Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Fanny: Charity Ball [Reprise, 1971]
Seeing this band live was a revelation--for women, playing old-fashioned tight commercial rock and roll was a challenge rather than a self-conscious historical exercise. But that's not why there's been such improvement in the studio, although the live show held a clue--drummer Alice de Buhr was the most exciting musician on stage. This record exploits her chops and presence, sinking the pop harmonies in a harder, funkier frame. The title tune is a pure raver that oughtabeahit, but almost every song has something--or several somethings--to recommend it. Which is a lot more than I'd say of the Hollies' latest. B+