Negative Reaction, June 1977

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Negative Reaction



Less Than Zero

Elvis Costello

Negative Reaction

Another Nick Lowe production, naturally. Buggered if I know what's this Van Morrison comparison everyone's going on about, but it always comes up in connection with Springsteen, Lynott, Seger, Graham Parker, and George Formby, too, no doubt. Elvis Costello is the latest to be numbered among these champions, but I can't see it myself. Anyway, this is a fine record with a great organ sound and odd lyrics in the vein of "So It Goes," that make you do a double-take. The guy's got a classic teen voice, as well, and on the sleeve looks wetter Jonathan Richman.


Negative Reaction, No. 2, June 1977

Negative Reaction reviews the single for "Less Than Zero."

Charlie reviews A Bunch Of Stiff Records.


1977-06-00 Negative Reaction cover.jpg 1977-06-00 Negative Reaction page 13.jpg 1977-06-00 Negative Reaction page 15.jpg
Cover and page scans.

A Bunch Of Stiffs


Trouble with compilations is that you invariably end up with a few duds. But an album of singles is worth it anyday and this ain't no exception. Names like Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds are the bait that's the enticement for learning about new names. The album even says that Stiff is the graveyard for dead bands, but perhaps they should be called an insemination centre. After all, Stiff have already earned their name in record history and if they could help the new wave of rock to rear itself out of smutty pubs and off the streets (probably more then anybody else), then they're certainly going to help the unfortunates who weren't big enough for CBS or Polydor, to get recognition and even ...fame. It's a fine mixture of allsorts and all but the brilliant "Less Than Zero" by Elvis Costello (reviewed elsewhere) are previously unreleased. Since they're all singles, here's the best:

Nick Lowe — "I'm In Love With My Label" — so he says. Great music but rip-off lyrics.

Jill Read — "Maybe" — A beautiful glassy lost-love song. Late 60's Dave Edmunds stuff — the Spector recreation — She's got a beautiful voice and the backing vocals and summer pianos are fab.

Dave Edmunds — "Jo Jo Gunne" — Train-shuffle catwalk. Shifts like rock should. Electric dancing wind and Kung-Fu parties.


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