Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Robert Gordon

  • Rock Billy Boogie [RCA Victor, 1979] B
  • Bad Boy [RCA Victor, 1980] C+
  • Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die [RCA Victor, 1982] B-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rock Billy Boogie [RCA Victor, 1979]
Gordon's nouveau rockabilly has always been a mite slick and a mite fast, and this is his best album because he's no longer hiding it--his blown notes are just blown notes, not stigmata of authenticity. Credit Chris Spedding's unnaturally adaptable guitar, which drives the music more aptly than Link Wray's raw protohippie licks, authentic though they may have been. I mean, half the time Gordon actually sounds as though he belongs there. Blows some notes, though. B

Bad Boy [RCA Victor, 1980]
As our increased familiarity and his increased facility reduce his dependence on ironic context, he becomes unnecessary--totally unnecessary, I mean. Sure he uses his excellent voice better than genre loyalists give him credit for. But that makes him either a "real" rockabilly or an interpreter with moldy-fig tastes--competition for either Ray Campi or Roomful of Blues. I mean, like wow. He was more interesting, and more emotionally effective, as a joke with no punch line. C+

Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die [RCA Victor, 1982]
A shame Brian Setzer beat him to it, I suppose. But given his by-now veteran status and RCA's failure to beef things up with the rockabilly ballads that have always set him apart from the other cats, this compilation has four too many words in its title. B-