Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Beserkley Chartbusters Volume 1 [Beserkley, 1975]
The Berkeley rock underground? Featuring Earth Quake, a failed heavy boogie band from A&M and Jonathan Richman, reputed to have squandered numerous Warner Comm bucks studioing with the Modern Lovers yet here sounding as if he prefers to record in the WC? I played this sampler twice and shelved it. But a more sympathetic listening suggests that maybe rock and roll undergrounds are the same everywhere--tough-minded, spare and loud, and committed to an eloquent simplicity of form no matter what the embroidering tastemakers in the biz consider art. This shared commitment makes the four artists exhibited here sound as if they're all on one album, instead of a bunch of cuts, and the album is a good one. A-