Stereo Review in Review: March 1978

Gonna sneak this month’s issue in under the wire. This is a fun one; you can take a look at the whole thing here; credit once again goes to americanradiohistory.com.

Articles
Semi-Pro Recording: How to Make Your Own Master Tapes, Vincent Ficara and Peter Ponzol

How to Get Into the Music Business, Rick Mitz
Includes a reading list—books and periodicals about songwriting, along with trade magazines. We also get “Advice from the Experts,” including Clive Davis, the pres and vice-pres of Chappell Music, the late Johnny Mercer, and 28-year old Tommy Mottola, already managing Hall and Oates. What does the future-and-now-once Mr. Mariah Carey have to say? “The number-one thing I listen for in a tape is the songs. They are the essence and the heart of what’s going to become a career…a great visual image and the ability to excite and turn on an audience—those are the other qualities I look for…personally, I would rather hear the raw vocal and piano or guitar because I want to hear the song.”

I also learned that Mottola really is being name-checked in “Cherchez la Femme,” by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. I’ve been wondering for several years now if that was just coincidence, but it turns out he was their manager, too.

Cassette Tape Progress: One Expert’s View of Past, Present, and Future Developments, Robert Donadio
Advances in ferric oxide and chromium dioxide tapes, and what might be next (pure metal? digital tape?).

On to the musical highlights—I’ve pulled a few choice quotes this time. Our reviewers are Chris Albertson, Edward Buxbaum, Noel Coppage, Phyl Garland, Peter Reilly, Steve Simels, and Joel Vance.

Best of the Month
Earth, Wind and Fire, All ‘n All  (PG)
Hank Williams Jr., The New South (NC)
Lou Rawls, When You Hear Lou, You’ve Heard It All (PR)

Recordings of Special Merit
Rock/Pop/Country/Soul:
Ashford and Simpson, Send It (PG)
John Denver, I Want to Live (NC)
Electric Light Orchestra, Out of the Blue (JV)
Tommy James, Midnight Rider (JV)
Rick Nelson, Intakes (NC)
Esther Phillips, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (PG)
Queen, News of the World (JV)
Paul Simon, Greatest Hits, Etc. (JV)
Rod Stewart, Foot Loose and Fancy Free (NC) [“This one, in fact, is set up something like a vintage Rolling Stones record: something a little gross, like ‘Fat Legs,’ (sic) to get your attention…”]
Neil Young, Decade (SS)
Flat Picking Guitar Festival (NC)

Jazz:
George Barnes, Blues Goiing Up (CA)
Art Blakey, The Finest of Art Blakey Big Band (CA)
Dexter Gordon, Sophisticated Giant (CA)
Mike Nock, Almanac (CA)
Randy Weston, Randy Weston (CA)

Featured Rock/Pop/Country/Soul/Jazz Reviews
Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True (SS) [“…the influences are so thoroughly digested, even at this early stage in his career…” “…his lyrics…are the most cruelly, tellingly misanthropic broadsides since middle-period Dylan.”]
Don McLean, Prime Time (PR)
Peter Allen, It Is Time for Peter Allen (PR)
Dolly Parton, Here You Come Again/Porter Wagoner, Porter (NC)
Donna Summer, Once Upon a Time (EB)
Miles Davis/Tadd Dameron, The Miles Davis/Tadd Dameron Quintet in Paris, International Festival de Jazz, May 1949 (CA)

Selected Other LPs Reviewed
Beatles, Love Songs (JV)
David Bowie, Heroes (SS)
Natalie Cole, Thankful (PR)
Joni Mitchell, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (NC)
Talking Heads, 77 (JV) [“…it has still to be demonstrated that punk/New Wave is either musically or commercially important.” “…though they try hard it is doubtful that this album would ever have been released without the punk hype.”]
Tammy Wynette, One of a Kind (NC)

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