Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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CG-80s Book Cover


These are known typographical errors in Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Page references are to the original edition: Pantheon, 1990. More items will be added to this list as we find them.

Note that capitalization of titles has generally been changed to be consistent with current practice. Such changes are not noted below.

Page 27-28: ABC: How to Be a Zillionaire . . . Sure "Be Near You" is catchier than anything on Beauty Stab, . . .
"Be Near Me"
Page 28: Paul Abdul: Straight Up (Virgin '88).
Album title is: Forever Your Girl
Page 31: Aerosmith: Gems . . . Because Rock's openers got used up the first time is why.
Rocks's (or Rocks')
Page 35: Arto Lindsay/Ambitious Lovers: Envy . . . but also in singing that ranges from lock-ma crazee to wittingly sweet and unaffected.
Page 37-38: The Angry Samoans: Inside My Brain . . . even their "new generation" anthem-if-you-want-to-call-it-that is called "Right Side of My Brain"
"Right Side of My Mind"
Page 39: Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I . . . meets Instant Records' Barry Gottehrer
Richard Gottehrer
Page 39: Joan Armatrading: Walk Under Ladders . . . Where Barry Gottehrer is attracted to Blondie and the Go-Go's
Richard Gottehrer
Page 46: Bad Brains: I Against I (SST '84')
Release date was 1986.
Page 46: Bad Religion: How Could Hell Be Any Worse? . . . Greg Griffin's vocals fall into a naturally musical off-key drone that make him sound at times like a mullah in mourning . . .
Greg Graffin
Page 46: Bad Religion: Into the Future (Epitaph '83)
Into the Unknown
Page 46: Bad Religion: No Conviction (Epitaph '89)
No Control
Page 49: Rob Base: The Incredible Base . . . not just Lynn Collins and James Brown . . .
Lyn Collins
Page 58: Black Flag: Damaged . . . Gregg Ginn is the greatest noise guitarist since Johnny Thunders
Greg Ginn
Page 59: Black Flag: Wasted Again (SST '88).
1987. However, note that on p. 502 this is listed in the 1986 list.
Page 63: Blondie: The Hunter . . . Instead she gallumphs about in search of referents . . .
Page 65: The Bluebells: The Bluebells . . . Brendan Behan's "Patriots Game" shoulda been a Dylan song.
Songwriter was Dominic Behan, brother of playwright Brendan Behan.
Page 74: Harold Budd/Brian Eno: The Pearl . . . These ten pieces are more circumspect and detailed . . .
The album has eleven cuts on it.
Page 79: David Byrne: Music for The Knee Plays . . . five of the twelve originated with "Trade/Arr. by."
"Trad./Arr. by."
Page 84: Peter Case: Peter Case (Geffen '87)
Album released 1986.
Page 89-90: Stella Chiweshe: Ambuya? (GlobeStyle import '87). . . . [Later on Schanachie.]
Page 93: Jimmy Cliff: The Power and the Glory . . . Nor does he ever take full advantage of his gifts, exemplified by the gracefully sung and adaquately conceived international pop-reggae protest on side two.
Page 97: Leonard Cohen: Various Positions (PVC '85)
Passport; later reissued on Columbia. Most sources also give the date as 1984.
Page 100: The Cure: Standing on a Beach: The Singles (Elektra '86).
Staring at the Sea: The Singles
Page 106: Marshall Crenshaw: U.S. Remix . . . the long-rumored non-Lillywhite unhyped-drums version of three songs from Field Day plus a live Elvis (Presley) cover and a DOR remix of "One Day With You."
Song is "For Her Love," which is also one of the songs remixed on the A-side.
Page 110: Culture Club: From Luxury to Heartache (Virgin/Epic '86 . . . just desserts.
just deserts.
Page 116: Deep Purple: Deep Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple (Warner Bros. '80).
Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple
Page 125: Swamp Dogg: I Asked for a Rope and They Threw Me a Rock (S.D.E.G. '89).
I Called for a Rope and They Threw Me a Rock
Page 130: Ian Dury: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (Demon import '87).
Ian Dury & the Blockheads
Page 133: Earth, Wind & Fire: Faces . . . after that they never top the Doobies rip side three--
Doobies rip on side three
Page 136: Joe Ely: Live Shots (1981, MCA).
Page 137: The Embarrassment: Death Travels West (Fresh Sounds EP '82).
