Author Archives: Michael H. Little

Graded on a Curve: Ecstatic Vison,
Raw Rock Fury

Ecstatic Vision’s 2017’s Raw Rock Fury is a double-headed beast. On one hand it includes a couple of the most devastating blasts of sonic power to come down the pike since the Stooges’ Fun House. On the other, it contains some of the best Krautrock autobahn boogie this side of Hawkwind and Neu!.

Those are some bold claims, I know. But them’s what my ears tell me, and my ears haven’t lied since they proclaimed Black Oak Arkansas the next Beatles (and they weren’t really lying, cuz they shoulda been!). But they’re right on this one; on Raw Rock Fury–which more than lives up to its title–Ecstatic Vision prove they’re the City of Brotherly Love’s best exploding act since Phil “Chicken Man” Testa.

My pal and world-renowned musical expert Bill Barnett recently saw Ecstatic Vision play live, and he reported their set included covers of both “TV Eye” and Hawkwind’s “Master of the Universe,” so the band is hardly attempting to deny its influences. But they’re anything but a tribute act.

Both “You Got It or You Don’t” and “Keep It Loose” take the anarchic energy of 1970’s Fun House to whole new levels. Which is something the Stooges themselves couldn’t do; in comparison 1971’s Raw Power–and it would be wrong to place all of the blame on producer David Bowie–sounds positively emaciated. And they infuse their takes on Krautrock/psych-rock with some good old Stooges punch.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Jack Kerouac,
Poetry for the Beat Generation

Jack Kerouac changed my life. I read On the Road and just like that I went from being this adolescent CYO nerd with no goals or dreams to a cut-rate beatnik wannabe who drank Tokay wine and sought out angel-headed hipsters and gone beat characters in the pool halls and greasy diners of nearby Gettysburg and Taneytown, drove like I had a death wish in imitation of Dean Moriarty, and hopped a moving 2 a.m. freight train and rode in an open coal car the whole way to Harrisburg.

It was all a ridiculous fantasy, I know; there were no angel-headed hipsters or beat characters to be found in the pool halls and diners of Gettysburg and Taneytown, and one late night train ride hardly made me the second coming of Sal Paradise. But Kerouac did more for me than just turn me into a poseur; he fired my imagination and turned me on to literature, and fueled my desire to escape my one-horse town and have big wild adventures in the American night. He even made me think that, who knew, one day maybe I’d even write a meaningful sentence or two.

Kerouac has similarly inspired innumerable other kids, which is why all of those detractors who mocked him when On the Road came out in 1957 were 100 percent wrong. It’s hard to fathom, today, the savaging he received from a clueless press. If Time was content to ridicule him as “a latrine laureate of Hobohemia,” other, more hysterical voices, sniffing the downfall of Western civilization in his descriptions of junkies, small time criminals, and (gak!) “negroes,” proclaimed him the spearhead of a nihilistic and violent death cult.

Why, you’d have thought he was the Sex Pistols. Norman Podhertz seemed to think murder was the theme of Kerouac’s writing. And an obviously deranged writer for The San Francisco Examiner went so far as to submit that Kerouac’s “degenerate” followers were prone to feeding strangers hamburgers laced with ground glass. And, with a few notable exceptions, the literary establishment was no more charitable; Truman Capote, for one, famously dismissed Kerouac’s work with the words, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: England Dan and
John Ford Coley,
Nights Are Forever

It speaks volumes about my horrible and tortured existence that England Dan and John Ford Coley was the first musical act I ever saw live. Is that sad or what? I mean, let’s ignore for a moment the well-marinaded urinal cake that is their music–just take a glance at that cover! What with their sex predator lady ticklers and nausea-colored leisure suits, soft pop’s saddest-looking Mutt and Jeff act look like convicted pedophiles at a junior high prom, lurking in the shadow of the punch bowl for the chance to hand out free mustache rides.

That said, I actually liked their big hit single “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” when it came out in 1976, and I still brighten up when I hear it in my local supermarket. The album it’s attached to, not so much–if nights are forever, so is this baby–listening to it, I fell prey to the awful conviction that dawn would never come.

