Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Andrew Gold

  • What's Wrong With This Picture? [Asylum, 1976] C-
  • All This and Heaven Too [Asylum, 1978] C-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

What's Wrong With This Picture? [Asylum, 1976]
Well, let's see, a quick survey of the relevant ones: guitar plugged into telephone, forty-five on tape deck, calendar opened to November 31, copy of People with Gold on the cover, and this record, with its borrowed life--anyone can make "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" sound OK--and authentic self-pity. Big insight: On "Lonely Boy," the source of L.A. weltschmerz is revealed to be siblings. C-

All This and Heaven Too [Asylum, 1978]
Gold is Barry Manilow in a flannel shirt, and that the cover depicts him in white tie only compounds the offense. Who but the ultimate session men would sing such I'm-OK lyrics in a blues-country pop-slop style so unfettered by details of personality? In early 1977, after Elektra/Asylum made music history by raising the list price of the new Queen LP 14 percent, E/A prexy Steve Wax defended the move in terms of development capital--the profits from Queen were needed to support the label's uncommercial artists. One of Wax's examples: Andrew Gold. Who do you suppose will be promoted with the profits from Gold's $7.98 LP? The fusioneers of the label's new "jazz" line? Or Warren Zevon? C-