Monday, 26 August 2013

Transformer Man

Interesting list from Gibson on Shocking Detours by Major Artists.  You know, like, where did that come from?  That’s not what I expect or want to hear.  How dare he/she/they?  That kind of thing.

Here’s the list:
Neil Young – Trans
Stones – Their Satanic Majesties Request
Todd Rundgren – With a Twist
Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music
David Bowie – Young Americans
Sly Tone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On
Kiss – Music from “The Elder”
Springsteen – Nebraska
Yes – 90125
Johnny Cash – American Recordings

Well, some of these records certainly did shock.  Some were dramatic departures from what you’d expect.  Maybe some were even bad ideas.

Not all of ‘em, though.  I mean, disco was in full swing and Bowie morphed from Ziggy Stardust to white R&B.  I don’t remember anyone being too surprised, especially since he did it with such credibility.

And Trans?  By 1982, could anyone seriously be shocked by anything Neil Young did?  The same could be said about Rundgren and Springsteen – or Cash for that matter.  The word fearless comes to mind, and it could be applied at any point in their careers.

As for Satanic Majesties, well, it was just a bad idea.  The Stones were obsessed with The Beatles.  Everyone was.  They did their best Pepper , and just didn’t have it in ‘em.  It’s not who they were.  Shocking?  Ya, shockingly bad.  But a departure?  Nope, we all could see it coming.

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