Nights Are Forever is a little bit country, and a little bit something else, and suffice it to say the something else is something you don’t want in your ears. If I had to use a color to describe the music on Nights Are Forever, I’d direct you to England Dan’s leisure suit, which any clothier worth a toss would adjudge an off-shade of shit.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. One might more charitably describe Nights Are Forever as bottom-shelf Yacht Rock, and blandly inoffensive enough if you’re only listening to it with that part of your mind usually reserved for listening to someone describe, in excruciating detail, their latest master cleanse. As one would expect, most of these songs are as sensitive as chafed balls, and, should you be dumb enough to pay close attention, almost as painful.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | 1 Comment

Graded on a Curve: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River

1969–here in America, it was the best of years, it was the worst of years. On one hand, Woodstock marked the high-water mark of hippie utopianism. On the other hand, the Vietnam War, Altamont, and the dark specter of the Manson Family made clear that far from harkening the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, Woodstock was but an idealistic hiccup–three days of peace and music were nice, but they didn’t change the ugly and immutable basics of bestial human nature.

The soul of America was at stake in 1969, and musicians reacted to this struggle in different ways. Some sang topical protest songs. Others–Bob Dylan being the most notable example–simply exempted themselves from struggle altogether.

Two bands exemplify yet another approach. Both the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival mythologized America, creating timeless songs filled with archetypes and imagery. The bands had much in common; they weren’t hippies, they didn’t perform free-form jams or go in for the dayglo trappings of psychedelia–for both groups, LSD, Sgt. Pepper, and the Summer of Love might as well have never happened.

But the two bands approached America in very different ways. On their eponymous 1969 release, the Band looked fondly backwards towards an idealized past–with the exception of the dire “Look Out Cleveland,” they eschewed the dark currents of 1969 altogether. As for Creedence, they occasionally addressed the issues of the day; “Fortunate Son” addressed the Vietnam war, and “Run Through the Jungle” gun proliferation in the U.S.A. But for the most part they dealt with the dark undercurrents of American history more obliquely. John Fogerty’s is an apocalyptic vision of America; if there’s one word that sums up the mood of his archetypal songs, it’s dread.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Billy Joel,
The Stranger

If I don’t like this album, it’s not because I don’t like but this album. No, I don’t like it because it provokes flashbacks of one of the more distressing episodes of my traumatic adolescence. You see, the year it came out I presented it to my first ever girlfriend on her birthday. Less than a week later, she dumped me.

I would like to be able to report I handled her rejection with dignity and aplomb. Instead I went out and got smashing drunk for the first time in my life, and came to the next morning on a moldy mattress in the garage of some kid I didn’t know from Adam. Let’s just call him The Stranger.

Trauma aside, I rather liked Billy Joel’s The Stranger when it came out in 1977. I thought it, in fact, quite the sophisticated work of art. Greenhorn that I was–I grew up amidst pig farms in a small town with one traffic light in the sticks of South Central Pennsylvania–I considered it “worldly,” and if there was one thing I aspired to, it was worldliness.

Take “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Not only had I never been inside an Italian restaurant, I couldn’t have told you where to even find an Italian restaurant, unless you counted the Pizza Hut in nearby Gettysburg or the greasy, hole-the-wall pizza joint next to the 7-11 at the northern limits of my hometown. Mr. Piano Man, on the other hand, seemed to know everything there was to know about Italian restaurants. Urbane fellow that he was, he even knew that wine came in both red and white. What a revelation! I thought it only came in Boone’s Farm Strawberry.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Elton John,
Elton John

The release of the musical biopic Rocketman–which just so happens to coincide with Elton John’s triumphant Farewell Tour–reminds us of just how much everybody’s favorite pudgy glam superstar has given us over the years.

Elton will forever be remembered in large part for his showmanship, but on his 1970 eponymous U.S. debut he has yet to begin the transformation from bespectacled nebbish to the most fantastical creature this side of Jobriath. On the cover, he hides in the shadows; Captain Fantastic, with his flamboyant costumes and knee-high platform boots, is nowhere in sight. But while he had yet to perfect his glittering persona, the classic tunes are here–both “Your Song” and “Border Song” have gone on to become rock standards.

