Led Zeppelin – “Houses of the Holy” (1973)

November 5, 2010 at 7:32 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This June 7, 1973 review comes from the pen of Gordon Fletcher. I have to say that I don’t agree with it at all, but it’s interesting to see what critics thought at the time, and Rolling Stone seemed to have it in for Zeppelin during most of their existence. Of course the magazine now calls them one of the greatest bands ever. That figures…

For me, Led Zeppelin began as the epitome of everything good about rock: solid guitar work, forceful vocals and rhythmic backing, devotion to primal blues forms, and most of all, thunderous excitement on stage and vinyl. But as superstardom came to them, so too came the gradual evaporation of those qualities from their sound. In the same way that the Rolling Stones evolved into a senior, “safe” bizarro-perversion band, Led Zeppelin has become a senior, “safe” heavy-metal band. But by its very nature safety cannot co-exist with heavy-metal fire and macho intensity (or bizarro-perversion, for that matter), which is probably why Houses of the Holy is one of the dullest and most confusing albums I’ve heard this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Timothy White – “David Bowie: Turn and Face the Strange” (1978)

November 5, 2010 at 3:26 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Timothy White’s February 1978 Crawdaddy piece on The Thin White Duke…

For seven days it had rained almost constantly in New York City. An evil gleam shone on every assailable surface, and thin, wet snakes of chill stole into each wrigglespace between concrete and steel, clothing and skin, marrow and nerve.

One hated to look up. New York’s cloud-rotted sky was in the clench of the Apple’s towering animal teeth. And the view down around its tarry gums wasn’t much prettier, the usual furtive street ballet now ranging in mood from thorny to reptilian. The foul weather would not relent, and inevitably, hidden seams began to surface and split, emitting a pus of frustration and violence. Read the rest of this entry »

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