Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Marshall Tucker Band

  • A New Life [Capricorn, 1974] B
  • Greatest Hits [Capricorn, 1978] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

A New Life [Capricorn, 1974]
If I were from the South, I imagine I'd love this record, because it would be about me, which would be some kind of relief. Since I'm from New York, I have to complain about the almost complacent evenness of the band's aural landscape even as I take off from an occasional rill and dig into their heimische rural mysticism. B

Greatest Hits [Capricorn, 1978]
I can distinguish Tucker from the other boogie bands because they favor cowboy hats, but danged if I can tell their albums apart. Country people know one cow from the next, too, but poor deracinated souls like me refuse to be bothered until A&P runs out of milk and r&r runs out of gimmicks. Toy Caldwell does write pretty good songs for a boogie man, though, about one a year to go with the album, and it's nice to have them all in one place. Pure boogie mythos, with lots of "Ramblin'" and "Searchin' for a Rainbow," though I'm pleased to report that there are more miners and, yes, cowboys here than gamblers, a reassuring token of social responsibility. I recommend this album. It's as near as you can get these days to hearing that old steam whistle blow. A-

Further Notes:

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]