Tony Stewart

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM New Musical Express, March 20, 1976

The reviewer of this album complained that Quo didn`t re-think their formula. If he had only known how much more of the boogie-rock formula they would follow in the coming years, and with great success, I guess he would have been shocked!

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S. Quo maintain the status q.

By Tony Stewart

STATUS QUO: Blue For You (Vertigo)

At this stage in their career, Status Quo should have recorded a live album.
Instead, they`ve returned to the studio environment to make “Blue For You”, which undoubtedly falls into place as a continuation of the formula they initiated five albums ago with “Dog Of Two Heads”.
Of course, the band`s argument will be Why change direction when the sales of the last album were phenomenal? And why tamper with a well-drilled approach when the concert halls are packed fit to bust?
Not for the reviewer`s benefit, certainly. And apparently not for their own, because they seem quite content to tread a well-worn path, which is at the moment as safe as the proverbial houses.
But how long could Duane Eddy have continued playing “Shazam” or the Kinks “You Really Got Me”? Eventually, the formula becomes too predictable, musicians` aspirations too great to be confined within such strict limitations, and punters and players alike get so brassed off that the bubble bursts.
Now, if Quo had given the studio a miss this time around and put out a live album which is a genuine representation of their act rather than a mere extension as their studio sets invariably are, it would have allowed them the time to assess the real structural strength of their formula.

This may relieve the pressure and offer them the opportunity to work on the concept, and perhaps carry out a few crucial modifications. Or can they really continue until pigs learn to fly?
If this album is any guide, then apparently not. Only one out of the four tracks on side two seems to have any impact, and that (“Mystery Song”) is, ironically enough, a digression towards a lighter approach with considerably more care taken over the arrangement.
But when a band reaches their sixth album, you really expect something more substantial than lyrics like, “Sitting in a cornfield / Looking at a cob / Thinking of a long line / Waiting for a job”.
Quo, though, can still pack excitement into the grooves, as the first side illustrates. Of course it`s down to personal choice whether or not you dig it, but the constant boogie rhythm of Rick Parfitt`s guitar, with Mike Rossi adding the limited lead lines, and Alan Lancaster on bass and drummer John Coughlan hammering out the tempo still sounds remarkably fresh; and surprisingly so, considering that they`ve used this technique on practically every track they`ve recorded during the `70`s.
The only evident change between this set and any one of their previous five is a change in lyrics and melody lines, and a poppy top which harks back to their “Dustpipe” days with cuts like “Ring Of A Change”.
Really, if you consider “Blue For You” as a separate entity then its quality is dubious. It does, however, prove they can spint out the secret of their success onto yet another set.

Status quo_1976_Blue for you_1

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Laura Nyro, The Eagles, King Crimson, Phil Spector, Dick Morrisey and Terry Smith, Zal Cleminson, The Who/Steve Gibbons Band, Bobby Womack, The Tubes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Deep Purple FROM New Musical Express, March 20, 1976

Just a short concert review confirming that the music journalists could smell a break-up coming. They were absolutely right when it came to Purple as this was one of their last concerts until the reformation in 1984.

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Wembley

By Tony Stewart

At the Empire Pool, Deep Purple rule.
The roaring audience of ten thousand or so press their hands to their heads as their ears get pinned back flat by the band`s first number, and David Coverdale steps forward.
“We`ve come to quash rumours that Purple have finished.”
Lapping up that welcome news, the crowd call for more, little realising in their ecstatic bliss that within the group things do seem decidedly amiss. It`s not only possible, but highly probably that changes in personnel will occur.
Even backstage, an aura of discontent is evident before the gig. There`s no feeling of an event about to happen, which a Wembley gig certainly should be. And the obvious joviality between Lord, Coverdale, Paice and Bolin (Hughes isn`t around) is only superficial. To me the spirit of the band seems drained.
Weariness is offered as an excuse, but more likely discontent is creeping in. Like an unattended case of dry rot.
And back on stage under the elaborate lighting for the first of their two nights at the Pool, the evidence that something`s fundamentally wrong with the present Purple concept is about to unfold.

