Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Rita Coolidge: 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