R. Stevie Moore

Stevie Moore Invites Comparison

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1973's Stevie Moore Invites Comparison is the first truly song-based release from the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club (the five earlier releases, recorded between 1968 and 1972, are more experimental in nature). It's an extremely uneven collection, with a few songs that Moore would return to several more times over the course of his career, and a few that another songwriter would probably have left unfinished and stripped for parts. Of the former, the tough rockers "Sort of Way" (featuring one of Moore's most instantly memorable choruses), and "Dates" (a naggingly hook-filled song that Moore has recorded repeatedly, including a late '90s version with XTC's David Gregory performing the Hendrix-inspired guitar solos), appear in two versions each; the first version of "Dates," with some excellent fuzz bass work by longtime associate Billy Anderson, is Moore's first truly brilliant song. Other highlights include the catchy, Todd Rundgren-like instrumental "World's Fair"; the spookily odd "The Ghost of Stringbean" (about the recently-murdered Grand Ole Opry comedian and Hee Haw star); and the cheerful "All That Really Matters," which recalls Paul McCartney's country-tinged efforts. On the down side, the opening "Baby Good" has only a spirited fuzztone guitar solo to recommend it, and there's an unfortunately long stretch of only fitfully interesting songs in the album's second half. As a result, Stevie Moore Invites Comparison is mostly of use only to those interested in R. Stevie Moore's development as a pop songwriter.

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