Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Dazed and Confused [Medicine, 1993]
But it's really great junk. Seventies AOR as hard-rock utopia, with all the El Lay wimp-out, boogie dumb-ass, and metal drudge-trudge surreptitiously excised, enabling the escapist to bask in history without actually encountering any Montrose or Outlaws records. A few of the selections are ringers--unjustly, neither the Sweet's "Fox on the Run" (too pop) nor the Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" (too chick) ever gained much stoner credibility. Most are by major artists (Skynyrd, War, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top) or indisputable legends (Sabbath, Kiss, Deep Purple, Ted Nugent). But only someone who suffered his first nocturnal emission between 1970 and 1975 will be motivated to collect the catalogue it implies. For the rest of humanity, this is an ideal way to enjoy what for all its high volume, guitar excess, and muddled longueurs remained a pop sensibility that harked back to the '50s. Jim Dandy to the rescue indeed. A-