-

up in the quality of its releases. in popularity now appearing re- string, Pat Metheny.
ing, at Meheny.This beloved masterwork is
Their producers allow the artist cently on a PBS special with' Metheny succeeds Larry Cory- among the composer's most
a freedom rarely experienc :d in Leon Thomas, Jon Hendricks, i ell who doubled on six and 12- moving and deeply felt crea-
today's highly manipulated Am- and Annie Ross, and at various string for the Burton group. Bur- tions. Beginning in the grip of
We'll Be Together Again (MR clubs in Detroit. ton needed a guitarist to sup- an almost unbearable tragedy,
erican studios. Now five more JEFFERSON'S scatting high- port him in an appearance at it climbs slowly and affectingly
gems are out on the market tes- lights the classic "Ornithology" the Wichita Jazz Festival and into the chorale-like adagio,
tifying to the solid Muse crafts- which also showcases some of Metheny caught on permanent- which then leads to the sunlit
manship. the best solos from Mickey ly.bHe plays an old, full-bodied finale.
Tucker, Richie Cole, and Way- Gibson and displays his talents
5090) finds Pat Martino in a tC well on the long piece "Wron THE RAPPORT of soloist and
gentle and thoughtful mood with man Reed. Jefferson spans a; Key Donkey" The action getsconductor on this disc is truly.
g ~~~wide range of pieces includin Keg Dnco".Tductorn et
pianist' Gil Goldstein. From a; ie ancoc p"Chameleon." hot and heavy for "Donkey" amazing. Arrau is a past master
Walton, Sam Jones, and Louis H and shows off the Burton group in this repertory, and his play-'
live recording in Buffalo, Cedar Pianist Joe Bonner's music as the real cooking ensemble ing is sensitive, if continually
Hayes can be called nothing but follows strongly in the footsteps they are. understated. Giulini and the!
Firm Root (MR 5059). All five of Pharoah Sanders and McCoy Philhartnonians compliment this
deserve special mention but the Tyner, Along with Juni Booth For his own album Bright with a warm and full-bodied ac-
trio by Sonny Criss, Eddie Jef- and Linda Sharrock, Bonner Size Life (ECM-1-1073) Pat Me- companiment, producing a sub-.
ferson, and Joe Bonner merit worked with Sanders over five theny is supported by Moses lime unity. In addition, although'
extended comments. albums and are together again and Jaco Pastorius.. Metheny's this disc was recorded over ten
1 on Angel Ejes (MR 5114). "Love sound and approach are unique- years ago, the sound is magni-
BEBOP at its best is what the Dance" and "Celebration" in ; ly fresh. As he relates, "I'm ficent.
music of Sonny Criss is all particular exemplify. the sooth-! really interested in tunes that
about. The exciting Out of No-npritul Sxersity s I have farms and lots 'of changes Unfortunately, the inte'rpreta-
where (MR 5089) follows up on gsand harmony and that's not in tion is hardly in keeping with
th° splendid Crisscraft MR 50- Otherwise Bonner as soloist! the jazz/rock vein at all." The the intensions of the composer.
68), Criss' first LP since 1968. dominates the first side as a tunes here were all composed As mentioned, each movement
And unlike some other labels, bridge from his first recording, j by Metheny himself and the re- has its own distinct character,
Muse and their producers, like also a fine solo effort called The sults are attractive and stimu- yet in this performance each isj
Bob Porter here, let Criss swing Lifesaver ("Angel Eyes" is lating. As from its title, the ses- played in exactly the same!
freely in all his glory. given a sensitively bluesy inter-; manner. Melody and not force-
pretation by Bonner but side two siop is positive and upbeat, and ful drama is the focus in the1
Beginning with a short intro- opens up with more large-group can be heartily recommended. opening Maestoso. Beauty and
ductory'Criss phrase on "All the soloing. Tenorist Billy Harper sunlight replace violent contrast.

playing is superb, but it is also
stiff and unfeeling.
So don't let the names of the
artists and the price of the disc
fool you. There is much more
to be found in this score than
Arrau and Giulini are able to
bring out.
-Tom Godell
r Berlioz
It has become almost tradi-
tional to regard the dullest and
most colorless interpretations of
the Symphonie Fantastique of
Berlioz as the best - thus the
tremendous critical acclaim giv-
en to the recent Colin Davis
disc. If this trend continues, the
nwiv r£ .UdinU hu b.Pan' J Maan

sensical. In many places where
the melody should sing out
clearly, it is simply lost in a
jumble of inner voices. With
emphasis continually placed In
the wrong areas much is lost
(my interest in particular).
The second movement is
merely more of the same. Dull
colors, and a lack of inherent
drama are emphasized by clumn-
sy, lumbering waltz phrases.
The "Country Scene" third
movement might have been suc-
cesful had my concentration not
been destroyed by having to
turn the record over in the mid-
dle of a particularly lovely sec-
tion. As to the brilliant and dar-
ing final movements-the less I
say about the sluggish march
and the indifferent "Dream of
the Witches Sabbath," the bet-
ter. 1
Berlioz contemporary and ad-
mirer Robert Schumann once
commented, "Never play bad
compositions and never listen to
them when not absolutely forced
to do so." He might have added
something concerning bad per-
formances of great master-
piebes and saved me all this
But where Martinon failed,
other conductors have been very
-successful, and there are many
fine recordings of this work to
choose from. Two are particu-
larly notable: Bernstein's Co-
lumbia recording with the New
Vrk Philharmonic is filled with

nwrcorai ngy JW il II
and the ORTF Orchestra of
Paris (Angel S-37138) will also
no doubt be drowned in lofty'
Oh, the recording begins ma-
jestically enough, Berlioz was a
master orchestrator, and the
ORTF players execute the notes
perfectly, producing a very
beautiful sound. But quickly
something is felt to be missing.
Berlioz's work is also known
for its unexpected outbursts and
strange harmonies. Martinon.


Things You Are" the atmos-
phere generates nothing but to-{
getherness. Criss' phrasing is
concise and substantial, and es- 4

and violinist LeRoy Jenkins takej
command with some biting and
innovative shots on "The Little
abnoltp e ,r ,,'

But like the stopped clock that
is right twice a day, this ap-
proach can be quite effective!

(1 At(If'A

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