Elton John shows other glimmers of the glories to come. The smashing piano rocker “Take Me to the Pilot” is a preview of the tough guy who would give us “The Bitch Is Back” and “Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting).” And the Rolling Stones pastiche and rock ’n’ roll readymade that is “No Shoe Strings on Louise” would fit quite nicely on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

But the album doesn’t hold up as a whole, primarily because Gus Dudgeon (or someone) simply refused to let the songs speak for themselves. Instead, Dudgeon (or someone) gussied many of them up with fussy and overbearing orchestral arrangements. Adding to the problem are the intrusive embellishments of Diana Lewis’ Moog synthesizer; I would direct your attention in particular to the otherwise hard-rocking “The Cage.” Finally, Elton himself schmaltzes up one song (“I Need You to Turn To”) by accompanying himself with the harpsichord. Message to Elton: put that thing down this minute!

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Lou Reed,
Coney Island Baby

Anybody who doesn’t have a love-hate relationship with Lou Reed, well, I have to wonder about them. He was both a flawed genius and an unreconstituted pretentious asshole/nutjob, and it could be hard to separate his bat shit from his diamonds. But one LP I love unconditionally is 1976’s Coney Island Baby, on which he reveals both a pop side and a vulnerable side, and on which Reed shocked the entire world by singing about how he wanted to play football for the coach. Lou Reed? Football? To paraphrase John Fogerty, “Put me in coach/I’m ready to pay… good money for methamphetamines.”

Coney Island Baby is as close as Reed would ever come to pure pop product, and followed hard on the heels of the disappointing Lou Reed Live and the combination fiasco/fuck you that was Metal Machine Music, on which Lou let feedback do not just the heavy lifting, but all of the lifting period, before cold-bloodedly foisting off the resulting caterwaul on a defenseless public. Lou claimed there were classical references buried in all that hypnotizing squeal, but Reed spent those years as crazy as a hoot owl on one substance or another, and should you ever get the chance I recommend you read the Lester Bangs essay in which he calls Reed on Metal Machine Music, amongst other things.

Don’t get me wrong. Lou at his warmest can still be one mean character. On the otherwise catchy “Charley’s Girl,” which comes with a ready-made melody and fetching female backing vocalists, Lou warns the world to “watch out for Charley’s girl,” because she’s evidently some sort of narc, and in the middle of the song he sings, “I said if I ever see Sharon again/I’m gonna punch her face in.” Which is one catchy rhyme, but given Reed’s history of domestic abuse, was neither funny nor an idle threat.

But for the most part the melodies are friendly and easy on the ears, and there isn’t so much as a trace of the maniac/genius who gave us such harsh blasts of gritty Hubert Selby Jr. realism as “Sister Ray.” There are no extended cuts either. No, this is your radio-friendly Lou, although the radio declined to turn any of these tunes into hits. Only on the static, stutter rock classic “Kicks,” a loosey-goosey studio shuck/jam on which Lou lets us know he needs thrills in his life, does the wild man show us his avant-garde degenerate dope fiend side. With its weird vocal interjections, disjointed conversations, and general aura of studio mayhem, it has more in common with the Velvet Underground’s “Lady Godiva’s Operation” than anything else Reed would ever put on record.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: George Harrison,
Dark Horse

“A hoarse dork” was Village Voice scribe’s description of George Harrison upon the release of 1974’s Dark Horse, but I disagree–guitarist/vocalist Harrison may be my least favorite Beatle, but his voice isn’t hoarse–it’s a 98-pound weakling. What else do I have against poor George? Well, his songs are limpid pools of jello, his soggy spiritualism gives Eastern religion a bad name, and he’s been known to play the gubgubbi. Oh, and have I mentioned he’s more than a tad… boring?

On his star-studded third solo LP, Harrison wimps his way through 10 flaccid songs, declines to show off the formidable guitar chops he brought to the Fab Four, and fails to show even the slightest flashes of the songwriting genius responsible for such delicate and lovely gems as “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” When the best a former Beatle can come up with is a dopey (and only mildly enthusing) New Year’s Eve singalong called “Ding Dong, Ding Dong,” that former Beatle is in definite need of a shot of steroids.

