Monday, June 05, 2006

WHAM BAM BRITISH GLAM: Def Leppard's "Yeah!"

In the same day: Crash Kelly's Electric Satisfaction and Def Leppard's Yeah! Decisions, decisions, but Dick Destiny is leading with Leppard because they take the album name from Brownsville Station's Yeah! from 1973. And that's the fundamental vintage of the Leppard CD, give or take two years to either side.

Why guys want to play electric guitar.
There's no "Smokin' In The Boys Room," but the Leppard's know the vice, anyway. What's the brand -- Rothmans instead of Cub Koda's three packs a day, and rock 'n' roll fun? Who knows, it's veddy British, with a great transcription of the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset." No Beatles here, but ELO's "10538 Overture" gets close, which is the idea. Either that, or you can pretend the Leps are imitating Cheap Trick at its most florid. Following it, Roxy Music's "Street Life" in form that dumps the art rock and elevates the swaggering glam ballroom beat.

Another pleasant surprise, ""He's Gonna Step On You Again," by a Brit "two-hit" wonder, John Kongoes. Who he? Someone from 1970-71, entangled with Elton John/Gus Dudgeon. And maybe there should have been more of him because the tune sits up, barks and asks you to play it a few times.

The track programming is crushing: "Little Bit of Love," Free doing Motown, "The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll" (Mott the Hoople), "No Matter What" (Badfinger) -- all wham-wham-wham, climaxed with the jungle beat of "Step On You" and Thin Lizzy's crunching "Don't Believe a Word." If your hips used to move to rock 'n' roll, they might twitch once again. Don't embarrass youself, wait until everyone's out of the room except the pets. They can't talk.

For those who want the he-man stuff, there's guitar, lots of it, and solos. Check Phil Collin's on "No Matter What" and the finger-flyin' zinger he tosses over the shoulder into "Golden Age."

The booklet comes with every bandmember dressed-up to rep a favorite iconic '70's glam rock album cover. Guitarist Vivian Campbell's Marc Bolan (if you can't guess the album, you don't want this record); Phil Collin's head is Photoshopped onto Raw Power's Iggy Pop. Heh- don't we all wish, guy. (Attention kids, if you play guitar, you too might get to look like this!) In the pamphlet, the band member's explain why they like the songs they do. Read a couple to get the idea, skip the rest and put the CD. You didn't get this to imagine their gums flapping into a tape recorder.

Every year, I find a few new glam rock records to make me flip. It's dependable, for people who like to play electric guitar and sing, no matter their age, always like it. And this article, from last year, goes on about it even more.

The psychology of Clara Petacci: Def Leppard too shallow? Then read a big newspaper pop music recommendation

Saturday, Dick Destiny continued explaining the cliche of newspaper music journalists and the presentation of pop music as something of intellectual value for the upper-middle class. It's gotta be earnest, it has to mean something, it has to be intelligent, so much so that if you have any and like pop music you'll set down the paper and go outside with a glass of ice tea.

So for Saturday, the Los Angeles Times presented some trivial computer mash-up artist who taken filth-rocker GG Allin, someone who was way to in your face for almost everyone, and actually recommended music that had turned him into the equivalent of a tube of Gleem toothpaste.

On Sunday, it was Scott Walker, who has a new album. Of course, Walker's the equivalent of intellectual musical B-12 vitamin in the rock critic lexicon, an unpalatable horrible-tasting no-sale but always good for you. "Autodidactic"! "Genius"! "Pretentious"! "Eccentric"! All in the same sentence!

Walker "crystallizes rock's idea of high art." Of course he does. His "operatic" voice make him "more rebellious. . . " And if you are still the doubter, Walker delivers some "T.S. Eliot," the psychology of fascism" because one song is about Mussolini's girlfriend, Clara Petacci; "the impact of terrorism" and other stuff that I could have programmed the artificial intelligence program robot on my old BBS in 1995 to say under the theme: "Rock critic trying to persuade
you take your medicine."


Anonymous davestar said...

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7:34 AM  

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