Admittedly, their second number, “Lady Luck”, proves that the present line-up can work. Coverdale slices his voice, pitched dangerously higher than his natural range will safely allow, through the thick carpet of organ chords laid by Jon Lord, while Ian Paice, on drums, and Glenn Hughes on bass, create as solid a rhythm as anyone could wish for. Tommy Bolin, his long hair tinted a variety of colours, splatters the piece with some frenetic guitar soloing to justify his position as Blackmore`s successor.
It`s a well integrated five-piece, as startlingly direct as a glass of cold water down your neck, but the impact is diluted by bouts of blatant indulgence and internal political games.
Although there`s a fairly high degree of individual ability within Purple, their talents are certainly not directed towards group unity. As Paice slams into the uptempo meat of “Gettin` Tighter” like a gale slamming wooden shutters against a wall, Coverdale is pushed off stage so that Hughes can handle the vocals.
And from this point on, with the exception of Lord`s soulful “This Time Round,” the act is virtually a rotation of solos from Hughes, Bolin, Lord and Paice.
The results are both predictable and bizarre.

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As is to be expected, too much instrumental freedom leads to abuse of the privilege. Lord`s main solo deterioriates into sub-Emerson electronic noise, and Bolin blows his rating with the audience by strutting his talent like a two-bit whore who promises the goods, teases, and eventually doesn`t deliver.
The main weirdness exists between Bolin (who invariably seems on the point of losing his balance) and Hughes, who face each other like two fighting cocks sizing up one another`s potential threat.
But Coverdale gets the rough deal. So infrequent and brief are his appearances on stage that he fails to establish a firm rapport with the audience, and “Speed King” seems a contrived finale.
What Purple lack is conflict. Gone is the jousting of organ and guitar for space that used to exist between Blackmore and Lord which created so many spontaneous solos. An occasional clash between the vocals of Coverdale and Hughes wouldn`t be out of place either.
Instead, they all merely go through the motions of a formula which becomes increasingly boring as the set continues. And you can even tell when the dry ice is going to be poured onto the stage.
No, they`re not finished. Not quite.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Laura Nyro, The Eagles, King Crimson, Phil Spector, Dick Morrisey and Terry Smith, Zal Cleminson, The Who/Steve Gibbons Band, Bobby Womack, The Tubes.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Slade FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, March 6, 1976

Yet another album review. Slade tried to crack the American market with this one. They didn`t have much success there, and the album only went to number 14 in the English charts and disappeared after only 4 weeks. Not what Slade were used to at the time, but they would make a strong comeback later in their career.

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SLADE: Nobody`s Fools
(Polydor)

By Tony Stewart

Who really knows why Slade haven`t released an album for well over a year?
One guess is that they deliberately withdrew from England as a tactical manoeuvre after “Slade In Flame” because of declining fortunes and over-exposure.
And to prevent a total collapse of their stature a new market had to be opened, and so their energy was directed towards America. But apparently their trojan work schedule excluded recording.
Now, with “Nobody`s Fools”, which is really their first proper group album of new material since the `73 release of “Sladest” (“Old, New, Borrowed And Blue” and “Flame” can be discounted in this scheme of things) they`re back.
Whoopee!
But as what? Now that does seem the pertinent question.
Slade were very much a singles band, worshipped by the kiddies who turned first to the BCRs and more recently to Slik. Now Noddy and the boys have been deposed, without even the help of hearts growing fonder due to their absence, it`s likely that “Fools” is meant as a serious crack at the album market.

In certain respects their present position is not totally dissimilar to that of the Who in the 60s. As a singles band they eventually discovered they could only go so far before peaking and as a necessity realised they had to gain album respect.
The Who made it. But will Slade?
After all, can you really imagine Slade`s music receiving the same critical discussion as “Who`s Next” or “The Who By Numbers”? Eh?
Well, if this album is an accurate representation of their album-making ability I doubt it very much. Oh, Slade are an exciting band. Plenty of grit and kick, and an unrefined charm which has been captured from their live performances in the studio environment; but though superficially the music is of a reasonable standard, there`s not a lot of depth. Really the album is just a collection of hooky little singles (like “Let`s Call It Quits” and “In For A Penny” which have already appeared as such, and the title track and “L.A. Jinx” that could well do) and passable B sides (“Get On Up” and “Scratch My Back”).
Most of the lyrics are banal and drab, and the only feature which cuts through with any effect is Holder`s vulgarity, expressed on “In For A Penny” and “Did Ya Mama Ever Tell Ya.”

