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May 24, 1977 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-05-24

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- '.,,Ao 24 1977

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

Tuesc

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DY, rvluy .

Rockers face vinyl exams

MovinVan
the shuffle of the 70s, Van Morrison has
stood his ground and not fallen victim to
a razy styles or false trends. He hasn t put out
t of records recently either. But with his
A Period of Transition (Warner Bros. BS
he proves he's got the strength to last out
decade.
tile his commercial success has never been
of unmanagable proportions, Morrison's ca-
ree is secure enough to allow him time to work-
i usic out. He's returned after an absence of
avswsears with Dr. John (Mac Rebennack to
at his side and seven compelling songs that
al testify to his staying power.
>his new material is nearly standard fare for
Morrison, whose love of rhythm and blues,
iadbelly and soul is not the latest news. But
Morrison gives these songs his best shot and
they ring with the feeling he vocalizes in the
imagnificient "Flamingos Fly,"
I know where I came from
And howl
tt.> sticking to what he does well and deliver-
ng what he promises. Delta flavor tot
Morrison - or V
TIE CUTS are long and filled with a lot of up the approac
harmonies and horn arrangements. The set-up direct, sometime
initially reminds one of such albums as Moon- make the most o
dance but the compositions don't have'that mel- Noth that eve
low melodic flow to them. It's raw vocal power memorable. The
over the tight backing of the studio band that they used to'in h
Morrison attempts and achieves. There are them
"You Gotta To Make Through The World," sidered yet. Thi
"Heavy Connection" and "The Eternal Kansas to do a cohesiv
City" are straight-forward examples of Morri- Astral Weeks.
son's assault. While they may not be break- But when you
throughs or masterpieces, the commitment and is it, it's not the
execution Morrison has given them results in that is especiall
resounding successes. sition shows tht
Renneback's contribution is very helpful. He tion he's going i
co-produces, plays the keyboards and adds some bad.
Hard rock- candy
SWEET'S newly released album Off the Record (Capitol, Stao-
11636) is much like their earlier Desolation Boulevard in that
all of the songs are either about love or today's life and that
they all rock you in pretty much the same way.
The British rock quartet, comprised of lead vocalist Brian
Connolly, guitarist Andy Scott, bassist Steve Priest and drummer
Mick Tucker have kept their minds in tune with the type of music
on their preceeding album, which was basically hard rock.
Sweet is a group of English teen pop stars gone hard rock.
In 1972, they worked with the record producing and songwriting
team of Chinn-Chapman, who also -wrote for Suzi Quatro. Sweet
was very successful in Germany at this time on their various
European tours.
They then changed direction and went hard rock, breaking
into the American scene in 1975 with three hits from Desolation
Boulevard and right after that, Give Us a Wink that received
extensive AM and FM airplay: "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on
the Run" from Desolation and "Action" -from Give Us.
The first tune, "Fever of Love" is a relatively soft rocker
and almost sounds as if it could be used for the "Lone Ranger
theme." Throughout this song, and all of the others, one can
distinctly hear Connolly's unique vocals, which often border on
hysterical and high pitched screaming, a fair attempt by the three
remaining members to achieve harmonies resembling those of
Queen, and Andy Scott's Queen-like guitar.
"MIDNIGHT TO DAYLIGHT" is one of the songs I like the
most because of its melody and abundance of good drumming
work. It's one of those songs that can put you in a dancing mood.
"Laura Lee" is a soft rocker a la John Denver that describes
a man's thought about the girl he loves.
"Windy City" is my favorite cut. It features a heavy metal,
Black Sabbath like lead guitar-and a chord structure similar to
an the Deep Purple smash "Smoke on theWater."
"Live for Today" is a fast rhythm number with'rapid fire
drumming and bass lines (indicating a reflection of the times?)
and the title tells all: let yourself go, break the rules, don't worry.
"Get out of my way/I'm only here for today."
"She Gimmie Lovin"' is arranged with a fast beat and a
rapid lead'guitar very reminiscent of one of Sweef's earlier hits,
("Ballroom Blitz)". This number could be an attempt to capitalize-
on the success of "Ballroom Blitz" oand stimulate more frequent
airplay for the group,
Although Off the Record won't win the Grammy for "Record
of the Year", it should be popular, especially for established fans.
It has everything from John Denver to disco to Black Sabbath,
but all in a sweet way. -Tim Yagle

Mehr Beatlemania

the proceedings. He doesn't let
Van knows enough not to-soften
h or overdo it. The music is
s hard-hitting and together they
if it,
rything is classic or even that
lyrics don't sound as fresh .as
is pseudo-cosmic or Them days.
es Morrison's work hasn't con-
s might be a ripe time for him
e songcycle as he once tried in
get to the stage when Morrison
reception of an individual album
y noteworthy. A Period of Tran-
at Morrison knows which direc-
n - and you know that can't be
-Kurt Harju
a, B
55
f L
'Jukes' box
FOR those who at first feared
(and I was among them)
that Southside Johnny and his
group was merely a lukewarm
commercial takeoff on Bruce
Springsteen, their latest a-bum
This Time It's For Real (Epic
PE 34669) is welcome evidence
that they aren't - if they ever
were at all,
While operating jn basically
the same 50's territory as
Springsteen, Southside Johnny
and the Asbury Jukes rmain
closer to the actual sound of
that era whereas Springsteen
stays truer to its spirit and
memory. What's surprising is
that Johnny and his boys do it
really well - it rarely comes
off as old music or nostalgia.
For them, it's here and now.
The Springsteen connection
is hard to get away from, by
co-writing three of the songs,
Springsteen is ironically keep-
ing his hand in while financial
and legal obstacles prevent him
See 'SOUTHSIDE', Page 7