Page 138: The English Beat: Wha'ppen? . . . "Doors to My Heart"
"Doors of Your Heart"
Page 140: Ethel and the Shameless Hussies: Born to Burn . . . Good for a change and sometimes a hoot, and more progressive than Janie Frickie for damn sure.
Janie Fricke
Page 140-141: Eurythmics: Savage . . . medium-tempo romantic-as-in-movement psuedoschlock
Page 149: Bryan Ferry: Bete Noir
Bête Noire
Page 156: Aretha Franklin: Get It Right . . . into a major statement and Ann Peebles's "I Wish It Would Rain" into an Aretha song.
it was the Temptations' song
Page 162: Gap Band: The 12" Collection . . . Tsk-tsk--"Party Train," which leads off side two, repeats the formula of "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" and "Burn Rubber" and for that matter "Early in the Morning," which begin-middle-and-end side two.
side one
Page 165: Get Crazy . . . This soundtrack to a barely existent Alan Arkush movie . . .
Allan Arkush
Page 172: Grateful Dead: Built To Last (Arista '89) . . . newish guy Brett Mydland
Brent Mydland
Page 174: Al Green: Love Ritual . . . Cut one wild night in early 1975, the polyrhythmic title track was hot enough to lead Al Green Is Love and lend its name to a misbegotten 1978 compilation . . .
lead? "Love Ritual" was first song on side two
Page 175: Nanci Griffith: The Last of the True Believers . . . On "Looking' for the Time (Workin' Girl)," about a prostitute who can't afford a heart of gold, she does get away with it.
Lookin' for the Time (Workin' Girl)
Page 179: Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson: Poncho and Lefty (Epic '82)
Pancho and Lefty
Page 187: Richard Hell: Destiny Street . . . These days the poéte maudit manqué who once equated private sex with Faustian sin is looking for love that doesn't come in spurts.
poète maudit manqué, n'est-ce pas?
Page 195: The Human League: Dare . . . The only time I light up is when Susan Solley takes her verse on "Don't You Want Me," which I recommend to Quarterflash.
Susanne Sulley
Page 196: Alberta Hunter: Look for the Silver Lining . . . And don't be surprised if she celebrates her nintieth by coming back yet again next time.
Page 196: Michael Hurley: Snockgrass . . . from the old-timy existentialist . . .
Page 213: Joan Jett: Bad Reputation . . . and they get plenty of help from reformed Runaway Jeff, who has writign credit on four of these twelve tunes and comes on tuffer than any gurl in history.
Page 216: Elton John: Jump Up! . . . and though it's true he hasn't come up with a "Honky Cats" or "Bennie and the Jets" . . .
"Honky Cat"
Page 217: Linton Kwesi Johnson: Making History . . . For a while I thought the light-handed fills, tricky horn parts, and swinging rhythums went against the artist's hard-hitting message, not to mention my own hard-hitting tastes.
Page 233: The Kinshasa Sound (Original Music '83)
The Sound of Kinshasa: Guitar Classics From Zaire
Page 250: Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill . . . Marianne Faithfull's "Ballad of a Soldier's Wife"
"Ballad of the Soldier's Wife"
Page 253: Nick Lowe: Basher: The Best of Nick Lowe (Columbia, '89). Fourteen tracks recap the two great albums of 1978 and 1979, when he declared himself pure pop and spelled out the sound of breaking glass--roadie with arm torn off, actress eaten by dog. The remaining thirteen cull from the six good albums of the subsequent decade, when the fringe professional proclaimed a "Lovers Jamboree." The rowdy songs know whereof they kick, "Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine" wounds all heels, and every decent half-boy/half-man has a couple of good love songs in him--"Heart" pure pop, "Raging Eyes" true romance.
This review was based on the cassette; the CD (Columbia CK 45313), which people are more likely to have/find, dropped two songs, including "Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine". Bad move, guys.
Page 265: Reba McEntire: Have I Got a Deal for You . . . She's a lot more her own woman than hot-to-trot centerfold candidates like Janie Frickie.
Janie Fricke
Page 266: Reba McEntire: The Best of Reba McEntire (MCA '87).
Record title should be Greatest Hits.
Page 271: John Cougar Mellencamp: Scarecrow . . . That's okay, because the success ration here, . . .
Page 282: The Motels: All Four One . . . She has better taste in music then Jim Steinman, though.
