Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Dr. Hook

  • Bankrupt [Capitol, 1975] B+
  • Revisited [Columbia, 1976] B-
  • Pleasure and Pain [Capitol, 1978] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bankrupt [Capitol, 1975]
It must mean something that the only new rock record I've really enjoyed recently is a joke, but maybe it's only that their sense of humor is improving. Any band that can dress up in glitter and get booed off the stage as its own opening act is obviously delving aesthetic possibilities unknown to ordinary rock and roll hustlers. Which are here represented by the pillheads diptych, "Wups," and "Do Downs," and the dance song, "Levitate": "I want you to raise your right foot . . . Awright, now raise your left foot . . . No no no no no, don't put your right foot back down." B+

Revisited [Columbia, 1976]
Although his rock and roll number with this band was often forced and unfunny, you have to admire Shel Silverstein's eye for detail and ear for diction, his willingness to go for the aorta, and his did-he-mean-that? humor. This compilation includes "Cover of the Rolling Stone," still an acute account of the superstar half-life, and "Carry Me, Carrie," based on a text by Theodore Dreiser, as well as several salubriously blasť references to the dread scourge homosexuality. Docked a notch for "Penicillin Penny," who after all got her dose from someone with a penis. B-

Pleasure and Pain [Capitol, 1978]
A roguish willingness to stoop to any piece of hitbound schlock has always been part of this band's charm. But that doesn't make an album of schlock charming. C

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