Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Otis Blackwell: These Are My Songs! [Inner City, 1977]
He wrote them, all right, but only once--on an amazing "All Shook Up" that ranks with Presley's--does the singer in him manage to reclaim what was long ago appropriated from the composer. His pipes could be better, and a stiff backup band doesn't help, but the basic problem is that Blackwell lacks authority as a performer--he may have invented a bag of tricks for Elvis and Jerry Lee, but he never developed enough sleight-of-manner to put them across. B-