Whether their potential is greater than this is arguable, but as Slade exist on this album they`re working within extreme confines of style; restrictions best illustrated by the ripoff of Toussaint`s “Brickyard Blues” for “Let`s Call It Quits”, and the hybrid of a Diddley rhythm and Lennon`s “Give Peace A Chance” for “I`m A Talker”.
So there`s at least two instances of the ol` inspiration being short. Perhaps there are more.
And even the way they play the material could do with a bit of beefing up.
As it is, Holder, the poor man`s John Lennon, pretty well carries the band through, with Dave Hill sticking close to him like a piece of chewing gum and relentlessly strangling the same figures out of his guitar. Don Powell and Jim Lea (drums and bass respectively) keep a solid backbeat.
To be seriously considered as album artistes they`ve certainly got to come up with something more substantial than this.
But at least the Who can relax a while. There`s no competition.

Slade Nobody's_Fools_(Slade_album_-_cover_art)

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: David Bowie, The sexual language of rock Part 2, Phil Spector, General Johnson, Climax Blues Band, Gil Scott-Heron, Slik.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Queen FROM NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, December 6, 1975

I like Queen. There was a rumour going around that their lead vocalist was gay. It doesn`t matter at all. I like gay people – some of them even more than a lot of straight people. There was a time not too long ago when you had to hide your sexual preferences, and a lot of gay people in the music business did just that. I am glad that those times seem to be over. Be who you are and be proud. No-one should be able to tell you how to live based on their own prejudices. Live and let live.
Enjoy this concert review of one of the best bands in history!

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Weather `tis nobler to hang loose…
… Or to take dry-ice and firebombs and strut your stuff

Hammersmith

By Tony Stewart
Pic: Joe Stevens

Maybe Queen`s act is just the dry-ice run for America.
It certainly seems a little elaborate for the British stage alone, especially at the end of the set when you swear the whole stage has exploded, as the mixture of smoke and dry-ice clots your throat and waters your eyes.
Even the opening is one of those majestic affairs.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to a night at the opera.”
The hall darkens. The orchestra tunes in a tape. And on the same recording Queen`s music starts. Straight in on the first line of the fourth verse to “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
“I see a little silhouetto of a man.”
Lo! We see, turning our eyes to the left of the stage, a screen reflecting the silhouetto of Freddie Mercury. Then the tape goes into the operatic section of “Rhapsody”, cuts, and suddenly the stage is alive with colour as the band hit the rock section live.

Mercury, in tight white with his private particulars bulging, sprints up the catwalk into the audience. May, another White Queen in a flowing cape, does the same on another `walk. Then Mercury rushes back on to the stage, throwing over his arm like a fast bowler. Once, twice, thrice and then four times. On each occasion a flash bomb explodes.
What you`d call an unforgettable entrance. Supreme.
And that`s how the show continues.
Silver Fred costume-changes three times, from tight white to hugging black, to kimono, which discarded reveals silk shirt and shorts. Always with The Bulge.
May, his cape fluttering behind him like a hurried bride, staggers around on spindly legs, punishing his guitar with savage arm swoops, always keeping an eye on Freddie so they can try the movements in unison.
John Deacon, the bassist, stares blankly at the balcony, moving his ass not one iota, while pretty Roger Taylor strains and lunges his fragile body at his kit, both trying to keep time.

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The act is as overt as possible, combining Freddie`s sexual stance (the bottom wriggling, crotch stroking, mouth licking poses) with the raw excitement of May`s guitar. Somehow, his solos fall into each piece as a showcase, and all the while Deacon and Taylor flog and thunder out the rhythms.
There`s a substantial amount of contrast in the set, although the persistent tempo never really varies. For instance the medley of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Black Queen” then returning to “Rhapsody” is effective. Similarly they turn on considerable aggression and sinister undercurrent with a piece like “Flick Of The Wrist”, or they can
suddenly skip to the vaudevillian “Bad Boy Leroy Brown”.
Mercury moves from his acrobatic gyrations stage centre to play some excellent piano during a lull, and May concentrates on forming some beautifully melodic lines, aware that he could crush most skulls with a sudden burst of uncontrolled guitar excess during, say, “Brighton Rock”.

