R. Stevie Moore

As If Vinyl Didn't Exist

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As the title and liner notes to R. Stevie Moore's 99th cassette release (now available on CD through his website) ruefully point out, 1984 marked the sixth year since Moore's last LP release, 1978's Delicate Tension, and although Moore actually had two vinyl releases within the next 12 months (What's the Point?!? on Cuneiform and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About R. Stevie Moore on New Rose), both were compilations focusing primarily on older, poppier material, which means that the often excellent but mostly more experimental songs on albums such as this are still largely unknown to all but Moore's most devoted fans. Highlights include the disarming opener "Dormitory Girls," a My Life in the Bush of Ghosts-style cut-up of a disapproving right-wing commentator over a funky, bass-driven instrumental track, and the lengthy guitar instrumental "Hears 2 JWH," as well as three reworkings of older Moore gems, lo-fi, deliberately noisy versions of "First-Hand" and "Find Me a Wife," and a curious new version of a key track from 1976's Phonography, "I Want You in My Life Again," which sounds like a dub-style remix of the original with the vocals distorted into incoherence, found-sound tape manipulations, and a prominent new Todd Rundgren-style piano part. Like the rest of the album, it's odd but immediately accessible, making As If Vinyl Didn't Exist one of Moore's strongest efforts from this period.

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