Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Buster Poindexter

  • Buster Poindexter [RCA Victor, 1987] B+
  • Buster Goes Berserk [RCA Victor, 1989] B-
  • Buster's Happy Hour [Forward, 1994] Choice Cuts
  • Buster's Spanish Rocket Ship [Island, 1997] ***

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Buster Poindexter [RCA Victor, 1987]
Entranced by the commercial potential of this novelty act, I forgot how novelty acts translate to plastic. The Upfront Horns overstep themselves by half, the inflections are too Jolson for their own good, and even if the television audience is never the wiser, the material is pretty obvious. I want more "Screwy Music" and "Hot Hot Hot," less "Smack Dab in the Middle" and "Good Morning, Judge." And while it's kinda hip to pick up on songs that Al and Aretha were covering back when you favored fishnet hose, it's also foolhardy, especially when you're hard pressed to beat Eric Burdon at "House of the Rising Sun." B+

Buster Goes Berserk [RCA Victor, 1989]
Be kind and call it Bette Midler's Disease. Or remember what they used to say (stupidly, but why quibble) about the Dolls: you had to be there. Even then the flat-on-its-face overstatement of recorded Buster is pretty appalling. Intimations of minstrelsy he's always subsumed live become all too Negroid with the melon-chomping bass man of "Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well?," even the Sarafina-backed "All Night Party." And Buster's no better at bigtime schmaltz than David was. I begrudge him nothing. But I don't want to say thanks for the memories yet. B-

Buster's Happy Hour [Forward, 1994]
"The Worst Beer I Ever Had" Choice Cuts

Buster's Spanish Rocket Ship [Island, 1997]
the concept's an excuse to do originals, the best of which stay on concept ("Iris Chacon," "Let's Take It Easy) ***