Page 285: Anne Murray: Greatest Hits . . . Following "Snow Bird" with "Danny's Song" with "A Love Song" . . .
Page 293: New Model Army: The Mark of Cain
The Ghost of Cain
Page 306: Jimmy Page: Outrider . . . not Zep mythopoiea,
Page 308: Ray Parker Jr.: Chartbusters . . . Greatest Hits is definitive, "Ghostbusters" a contemporary classic available in seven- and twelve-inch formats, and this a redundancy from an artist whose contract is coming up.
Greatest Hits
Page 312: Peripheral Vision . . . and the Ordinaries, who combine the nicest parts of Glenn Branca and the Moody Blues and more power to them.
Page 312: Persian Gulf: Changing the Weather . . . these eight songs are constricted and expansive
Page 314: Bob Pfeiffer: After Words (PVC '87).
Bob Pfeifer.
Page 322: Elvis Presley: Elvis: The First Live Recordings . . . Both features are more amazing on side one's relatively obscure covers than one side two's documented classics.
Page 324: Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain . . . But insofar as his messages are the same old outrageous ones, they've lost steam: "1999" is a more irresistible dance lesson for the edge of the apocalyse than "Let's Go Crazy," "Head" and "Jack U Off" more salacious than the groundout "Darling Nikki."
Page 326: Propeller Propeller cassette '81).
Missing parenthesis: (Propeller cassette '81).
Page 329: Public Image Ltd.: 9 . . . when he does Spigue Spigue Sputnik he seems false, when he does Erasure he seems blank.
The band's name was Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Sounds like a joke?
Page 337-338: Red Crayola With Art & Language: Kangaroo? . . . And the Au Paris and the Gang of Four are directed to the side-closers . . .
Au Pairs
Page 341: Lou Reed: City Lights . . . The theme is "Gimmie Some Good Times," much more at home here than on the aimless Rock and Roll Heart.
this song comes from Street Hassle
Page 351: The Rolling Stones: Emotional Rescue . . . The mid-'60s charm of such tossed-off tropes as "Where the Boys Are" and "She's So Cold" goes with music that's far more allusive and irregular and knowing
"Where the Boys Go"
Page 354: Dexy's Midnight Runners: Looking for the Young Soul Rebels
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
Page 355: Royal Crescent Mob: Omerta . . . only "Get Off the Bus," which also led the EP,
"Get On the Bus"
Page 355: Royal Crescent Mob: Something Old, New and Borrowed (Moving Target '88)
Something New, Old and Borrowed
Page 360: Boz Scaggs: Hits (Columbia '80)
Page 371: Ricky Skaggs: Waitin' for the Sun to Shine . . . Skagg's taste and technique are impeccable
Page 373: Slayer: Reign of Blood
Reign in Blood
Page 374: Frankie Smith: Children of Tomorrow . . . But the recurring little synthesizer part makes you doubt his strenth of purpose, and the title tune makes you regret it.
Page 375-376: Patty Smyth: Never Enough (Columbia '87). . . . B-
Original CG column grade was: B; grade change not noted.
Page 380: The Special AKA: In the Studio (Chrysalis).
The missing release date is 1984.
Page 386: Stetsasonic: In Full Effect (Tommy Boy, '88).
In Full Gear
Page 394: Talking Heads: Remain in Light . . . First side's a long dance-groove more sinuous than any known DOR that climaxes in the middle with the uncontorted "Crosseyed and Painless" but begins at the beginning: when Byrne shouts out that "the world moves on a woman's hips" . . .
quote comes from last song on side one; the beginning?
Page 404: The Three Johns: Brainbox (He's a Brainbox) . . . Death of a European
Death of the European
Page 404: The Three Johns: Crime Pays . . . Rock and Roll in the Demonocracy: The Singles '82-'86 . . . "Death of a European."
"Death of the European."
Page 406: Timbuk 3: Welcome to Timbuk 3 (I.R.S. '86). Pat Macdonald and his wife Barbara K.
Greetings From Timbuk 3, Pat MacDonald
Page 407: The Time: The Time . . . These Princeoid punks are slyer--"Oh Baby" can pass as a mock seduction in the manner of "Cool," which is a mock boast, though I wouldn't be sure about "Big Stick" (mock metaphor?). And that's only side two.
Song title is: "The Stick"
Page 415: The 2 Live Crew: As Nasty as They Wanna Be . . . So in the long run, they're almost as unlikely to inspire good sex as a sermon by Daniel Wildmon.
