Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Wanda Jackson

  • Rockin' in the Country: The Best of Wanda Jackson [Rhino, 1990] A-
  • Heart Trouble [CMH, 2003]  
  • The Party Ain't Over [Nonesuch/Third Man, 2011] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rockin' in the Country: The Best of Wanda Jackson [Rhino, 1990]
Although she wasn't quite Nick Tosches' "greatest menstruating rock 'n' roll singer the world has ever known"--check the Chantels, or the redundant originals and unoriginal covers on Wanda's Charly 32-track--she did leave more than nine hormonal epiphanies. Why no "Who Shot Sam," no "I Gotta Know," no (pthhh, wah, neeny-neeny-ni) "Tongue Tied"? To give country purists their due, I guess: her evolution through rockaballads toward the spunky c&w morality of "My Big Iron Skillet" and "A Girl Don't Have To Drink To Have Fun" is archetypal. And her Betty Hutton rip makes "You Don't Own Me" sound stingy. Hot dog, she made him mad. A-

Heart Trouble [CMH, 2003]
The first studio album in decades by the 65-year-old rockabilly pioneer comes astutely produced by roots specialist John Wooler and shored up by a small host of well-wishers: Elvis Costello, Dave Alvin, Rosie Flores, and the Cramps, who lend welcome oomph to her oldie "Funnel of Love." DCN's recent The Wanda Jackson Show: Live and Still Kickin' offers proof aplenty that she remains likable, lively, and spunky. Oomph, however, is in short supply here. The material is choice, the voice full and healthy. But where unsung rocker Jackson was nearly feral and country chanteuse Jackson was soulful enough, here the only song that sounds felt rather than performed is "Walk With Me," about her personal savior the Lord Jesus Christ. [Blender: 2]  

The Party Ain't Over [Nonesuch/Third Man, 2011]
Jack White hits the geriatric Christian hottie with songs and horns that remind us what a weirdo she must be ("Thunder on the Mountain," "Shakin' All Over") **

See Also