Stereo Review In Review: August 1985

I was about to begin my senior year of college, but I know I took time on my occasional trips home to check out the latest issue of SR. The Prince review is the one I distinctly remember reading; however, I’ll bet I made note of Simels’s Best of the Month feature, too–that one became a favorite two or so years later.

Articles
Alanna Nash interviews Reba McEntire
McEntire’s career was still in its ascendancy at this point. The previous year, My Kind of Country had her finding her “true country” voice, and she was beginning to win CMA awards. Nash met with McEntire in Nashville right around the time the follow-up, Have I Got a Deal for You, was being released, and much of the interview centers on Reba being Reba: “All I can say is I’ll sure be goin’ more traditional, and it’s not because I’m the next Waylon Jennings, or that I’m trying to be a renegade or anything, really other than the fact it’s what I feel the best with.”

Our reviewers this month are Chris Albertson, Phyl Garland, Alanna Nash, Mark Peel, Peter Reilly, and Steve Simels.

Best of the Month
–Lone Justice, S/T (SS) “There’s more than a suggestion here that McKee may turn out to be a major songwriter as well as the possessor of truly spectacular pipes.”
–Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Highwayman (AN) “…a rare treat in country music—four consummate country voices blending in friendship and harmony over dignified, quality material, stamping their marks of individuality on even the most familiar songs.”

There was only one “featured” album in the Popular section this month (the Braxton); I elected to merge it with the rest.

Selected Other LPs Reviewed
Rock/Pop/Country/Soul:
–Merle Haggard, Kern River (AN) “The Man from Bakersfield has certainly done better albums…but Kern River has an undeniably moody charm about it…”
–Whitney Houston, S/T (PG) “Seldom has a young artist been so well equipped for the success that is bound to come her way.”
–Howard Jones, Dream Into Action (MP) “Dream Into Action may fail as often as it succeeds, but even Jones’s failures are more challenging and interesting that most pop musicians’ successes.” Peel had been all about Human’s Lib the year before.
–Katrina and the Waves, S/T (MP) “…prototypical garage-band pop, an affectionate medley of styles from Motown to Mersey to Tex-Mex.”
–Edith Piaf, Live at Carnegie Hall—January 13, 1957 (PR) “At the time of this concert she was already a legend. Almost thirty years later it’s easy to hear why.”
–The Power Station, 33 1/3 (MP) “The supergroup to end all supergroups? One can only hope.”
–Prince and the Revolution, Around the World in a Day (SS) “Overall, you have to give the Kid credit for trying something a little different, even if it doesn’t quite come off.”
–David Sanborn, Straight to the Heart (AN) “Still, it is a better-than-average pop-jazz effort, and maybe next time Sanborn will even blow a little heavier on the blues end of the horn.”

Jazz:
–Anthony Braxton, Seven Standards 1985, Volume 1 (CA) “That Braxton is capable of reaching back so eloquently should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career, listened to his music, and read his liner notes.”
–Claude Bolling, Live at the Méridien, Paris (CA) “…has a sound that reflects big bands past…I certainly prefer this Bolling to the pastry chef two turns out all those suites.”
–Dave Grusin, One of a Kind (CA) “’Playera’ is a miniature masterpiece that by itself justifies the reissue of this album.”

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