Donald Wildmon
Page 408: The Time: Ice Cream Castle . . . This is certainly the most "conceptual" of the three Morris Day showcases, but "Jungle Rock" certainly digs as deep a pocket as "Cool" or "The Walk," . . .
Song title is: "Jungle Love"
Page 418: James Blood Ulmer: Part Time . . . with only "Swings and Things," compacted into 3:27, providing compensation.
Page 428: The Vulgar Boatmen: Me and Your Sister
You and Your Sister
Page 433: Wall of Voodoo: Call of the West . . . Maybe soon vocalist-lyricist Standard Ridgway will fall in love with a human and start pretending he's a nice guy.
Stanard Ridgway
Page 441: The Wind: Guest of the Staphs (Cheft '84). . . . B+
Original CG column grade was: A-; grade change not noted.
Page 447: X: Under the Big Black Sun . . . John and Exene attribute "The Hungry Wolf's rather feral view . . .
Missing close quote following Wolf.
Page 450: Yaz: You and Me Both . . . Alf Moyet may not have as "good" a voice as Annie Lenox, . . .
Annie Lennox
Page 451: Yabby You: One Love, One Heart . . . D+
Should be: B+ (same as original column grade)
Page 455-456: Zetrospective: Dancing in the Face of Adversity . . . Coati Mundi's bad-rapping "Que Pasa/Me No Pop Eye" . . .
"Que Pasa/Me No Pop I"
Page 466: The Kinks . . .
Deleted whole entry. The point that the Kinks had played Sun City during the anti-Apartheid boycott appears to have been in error. Also deleted a postscript note on the controversy, which among other things said: "As for my critical assessment of late Kinks, I stand by it. They really went sour sometime in the late '70s. Ray Davies is somewhat more palatable as a great songwriter revisiting his past."
Page 486: Love and Rockets: . . . Closer study revealed that guitarist David Ash writes a good dumb ditty at fast or medium tempo (that means not slow, Dave--got it?). Maybe he could ditch the others (they're brothers, it's a natural) and form a macho Flock of Seagulls.
The guitarist/songwriter is Daniel Ash; the resident David is David J, brother of drummer Kevin Haskins.
Page 487: The Best of the Girl Groups (Rhino)
Originally released as two separate volumes; could imply both but most likely just: The Best of the Girl Groups: Volume 1
Page 487: The Birds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Columbia)
The Byrds
Page 487: The Clovers: 5 Cool Cats
Five Cool Cats
Page 488: Donovan: Greatest Hits/The Best of Times
Greatest Hits; "The Best of Times" briefly appeared on some reissue packaging, but no common discographies even mention it. This applies to a couple of following cases.
Page 488: Lefty Frizzell: Lefty Frizzell's Greatest Hits/The Best of Times
Lefty Frizzell's Greatest Hits
Page 489, 492: It Will Stand: Minit Records 1960-1963 (EMI America)
Record appears both in "Core Collection" and "Gone But Not Forgotten" lists. It was probably out of print when book appeared.
Page 489: The Kinks: Kinks Kronikles (Reprise)
Kink Kronikles
Page 490: Carl Perkins: Original Sun Golden Hits (1955-1957) (Rhino)
Original Sun Greatest Hits
Page 491: The Temptations: The Temptations' Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (Motown)
Greatest Hits; the Vol. 1 is implicit after Vol. 2 came out in 1970.
Page 491: Gene Vincent: The Best of Gene Vincent (EMI import)
The Best of Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps (Capitol import); album only released in UK and Spain. Capitol was owned by EMI.
Page 491: Tammy Wynette: Tammy's Greatest Hits/The Best of Times
Tammy's Greatest Hits
Page 492: 18 Original King Sized Hits (Columbia)
18 Original King Size Rhythm & Blues Hits
Page 499: Bad Religion: Into the Future (Epitaph)
Into the Unknown
Page 502: Black Flag: Wasted Again (SST)
Record date is 1987.
Page 503: Timbuk 3: Greetings to Timbuk 3
Greetings From Timbuk 3
Page 503: New Model Army: The Mark of Cain
The Ghost of Cain
Page 504: Reba McEntire: The Best of Reba McEntire (MCA)
Greatest Hits
Page 507: Tabu Ley: Babeti Soukous (Real World)
line removed, album re-graded B+