Yes, steroids. George is like that concave-chested high school nebbish who still manages to get the girls; he has his charms, but they’re ineffable, apparently. Whatever do his fans hear in his thin-as-the-veil-of Maya voice? And his limpid and wispy songs, which so obviously need to hit the gym and develop some muscle? It’s a mystery is what it is, like Stonehenge or the final resting place of Jimmy Hoffa.

Dark Horse is a bloodless affair and as light as a balloon; as for its maker, his chief desire appears to remain as unnoticed as possible. And the same goes for his cast of superstar tag-alongs; with the exception of the ubiquitous Billy Preston on keyboards and Tom Scott on sax, they too seem to be doing their best to disappear into the wallpaper. “Ding Dong, Ding Dong,” for example, features the impressive guitar talents of Ron Wood, Alvin Lee, and Mick Jones, but you’d never know it by listening to it. All you can hear are those damned bells.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Nickelback,
The Long Road

Well here we have it–a band that makes me want to build a wall on our northern border. Nickelback is the foulest Canadian export this side of bovine semen, and I’m calling for an immediate embargo.

Before we begin, let me just state for the record that I’m no moral crusader. I’ve been known to disparage bands that espouse moral causes (e.g., Fugazi), and to applaud bands that advocate drug and alcohol abuse, sexual perversion, and setting forest fires.

But I’m making a special exception for Chad Kroeger and Company. Mind you, it’s not primarily their music that offends me. It’s vapid stuff, and no better or worse than the shite produced by Maroon 5, 3 Doors Down, Papa Roach, Creed or any number of other bands. I hear it and I turn it off and half the time I don’t even know it’s them. I just feel nauseous.

No, Nickelback beats the competition hands down on the sexism of their lead singer. Kroeger’s misogyny is so nakedly repellent it makes AC/DC look like Andrea Dworkin. I listen to him and think, “Where’s Valerie Solanas when we need her?”

It’s important to distinguish between Kroeger and someone like, say, the late Anal Cunt frontman Seth Putnam. Putnam’s work was repugnant at many levels, but he thought of himself as a comedian working a vein of very black humor, even if most people (and rightfully so) didn’t get the joke. Kroeger isn’t joking, and would no doubt be offended if you were to call him a woman-hating putz.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Whitesnake,

Everybody knows the rap on Whitesnake–bad Led Zeppelin rip off, dumb songs without a spark of originality, and even dumber vocals by former Deep Perp singer David Coverdale–the guy Robert Plant once playfully renamed David Cover Version.

And you know what? As much as I like to be a contrarian, in this case everybody’s right. Whitesnake’s self-titled 1987 breakthrough is a fearsome display of relentless banality, and almost makes me rethink my hatred for the music of Sammy Hagar. It’s as if both band and producer checked their brains at the studio door, then proceeded to check off the boxes of a rock cliché checklist.

The stupid song titles tell the story; if “Bad Boys” and “Still of the Night” don’t give you the horrors, “Children of the Night” certainly should. They scream “formula” and it’s formula you get–the pair of songs with “love” in the title are trite power ballads (as is the LP’s only listenable tune, “Here I Go Again”); as for the rest of the songs, they seem to be an attempt to prove that Whitesnake isn’t a Led Zep tribute band because, well, they’re happy to rip off just anybody. So on Whitesnake you get cheap facsimiles of Van Halen (“Children of the Night”), Sammy Hagar (“Bad Boys”), “Here I Go Again” (Bon Jovi) and “Is This Love” (Jennifer Warnes and Don Henley).

There’s no denying that the band produces an impressive din. Ansley Dunbar is one helluva drummer, and one can only wonder why he’s slumming with these bozos. And despite his knack for playing solos that go nowhere, John Sykes plays one manly guitar. Whitesnake’s problem is that it doesn’t have a single unique thing to say.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
REO Speedwagon,
You can Tune a piano,
but you can’t Tuna fish.

I love this album, you most likely loathe this album, and you know what? I don’t give a shit! Feel free to mock this 1978 classic for its stupid title and awful cover, and even to hold your nose at the music contained within said cover, but be aware that proud know-nothings such as yours truly simply laugh at such criticism before drowning it out with the totally brilliant opening track, “Roll with the Changes.”

