Whenever we get a new issue of Rolling Stone, we’re never sure where to turn first: Peter Travers’ F-bomb-dropping movie reviews? The “Me and Chris Robinson totally played Boggle” boasts of the Smoking Section? Or maybe the numerous, not-at-all-unnecessary feature-story sidebars?
Actually, we skip them all and go straight to record write-ups, which have been driving readers crazy for nearly 40 years. And so, the task at hand: Issue 1014, with the super-timely Borat cover. This issue didn’t make us quite as nutty as usual, as there’s some evident of actual restraint: Terrible, terrible albums by the likes of +44 and Buena Vista Social Club are appropriately panned, and David Ruffin’s 1975 song “Walk Away From Love” gets a well-deserved shout-out.
That said, there are the usual number of suspicious three-star reviews, which is RS‘ fence-straddling version of being picked to the join the brown-star reading group. Most bizarre is a “We love it! We hate it!” review of the Game’s “middling but pleasurable” Doctor’s Advocate, which compares the rapper with John Mellencamp and Tupac Shakur (well, they did both work with Bruce Hornsby). And Ol’ Dirty Bastard gets the RS Posthumous Plaudit™ for his A Son Unique album, which reads like a half-hearted two-star rave (at best), and instead gets three stars. Wenna please!
Issue #: 1014
Total number of reviews (excluding reissues): 23
Total number of three-star reviews: 9
Total percentage of reviews that are three-star reviews: 39 percent
Total number of P.O.W.s receiving favorable coverage (P.O.W. = pals of Wenner): 1, for a three-star review of Mark Knopfler’s Real Live Roadrunning (pg. 114)
Total number of illustrations featuring the Game scowling in front of a meat locker: 1 (pg. 111)
“You’ve Gotta Be Frickin’ With Us” Award For an Obscure Band That David Fricke Is Clearly Just Making Up:: “Scandinavian Action Jazz” musicians Sami Nieminen and Juha Litmeanen (pg. 114)
Everybody’s A Wenner [archive]