While Mercury and May control the dynamics of the show, both in a visual and musical sense, Deacon and Taylor eventually crack under the strain of maintaining the persistently high energy level. Both of them resort to using their instruments as massively amplified vibrators, which, during the softer elements of the set such as “Killer Queen”, become irritatingly unsympathetic to the mood. Neither has a distinctive enough style to be anything other than just The Rhythm Section.
Lasting almost two hours the act is one of the best I`ve seen – though Queen are, to be honest, more concerned with getting the audience off than indulging every intricacy of their very worthwhile recorded music.
Even if it is an elaborate dress rehearsal for the States, it still works.
Superbly.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits  – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Gregg Allman, David Bowie, Sadista Sisters, Yvonne Fair, Little Feat, Kokomo, Average White Band, Lee Konitz, Paul Simon.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Deep Purple from New Musical Express, November 1, 1975

Well, a fairly good review of this album and if you`re not seeing it as a Deep Purple album, but more of a funk & soul- inspired rock album, it is actually quite good. But it wasn`t meant to last. The band would soon fold for good and not re-emerge until April 1984. Enjoy!

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O Lord, why hast thou forsaken us?

DEEP PURPLE: Come Taste The Band (Purple)

Record Review by Tony Stewart

There are two points to make about this album straightaway. One is that new guitarist Tommy Bolin proves to be a considerable source of material and inspiration and has laid down as many solos in one set as other guitarists would in four.
And secondly that Jon Lord, one of the two remaining originals, is out to lunch throughout most of the set. Which could of course be indicative of disinterest… or because Bolin has the stronger musical personality and is as smart as Ritchie Blackmore when it comes to grabbing the spotlight.
For this, and more, the album is a real curiosity.
It`s probably their best since, let`s say, “In Rock”, epitomising perfectly all the name Deep Purple represented: high energy, barrel-rolling power and uncomprising rock and roll at its very best. But it`s basically the new boys who`ve produced this.
Ian Paice rows himself in once on a joint composition with Bolin and David Coverdale, and Lord teams up with Glenn Hughes for a beautifully mellow track called “This Time Around”, which makes Jon`s trip out to Munich`s Musicland Studios worthwhile after all, while the rest of the album is taken care of by (predominantly) Coverdale and Bolin, with Hughes snatching another two joint composing honours with one or the other.

So you`ve got to agree that it`s a pretty strange situation for three rookies to know more about the concept of Deep Purple than a coupla founding members obviously do.
Paice, however, does show he`s an invaluable member when it actually comes to laying down the rhythms on that kit, and he and Hughes have the kind of professional relationship (at least on record) which can only be described as Hot Shit. There is after all more power and time changing, accent-making ingenuity than ever before in a Purple line-up.
Naturally it then follows that Bolin should play a dual role. One, as “Gettin` Tighter” illustrates, to brace thick, energy-packed chords into the rhythm, and two, as a lead soloist of such tremendous talent that despite the excellent vocal harmonies of Coverdale and Hughes on the soulful “I Need Love”, he again steals the glory for his outstanding work.

This man is an absolute maniac. Not only can he bleed the licks out on an overdrive piece such as “Comin` Home”, but he can restrict what seems a naturally extrovert style (requiring quite frequently double tracking to do what he must do but which isn`t humanly possible with only one outlet) to become almost conservative. When required – as in the dramatic tension of “Drifter”, where Bolin unloops the melody line to allow Hughes and Paice to battle their way through.
And Lord dozes off in the corner.
Well he has one other moment, besides the one mentioned earlier. And that`s during “You Keep On Movin`”, where Bolin effectively cuts a path for the organ to surface and then frames the resulting solo.
Maybe Lord felt he couldn`t contribute much more, even though that one solo is truly worthwhile and something similar elsewhere would have been a welcome contrast. Yet there`s also Coverdale straining for vocal space, and justly getting it, so Lord`s obviously observing the old Too Many Cooks proverb.
Whatever. Deep Purple are alive and well. This album proves it.

Deep Come taste

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Tina Turner, Graham Nash & David Crosby, The Mika Band, Pub Rock Report 75, Melvin Franklin, The Chieftains, The Who, Hugh Banton (Van Der Graaf Generator), Baker Gurvitz Army.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.