I’ll be the first to admit You can Tune a piano… isn’t the perfect album. The perfect REO album would include such earlier gems as “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” “Keep Pushin’,” “Anti Establishment Man,” and–it goes without saying–”Prison Women,” which includes such immortal poesy as “Like tears to a mouse, a biting to a clam” and “Life from limping eyes, yeah.” And how could I have forgotten “Light Up,” which is actually a Styx song but who’s counting?

You can Tune a piano… was the Champlain, Illinois band’s seventh LP in as many years, and it was the one that answered the question, “If this bunch of journeymen hacks really insists upon sucking, why can’t they at least sell a few records while they’re at it?” The critics hated ‘em; hell, even the rare plaudits they did receive were back-handed ones at best. “Pioneers of AOR schlock-rock schlock-pop,” Village Voice scribe Robert Christgau called them, and I think he meant it as a compliment.

But populist types like this guy knew better. Sure, their albums were uneven–a fate shared by You can Tune a piano… –but they all showed glimmers of originality; say what you will about the hard-charging “Roll with the Changes,” it’s anything but your hard rock same old same old. On it Gary Richrath lets loose on guitar, Neil Doughty struts his stuff on Hammond organ, and vocalist Kevin Cronin almost doesn’t sound like a pussy, and it evokes images of the band as entertainers on a 19th Mississippi riverboat, say the one in Herman Melville’s 1857 novel The Confidence Man. Although I suspect that’s just me.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Rod Stewart,
Every Picture Tells
a Story

The Decline and Fall of Roderick David Stewart is one of rock’s great tragedies. Five years, tops, is how long it took for “Rod the Mod”—the lovable rogue with the rooster-cut and the great cackle whose unique talents as a singer and songwriter gave us the magnificent Every Picture Tells a Story—to transform himself into “Rod the Bod,” the sleazy, self-proclaimed sex symbol and trend-following hack who bequeathed us “Hot Legs” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

Since then Stewart has released a slew of desultory LPs (does anybody remember 1983’s Body Wishes or 1988’s appropriately titled Out of Order? If so, you have some explaining to do) and reinvented himself as an interpreter of popular song via his five “volumes” of The Great American Songbook. (Me, I prefer unpopular song. As Oscar Wilde once noted, “Everything popular is wrong.”) And I’m forced to ask: Am I the only one who wonders what happened? Because Stewart’s precipitous plummet from genius to sex goat is nothing less than a riddle wrapped in an enigma, or to be more accurate a mystery wrapped in the awful suit he’s wearing on the cover of Body Wishes, which makes him look like Don Johnson in flames.

Stewart’s singing career began in the early sixties, and he played in some half-dozen bands including The Steampacket (with Long John Baldry and Brian Auger) and The Jeff Beck Group before joining The Faces at about the same time he released his first solo LP, 1969’s The Rod Stewart Album. Rod was an ambitious lad, splitting his time between the Faces and his solo work and somehow managing to put out both a Faces album and a solo album nearly every year. Unlike the Faces’ rough-edged but smart good-times rock’n’roll, Stewart’s solo albums tended to cover the waterfront from rock, country, R&B, to folk.

Stewart’s first two LPs—for which he basically dragooned the Faces as a backup band—didn’t chart particularly well, although they included such excellent songs as “Handbags and Gladrags,” “Cut Across Shorty,” and “Gasoline Alley.” So come LP no. 3, Stewart tried a different approach, limiting the input of the Faces (excepting guitarist Ron Wood) to basically one tune—a cover of The Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You”—in favor of a sound that accentuated the mandolin of Lindsay Raymond Jackson (of Lindisfarne infamy), the violin of Dick Powell, and the 6,000 different guitars of Ron Wood.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Fairport Convention, Unhalfbricking

If folk music scares me–and it does–English folk music really scares me; I’m still trying to recover from the traumatic consequences of inadvertently viewing a YouTube video of Pentangle performing the pro-virginity dirge “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme.”

That said, I’ve always made an exception for Fairport Convention in general, and their LP 1969’s Unhalfbricking in particular. Unhalfbricking was the work of a band moving away from American influences towards the Ye Olde English-style minstrelsy, and the music they performed during said transition is some of their best.

