R. Stevie Moore ‎– Delicate Tension

Label:
HP Music ‎– HPS 30735
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Album
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Credits

Notes

Album includes tracks from 1977 and 1978
Total running time:
Side A: 20:20
Side B: 18:12
LP with lyrics sheet

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): HPS 30735 A
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): HPS 30735 B
  • Rights Society: ASCAP

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Alaindexe

Alaindexe

October 8, 2016
edited over 2 years ago

R. Stevie Moore is a pioneer of the DIY. In the 1970’s, this prolific musician produced tapes that he would copy and distribute himself through the R. Stevie Moore Cassette club. His records are compilations of the best stuff on these cassettes. Purveyor of lo-fi before it became cool, Moore is an unclassifiable musician who plays all instruments on his records.

It starts with 'Cool Daddio', a well done rock track with a catchy melody and some spoken word, a narrative form which is his trademark. 'Delicate Tension' is a nice instrumental ballad saturated with guitar where we can feel his Nashville origins. The songs slowly evolve and makes us foresee his experimental influences. 'Schoolgirl' is a child-like folk song as Moore seems to turn into a little boy. It moves on with a bang with 'Don’t blame the Nigger', an ambiguous song that denounces racism and those who mocked disco people at the same time. 'You are Too Far from Me' is a love song in which he is about to turn into tears. At times, his voice is out of tune, a perfect fit for this grotesque and anarchic composition in which one can feel his progressive influences. With its rough sound and its drop-out right at the beginning, 'Oh Pat' reminds us that this is a lo-fi production. It moves on (without a pause) to 'Apropos Joe', a cartoonesque piece in which Moore takes the Ramones for a ride. With its simple piano partition, 'Funny Child' contrasts with the previous song. It goes on with 'Norway', a superb ballad that tells a love story. Moore successfully succeeds in the unlikely task of making ballads that don’t sound too cheesy. 'This Wednesday' tells the story of a guy who naively wonders what he’s going to do when is girlfriend stops by his place to see him. Clumsy and naive like the rest of his repertory. 'I got into your Mind' is another heartbreaking ballad but with an industrial touch here and there. It is interrupted by 'Horizontal hideaway', a piece with a speed-up voice that reminds the weird sound of the 'Hybrid Kids'. It ends with 'Don’t let me go to the dogs', a superb song reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s 'Ruben and the Jets'. As a matter of fact, Zappa’s influence can be felt all over the album.

I haven’t listened to all of R. Stevie Moore gargantuan catalog (over 400 tapes and CDs), but I recommend the excellent compilation 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know about R. Stevie Moore', 'Teenage Spectacular', 'Glad Music' and 'Phonography'. There is a remastered CD of 'Delicate Tension' with 10 bonus tracks that include the 3 great ones from the EP 'Stance'.

© Alain Cliche 2016