Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rita Coolidge

  • Rita Coolidge [A&M, 1971] C+
  • The Lady's Not for Sale [A&M, 1972] C
  • Anytime . . . Anywhere [A&M, 1977] C

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rita Coolidge [A&M, 1971]
Despite sage advice from my female advisers, I cherished hopes that Coolidge's thick voice--which is grainy rather than gritty, like the Bramlett voice without the bravura--would grow on me the way Tracy Nelson's did. She does get more out of "Seven Bridges Road" than Tracy does by underplaying the overstatement just a little, and it's nice to hear "The Happy Song" as praise for a househusband. But in the end this is so solid that it never sparkles once. C+

The Lady's Not for Sale [A&M, 1972]
Cute title, but my best information is that you're still expected to pay for this in stores. And even if you weren't it would just clutter the house--from a great female hope she's developed into someone who sings "Fever" with all of the heat (and none of the charm) of Keith doin "98.6." C

Anytime . . . Anywhere [A&M, 1977]
This was gonna be her annual sultry cornpone, unobjectionable except for the Neil Sedaka tune and not without its soulful moments, when A&M prexy Jerry Moss told Rita how to become worthy of Kris. You'll get more sales, Jerry opined, if people Recognize Your Material. Try a Motown revival, one of Boz's lesser songs, a Bee Gees number, maybe that wonderful Sam Cooke classic the Stones did once--and who can lose with "Higher and Higher"? It seems to have worked, too, except that those of us with fond memories can still hear the originals. Rita is now halfway to becoming Andy Williams with cleavage. It takes a very special kind of stupidity to slow "Higher and Higher" into a down. C