“American Pie” and 1972 (zoomcast)

Phil Dellio’s new book, Happy for a While: “American Pie,” 1972, and the Awkward, Confusing Now, is the subject of a wide-ranging (well, lengthy—we don’t really shift gears all that much) zoom call between Phil, Chuck Eddy, and myself, available on the newly launched RockCritics.com YouTube channel. Phil’s book is fantastic, and available through Amazon. Steve Pick wrote a great review on his Substack newsletter. … Continue reading “American Pie” and 1972 (zoomcast)

Top 50 Favourite Songs: Chuck Eddy

Chuck Eddy’s Top 50 ballot, submitted to Rolling Stone. See also Chuck’s comments on his list at Eliminated for Reasons of Space, his recently created blog that is becoming a massive archive of his published work. 1. Funky Four Plus One – “That’s the Joint” (1980) 2. Pere Ubu – “Final Solution” (1976) 3. The Sweet – “Ballroom Blitz” (1975) 4. Teena Marie – “Square … Continue reading Top 50 Favourite Songs: Chuck Eddy

Chuck Eddy interview, Oct 2017 (link)

But at the same time, you told me when we talked last week that this is yet another clichéd sentiment, that music was at one time the center of the culture and that the internet has ruined that. You said that things like The Beatles and Michael Jackson and Nirvana were huge exceptions. I just think — when you mention those names, I think what … Continue reading Chuck Eddy interview, Oct 2017 (link)

From the Archives: Chuck Eddy (2002)

Chuck E… So Addictive: Voice Music Editor in His Second rockcritics.com Interview By Steven Ward (March 2002) Rock critic Chuck Eddy. Love or hate? Let us count the ways… I love Chuck Eddy because his writing changed my life. I hate Chuck Eddy because now I spend way too much productive time reading and thinking about rock criticism (as opposed to, you know, listening to music). I love Chuck … Continue reading From the Archives: Chuck Eddy (2002)

You Pin Me Round

Check out my in-progress Pinterest board — a misguided Z-A tour of the index for The Accidental Evolution of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Chuck Eddy’s 1997 critical tome, with occasional links to songs referenced. (I like how this snapshot renders it as a series of playing cards.) My other Pinterest boards (including remixes of Lipstick Traces and The Aesthetics of Rock) can be found here. Continue reading You Pin Me Round

Synthesized austerity

But in Continental Europe, a style of disco developed that was notably more synthesized and austere, often sleazier or chillier or just plain sillier, than its U.S. counterpart. In other words, if rock fans building vinyl bonfires at White Sox games thought disco sounded inhuman, replacing musicianly perspiration and heart with icy technology and repetition, Eurodisco proved their point. Europe was farther from the nexus … Continue reading Synthesized austerity

Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics

A by no means comprehensive or conclusive survey of a Canadian power trio who once upon a time (much less so now) got under the skins of more rock critics than any other rock or pop artist going.

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Creem, June 1981

“For the record, those three are drummer Neil Peart, who writes all the band’s lyrics and takes fewer solos than might be expected; guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose mile-a-minute buzzing is more numbing than exciting; and bassist, keyboardist and singer Geddy Lee, whose amazingly high-pitched wailing often sounds like Mr. Bill singing heavy metal. If only Mr. Sluggo had been on hand to give these guys a couple good whacks…”
Steve Pond, review of Rush live in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone, 1980

Geddy Lee’s high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band – and sometimes a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush’s career when Lee’s vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. A review in the New York Times opined that Lee’s voice ‘suggests a munchkin giving a sermon.’ Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a ‘wail.’ His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized.
Wikipedia entry on Rush

Mark Coleman and Ernesto Lechner, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, 2004

Continue reading “Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics”

Nina Hagen vs. Journey

But I hedged my bet right from the beginning too, and kept my day job at the welfare department all the way through, as I was a family man and it provided regular income and medical coverage, etc. That job also gave me another kind of coverage, as a rock critic, as since my writing didn’t furnish my primary income, I could be very choosy … Continue reading Nina Hagen vs. Journey

Eddy (and his immortalized dreck!) reviewed

Rev. Keith A. Gordon in Blurt Online: “Eddy’s critical flights of fancy notwithstanding, he’s a solid writer of no little wit and humor, and if we readers (such as yours truly) can agree to disagree on some of the dreck that he immortalizes in Rock And Roll Always Forgets, we can all find middle ground. As music critics go, Chuck Eddy has always been a … Continue reading Eddy (and his immortalized dreck!) reviewed

The Seger Connection

Randall Roberts (Los Angeles Times) reviews RARAF: Eddy’s work is compiled in Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism, a career overview whose very title is contrarian: The writer’s got a problem with the premise of Bob Seger’s hit song “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.” He offers evidence with the lost artists, one-hit wonders, egocentric blowhards and various inspired eccentrics that … Continue reading The Seger Connection

KT on CE

Ken Tucker reviews Chuck Eddy’s new tome (Entertainment Weekly) How glad I am to see the publication of Eddy’s new song(s) of himself Rock and Roll Always Forgets: A Quarter Century of Music Criticism (Duke University Press). Glad, first, because it’s truly a representative selection, tracing the slithery paths of Eddy’s enthusiasms from Marilyn Manson to Mindy McCready just to stick with the ‘M’s, with … Continue reading KT on CE

BookForum Critical Geek Alert

Simon Reynolds points towards the index of the latest BookForum, which contains his twin review of Chuck Eddy’s RARAF and Marcus’s upcoming Doors book (not to mention that the same issue also contains a review of James Wolcott’s upcoming memoir and a piece on Dwight MacDonald — of these, only the MacDonald piece is available online) (but yeah: critical geek alert, for sure). I will … Continue reading BookForum Critical Geek Alert