Stevie Moore

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(Ratings by Connor Twohey)
NUN2 (Innuendos) (1973), 6/10
Next (1974), 6/10
Apologies To Mr. Gottlieb (1974), 5/10
Stevie Moore Often (1975), 6/10
Stevie Moore Or Less (1975), 7/10
Phonography (1976), 7.5/10 (compilation)
Returns (1976), 7/10
Play (1976), 6.5/10
Piano Lessons (1977), 6/10

The new wave allowed solitary and fiercely independent musicians to find an audience. Such is the case with Jandek in Texas, who released over 30 albums between 1978 and 2000, and Stevie Moore in New Jersey, who released more than 100 records, cassettes and discs between 1973 and 2000, starting with the hilarious Phonography (1976).
If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me.
Dalla sua roccaforte del New Jersey, Stevie Moore ha lanciato una delle carriere piu` fieramente indipendenti della musica rock. Dal 1968 al 2000 ha pubblicato piu` di cento titoli, fra cassette, album, EP, CD.

I primi due album ufficiali, Phonography (Vitla, 1976 - ReR, 2009), che in realta` compila album precedenti, e Delicate Tension (HP, 1978), sono opere di un appassionato delle canzoni-barzelletta di Todd Rundgren, Frank Zappa and Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

From his high-school recording On Graycroft (1968) to his first song-based collection, Invites Comparison (1973), his music was still maturing, and reached its first modest successes with the Zappa-esque jazz-rock jams NUN2/ Innuendos (1973) and the rock opera Apologies To Mr Gottlieb (1974).

Phonography, a compilation of recordings from 1974-76, notably of the best songs from the cassette Stevie Moore Often (1975) and from Stevie Moore Or Less (1975), runs the gamut from an instrumental synthesized vaudeville theme (Melbourne), several spoken-word fragments (including 30 seconds of Moore pissing and telling the story of his life), a piano rag sung in a childish voice (Goodbye Piano), a drunk distorted extended piece (Moons), and assorted satires of the Sixties that transcend the imitation of the Byrds and of Merseybeat bands (California Rhythm, I Want You In My Life) and that sometimes approach the verve of the Kinks and the Who (She Don't Know What to do With Herself, I Wish I Could Sing).

Stevie Moore Or Less (1975) also contains the longer and percussive Tale of the Sweet Violin, a sort of cross between Mike Oldfield and ZZ Top.

The 24-song
Returns (1976), which was later augmented to 35 songs, Play (1976), with Play and Benefit Of The Doubt, and Piano Lessons (1977), with the faux-classical lied Broke Up, launched a more "official" career.

Jesus Rocks (1978), Delicate Tension (1978), Goodbye Piano (1978), Manufacturers (1978), Shakin' In The Sixties (1986), On The Spot (1987), Why Can't I Write A Hit, Debbie, U R True, What's The Point, compongono uno dei canzonieri piu' vasti e disordinati dell'epoca moderna.

La discografia di Moore e` intasata di antologie, fra le quali spiccano What's the Point (Cuneiform, 1984) e Contact Risk (Fruit Of The TUne, 1993). Sulla prima la parte del leone la fanno le vignette serafiche che satireggiano l'"american way of life": Puttin Up The Groceries, Part Of The Problem, Bloody Knuckles, e cosi' via. Moore e' pero' soprattutto un artigiano del pop, capace di umiliare XTC (Conflict Of Interest), DB's (Get The Job Done) e Todd Rundgren (Love Has Doubt) nel loro stesso, barocco, gioco. L'eclettismo del compositore risalta anche dai brani strumentali, uno ispirato dalle fanfare rocambolesche di Frank Zappa (World's Fair), uno ispirato dalle colonne sonore esotiche (Theme From Hurricane David), e uno addirittura per organetto e ukulele (I Don't Think She Knows). Proprio in questi arrangiamenti umili ma al tempo stesso sofisticati sta il trucco e il marchio di fabbrica della sua arte.

Glad Music (New Rose, 1986), con Part Of The Problem, e Teenage Spectacular (New Rose, 1987) sono gli album del periodo maturo.

Moore e` un compositore eclettico, capace di svariare dal music-hall (Goodbye Piano, 1978) al rock strumentale (Ist Or Mas, 1978), dal pop (Part Of The Problem, 1985) alla musica concreta (Non Sequitur, 1987).

Con Jandek e pochi altri Moore e' uno dei mitici indipendenti della musica moderna.

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