Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Stealers Wheel

  • Stealers Wheel [A&M, 1972] B
  • Ferguslie Park [A&M, 1973] C+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Stealers Wheel [A&M, 1972]
Skeptics said: "Producers' group." I disagreed, because Leiber & Stoller have done nothing but sit on their genius for almost a decade, and because half of this duo had a promising pre-history as half of the eccentric English-folk-rockish Humblebums. Anyway, almost every song on the album sounded substantial--until I really listened, whereupon most of them sounded, well, let's say thoughtful. Conclusion: at the very least, the kind of group producers like. B

Ferguslie Park [A&M, 1973]
What a clever notion, or should I say concept--a whole album about the vicissitudes of rock groupdom. On the evidence, however, Egan & Rafferty don't know much more about that than anyone else, especially the rock part. If only they'd had the guts to transform their meager experiences into an album that explored male friendship, instead of flirting with it the way this one does, there might be real reason to listen. C+