Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Attack of the Killer B's [Warner Bros., 1983]
Non-LP B sides are odd tracks out by definition, and while most of these would blend attractively if unobtrusively into albums by their respective auteurs, their proximity is strictly packaging. It's revealing that compiler Bob Merlis has stretched his concept around four ringers, including the German version of "Shock the Monkey," which opens side two for the excellent reason that unlike most of its fellow prisoners it's got a killer hook. Not that any rock-and-roller won't want to hear the Marshall Crenshaw and Gang of Four and T-Bone Burnett rarities included, and that collectors won't covet the rest. But I thought collectors already had them. B