Fairport Convention’s take on folk rock is decidedly English–as English as eel pie. And how couldn’t it be–listening to Sandy Denny, who remains arguably the best English folk singer in the history of recorded music, is like walking the Cornish cliffs of Tintagel on a lovely May morn. But–and the caveat is critical–you never get the awful sense you’ve wandered into the bucolic pagan setting of the 1973 film The Wicker Man, where you’ll be shoved into a wicker totem and burned alive, a sacrifice to a bountiful harvest, as the happy villagers sing “Sumer Is Icumen In.” (A tune I’m sure Pentangle performed all the time.)

While “lovely” best describes the songs on Unhalfbricking, you get plenty of variety: a trio of exceptional Dylan covers; one instant classic; a pair of slower numbers that creep up on you, and one Cajun-flavored rock’n’roller that sticks out, if you’ll bear the obscure allusion, like Beau Brummell at a stevedores’ convention. Oh, and there’s one simply incredible song that somehow manages to bridge the gap between the English traditional folk form and the Velvet Underground.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve:
Easy Rider, OST

Today we remember actor Peter Fonda who passed away on Friday, August 16 with a look back at the soundtrack from one of his most iconic roles, Easy Rider.

After seeing Easy Rider for the first time, I wanted nothing more than to take off across America on a chopper with a tear drop gas tank emblazoned with the red, white, and blue, smoke tons of grass and gobble lots of acid, and meet a lunatic ACLU lawyer in a gold football helmet looking to turn on, tune in, and drop out. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, as my first motorcycle ride also turned out to be my last, after losing control of the thing and crashing head-on into our next door neighbor’s barn. And nothing’s changed over the years; the last time I tried to ride a bicycle I decided to smoke a cigarette at the same time, and ended up toppling into some rat-infested shrubbery.

So Captain America I’m not. But I love the movie, which was all about freedom, man, freedom to wear your hair long and get stoned and do whatever the hell you wanted to do without kowtowing to the Man, man. Billy (Dennis Hopper) and Captain America (Peter Fonda) represented the outlaw biker life, which came without the shackles of job, home, and hearth, but carried its own risks; as the ACLU lawyer Hanson (Jack Nicholson) tells Billy and Captain America, their freedom makes the squares “dangerous. Buh, neh! Neh! Neh! Neh! Swamp!”

But the thing I love most about the world’s greatest hippie exploitation film is its soundtrack, the rights to which cost more than the film itself. It includes two great Steppenwolf tunes and one and a half Dylan tunes, both of which were performed by Roger McGuinn, and intersperses dope anthems with dismal songs of doom, in keeping with the movie’s groovier moments and lingering sense—what with homicidal rednecks and pigs everywhere—that things won’t end well for Billy, Captain America, and Hanson. (Spoiler alert! Shit, too late.) And when I talk about the soundtrack I’m not talking about the 2004 Deluxe Edition, but the one you could listen to in your groovy pad with its beaded doorways, day glo ceilings, and black light poster of Three Dog Night (okay, so you were one very unhip hippie; don’t beat yourself up about it).

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

Graded on a Curve: Fleetwood Mac,
Kiln House

Between their start as a standard English blues band and their apotheosis as perhaps the seventies best pop group, Fleetwood Mac wandered from style to style and sideman to sideman, and in so doing put out some very intriguing albums. 1970’s Kiln House is a fine example.

Guitarist Peter Green was out. Guitarist Jeremy Spencer was in, as was (kind of) Christine McVie, who provided backing vocals and wouldn’t be considered a full member until 1971’s Future Games. Bob Welch, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks were all in the future.

Like the other LPs Fleetwood Mac would release during their middle period, Kiln House is a dizzyingly eclectic affair. You get a couple of rockabilly rave-ups, a country music parody, a very, very English folk rock instrumental, an engaging hard rocker in the vein of The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman” (only gnarlier!), a couple of very likable folk rock ditties, and an inspired cover of “Buddy’s Song,” which is credited to Buddy Holly’s mom Ella but is basically “Peggy Sue Got Married” with new words.

Kiln House constitutes a loving backwards look at rock ’n’ roll’s past, and as such anticipated the “rock ’n’ roll revival” that would inspire albums by the likes of John Lennon, The Band, David Bowie and a whole slew of backwards-looking English glam bands.

Read More »

Posted in The TVD Storefront | Leave a comment

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text