Live! at the Star-Club in
hamburg, Germany; 1962 is
one of the two live Beatle IPs
ever released, not counting
bootlegs, and for any dedicated
Beatle faia (is there one of us
who isn't?) it's a natsit. Cn-
taining thirteen vintaige rockyrs
never before recorded by the
Beatles, the album presents ant
incredible retrospective of the
most legendary group in pop
history.
Before encountering Brian
Spstein or George Martin, the
Beatles played the clubs of
Hamburg, where Liverpudlian
beat groups were made or brok-
en. John Lennon always said
that their best years as per-
formers were those prior to
their world-wide fame, when
their repertoire consisted large-
ly of un-original material. This
album presents a golden oppor-
tunityto ehear the Beatles dir-
ing those years, wtihout the
polish their sound acquired af-
ter they were catapulted to
fame.
On Live! at the Star - Club,
the Beatles lack some of the
finese they exhibited on their
world - wide tours, but display
a raw energy and spunk large-
ly absent from those later per-
formances. The occasional mis-
takes and free - spirited drive
make the sound much more
"live" than the pat, studio-
sound concerts they delivered
over the voices of thousands of
screaming teenagers during the
mid-sixties.
ON MANY of the cuts, such
as "Sweet Little Sixteen" and
"Kansas City," it sounds like
someone switched the Beatles
into high gear; Lennon's rhy-
thm guitar really drives the
band and Ringo delivers his
metronome - .style drumming
with a bit more punch than one
is accustomed to. The arrange-
ment of "I Saw Her Standing
There" is virtually identical to
the one released on record, ex-
cept that this one really races.
In general, many of the cuts
make the studio versions seem

plodding h comparison. This
is what a live rock concert
should do, hat it didn't happen
t the co-crs the Beatles gave
after 1954 it would appear
lhey had turned professional
even by then.
Bti perhaps the most remark-
able aspect of this record is
tha a it aislays, even in 1902,
anav of the eatles musical
qualities that were to lead to
theirstart'cesson li iat the
Star - ('lb. titaes like Lennon-
and - M arth 's own "tAsk
Me wits fit right in with the
Choakt Berrv rockes vet one
ca't help being struck by the
Beatles' sensitive har-"ony, one
of the most uniane and won-
derful aspects of their sound
throughout the later years.
NONE OF TIlE BEATlES,
with the exception of McCart-
nev on bato, wis ever a whiz
n his instrumet, and on Live!
at the Ctar - Club, as on the
early Beatle albums, some of
Harrison's guitar solos are
downright embarrassing. The
classic Chuck Berry intro to
"Roll over Beethoven" is
botched to the extent that any
junior high school kidhtoday
could play it better. But the
Beatles were never character-
ized by individual showman-
ship, and on this album, they
perform with a unity of sound
and direction that makes you
believe they might really go
someplace.
As for the quality of the re-
cording, to be honest, it isn't
that great. The entire perform-
ance was recorded on a home
tape recorder with one mike,
and in spite of the good pro-
duction, the relatively poor re-
cording quality often harshens
the sound and obscures the vo-
cals.
Still, any opportunity to hear
the Beatles before they hit pay-
dirt is nothing short of an op-
portunity to re-live history, and
Live! at the Star - Club gives
one just that chance.
-Owen Gleiberman
g Betts
cellent supporting work on
both electric and acoustic gui-
tar. Ken Tibbets is all over the
place on bass, adding tremen-
dously to each cut. The double
drum section (Jerry Thompson
and Doni Sharbono) maintain
a strong, yet caressingly gen-
tle beat. Tom Broome's key-
board work is good, especially
the short solo on "Nothing You
Can Do".
Betts wrote five of the seven
songs on the album, and the
arrangements are very smooth.
The album as a whole is very
polished, and yet spontaneous
enough tobkeep it interesting.
Betts' debut as a producer is
also noteworthy.
While much of the album is
composed of quick tempoed
rockers, Betts wisely tossed in
a couple of beautiful soft ones,
namely "Bouganvillea" and
"The Way Love Goes". These
two are special because he
seems to play them from the
heart. The same applies to
"Sweet Virginia".
This album is excellent in
different ways. Beyond the pow-
erful material and clever pro-
ductions, it allows us to see
Betts without the shadow, yet
it allows us to hear some good
Southern rock again.
-Ric Shhia

WInn In
'm sorry, Dickey.
Like a lot of other people
who though you were a poor
second to Duane Allman, I was
wrong. That much is evident
from your new release, Dickey
Betts and Great Southern (Aris-
ta-AL 4123)..
For those of you with short
memories, Dickey Betts was
the second guitarist in the All-
man Brothers Band. He was
good before, but it wasn't until
now that his complete virtuo-
sity became clear. Nobody
doubted his songwriting capa-
bilitiestand he's maintained
that standard. Maybe he just
needed his own musicians to
.set him free.
The album is excellent South-
ern rock, but if[ is more than
that. It's nearly impossible to
sit still while it's playing, the
damn thing is infectious. Betts
has captured that mystical
Southern laid-back feeling and
put it on vinyl.
His gutiar work is superb,
the trademarks of a master are
there, with awesome slide work
and clean, hard electric guitar
riffs. Yet his guitar does not
overpower the rest of the band.
GREAT SOUTHERN is com-
posed of five musicians. "Dan-
gerous Dan" Toler does ex--

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