Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Checkmates, Ltd.

  • Love All We Have to Give [A&M, 1969] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Love All We Have to Give [A&M, 1969]
We never quite knew the word for Phil Spector, but now we do: he was vulgar. Magnificently, unashamedly vulgar. So I ask myself: what could be more vulgar than the 20-minute "Hair Anthology Suite" that occupies one side of this lp? The answer is nothing, but somehow the old verve is lacking. Spector always excelled at singles, not albums, and that's part of the problem. But it's more than that. Except for the great "Black Pearl," this is too ornate rhythmically, and in this age of super-production the instrumentation doesn't communicate the old outrageousness. Too bad about Phil. I'm gonna miss him a lot. C+