Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane [extended]

  • I've Got My Own Album to Do [Warner Bros., 1974] C+
  • Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance [A&M, 1975] B+
  • Now Look [Warner Bros., 1975] B
  • Mahoney's Last Stand [Atco, 1976] B-
  • Rough Mix [MCA, 1977] A-
  • Gimme Some Neck [Columbia, 1979] B-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Ron Wood: I've Got My Own Album to Do [Warner Bros., 1974]
For a few minutes i thought Ron's version of "Far East Man" was co-composer George Harrison's. What can this mean? It means the next Rollling Stone ain't no Keith Richard in the vocal department. It also means that in the future he would be well-advised to stay away from Krishna. C+

Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance: Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance [A&M, 1975]
Whether moved by the propinquity of their own folk tradition or by some general attraction to the eccentric, English rockers are at ease with a sprightly sloppiness that is usually left to folkies in the U.S.--they know it's rarely enough to be "tight." On this solo debut Lane takes the Faces--not the Faces themselves, but their hang-loose playfulness--into the English countryside with saxophone, tambourines, an accordion, and a choir of communards. Whether undergoing his own reincarnation on "Stone" or coming on randy and rude in "Ain't No Lady," he sounds sweet and independent; he covers Fats Domino and Chuck Berry and "Brother Can You Spare a Dime." Luverly. B+

Ron Wood: Now Look [Warner Bros., 1975]
Just like former Face and co-Ronnie R. Lane, Wood has something English-folk about him. But with Lane it's deliberate--Wood sounds modal because that's the groove his lost pitch instinctively reverts to. This collaboration with producer-composer Bobby Womack is good for one major love song ("I Got Lost When I Found You"), several minor ones, and a lot of melodies that sound familiar when heard again. Just wish they didn't sound so accidental as well--might help me hum 'em. B

Mahoney's Last Stand [Atco, 1976]
Better moaning bottlenecks than singing strings, but soundtrack music is soundtrack music even when the movie remains invisible, and we all have access to more meaningful background noise. B-

Pete Townshend/Ronnie Lane: Rough Mix [MCA, 1977]
Meher Baba inspired psalmody so plain and sharply observed, maybe he was all reet after all. Three of Townshend's contributions--"Keep Me Turning," "Misunderstood," and an unlikely song of adoration called "My Baby Gives It Away"--are his keenest in years, and while Lane's evocations of the passing scene are more poignant on his Island import, One for the Road, "Annie" is a suitably modest folk classic. Together, the two disciples prove that charity needn't be sentimental, detachment cold, nor peace boring. Selah. A-

Ron Wood: Gimme Some Neck [Columbia, 1979]
Ron sounds more Dylany on his new Dylan ditty than Dylan has in a while, and he sounds even better on a song about getting saved (which Dylan didn't write, praise the Lord). He's also induced Roy Thomas Baker to let him and the boys off with a mix as dirty as their rock and roll. But this is a man who should never sing two songs in a row. And he should stay away from lyrics about the perfidy of woman, too. B-