Spirit of ’73
Rock For Choice (Epic)
by Chris Adams
Yeah, I’m pro-choice. I am, really. It’s one of the few causes I give money to every year. But, as Live Aid proved, a good cause does not necessarily make good music. In this case, an array of female artists (what? aren’t men allowed to support the cause too?) cover a buncha crap songs from the ’70s.
Generally, they’re cheesy pieces of WHDH flotsam that we’ve spent the better part of our existences trying to forget. Of course, the intention is irony (i.e., “we’re cool fucks performing shitty songs that we all grew up with – isn’t it nutty? Aren’t we sly, rejecting and embracing our cultural past at the same time?”) Well, sisters, I really don’t care about the reasons behind what you’re doing. A record is something to listen to, and listening to this record is a king-sized drag. I don’t care who’s performing it, I don’t ever wanna hear “We Are Family” or “More, More, More” or any Roberta Flack ever again, period. (I mean, what next? A fucking Robert John or Christopher Cross tribute album? If that’s the case, please kill me.)
All these songs do is bring me back to an era where I wore beige corduroys and lousy cheap sneakers and wondered why I felt so creeped-out and uncomfortable all the time. Fuck nostalgia trips – the pre-punk ’70s are a cultural embarrassment.
Despite all the revisionism, disco actually did suck – it’s OK to hate it. And it’s OK to hate this record too, which I unabashedly do. The album’s only saving graces are Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano‘s sinister cover of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” and L7 and Joan Jett‘s live version of the Runaways’ classic teenage anthem “Cherry Bomb.” (Some of the period-piece soundbites between songs are pretty fun, too.)
Buy this record to support the pro-choice cause, and give it to your mom – she’ll think it’s a “far-out” album that makes her “keep on truckin'” while she waits for Barney Miller re-runs. If ya actually like this ill-conceived nightmare, you should at least be considerate and supply your best friend with a two-sizes-too-small “I’m with stupid” t-shirt. Over and out, good buddy.