Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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38 Special

  • 38 Special [A&M, 1977] D+
  • Tour de Force [A&M, 1983] C+
  • Flashback [A&M, 1987] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

38 Special [A&M, 1977]
For this group, booked by Ronnie Van Zant's agent, managed by his manager, and led by his kid brother, some special Inspiration Verse: "It's a Saturday night ordinary/All the pros know what dues to pay/Ain't really good for nuthin'/'Cept to take some other rocker's chance away." D+

Tour de Force [A&M, 1983]
The function of the catchy nothing-but-love-songs on this skillful but otherwise derivative slice of boogie is to enable Don Barnes to show the would-be hellions in his audience, all of whom have to betray their rowdy principles if they're to keep their jobs and get on with their lives, just exactly how a good old boy acts sincere. Gauge its potential usefulness in your own life accordingly. C+

Flashback [A&M, 1987]
Those who claim them as a pop band in disguise get ten songs on twelve inches. Vinyl lovers who cling to the boogie band of their thwarted dreams get four live ones on a thirty-three-r.p.m. seven-inch. Those who realize they're the band Molly Hatchet only wished they could be buy something else. C+

Further Notes:

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]