Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Lee Michaels

  • Lee Michaels [A&M, 1969] C
  • Tailface [Columbia, 1973] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Lee Michaels [A&M, 1969]
Michaels, a talented singer-organist from California, has been trying for years and is beginning to develop a name on sheer persistence. His previous two albums have been somewhat over produced, but solid, even though he has never proved he can do it all by himself, which is his ambition. This one was cut, as the ads tell us, in seven hours. That may be okay for the Beatles but doesn't make it here. Drummer Bartholomew Smith-Frost stretches things out with two drum breaks ad Michaels' organ is often inflated. The final track, "Heighty Ho," now released in a half-length version as a single, is marvelously catchy and ebullient, but doesn't justify the rest. C

Tailface [Columbia, 1973]
In which a self-proclaimed "Garbage Gourmet" makes up a joke so dumb that it took me four months to get it. Setup: Michaels, an organ player by trade, switches to guitar. Punch line: A cross between "Louie Louie" and "Do You Know What I Mean" that occupies an entire album. All reet! B+