R. Stevie Moore's
~Fifteenth Album~
Megaphon/Pink Lemon (GER) PINK 008
Issued July 1999

Total Time = 62:39

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Produced by Big D Irwin Chusid

Executive Producer: Ralf Friel
cover painting © O.Christiansen,
"the heavens door II"
design & layout by O.Christiansen

Recorded mostly at home in Upper Montclair and various other locations, including:
"Everyone, But Everyone" and "Play Myself Some Music" recorded at the Dungeon,
Maplewood, NJ. eng. by Chris Bolger; "Column 88" rhythm track at
WFMU radio; "Baby, Scratch My Back" drums at House of Music, West Orange,
NJ, eng. by Glenn Jones; "Disaster in the USA" vocal over WFMU phone lines;
"Where We Are Right Now" overdubbed & remixed in UK by Yukio; "Backbone Break"
over phone by Roger Ferguson in Nashville; "Flecther Honorama" instruments
recorded at home studio Washington DC by Andy; Digital editing and master
sequencing by Steve Stein/Sonic Boom Studios, NYC.

Originally reviewed for week ending 8/28/99

We can all celebrate the fact that R. Stevie Moore remains healthy and crazy. Heart problems a couple of years ago didn't make a dent in his musicianship or in the eccentric spirit that has made him one of the true originals. A staple of the New York/New Jersey underground who became a one-man cottage industry when he started a home-taping phenomenon eons ago, Moore has kept at it, churning out cassettes and LPs by the truckload. He was slow to embrace the digital era, finally breaking down in 1993 and releasing a CD compilation of recordings he'd made over the years. Now, under the guiding hand of music scholar and producer Irwin Chusid, Moore steps into the fore with yet another collection of lo-fi symphonies, including "Everyone, But Everyone," with its echoes of Harry Nilsson, Ben Folds, and Alex Chilton; the synth-spiced "Where We Are Right Now"; the Devo-esque "Academy Fight Song"; and the dreamy "Play Myself Some Music." Unsung by all save a small cult, Moore deserves a wider audience. Perhaps this fine release will help him find it.

Crystal Drum number 70
Milford NJ fanzine / December 1999
"The Crystal Drum Review of Quality Literature and Related Fine Arts"
by Jeff Grimshaw
A spectacular collection from the man who is arguably both the most prolific and least known great American songwriter of the 20th century. As usual, RSM plays all or most of the instruments on most of the tracks; as usual, the tracks range across the entire gamut of pop music from synth to blues to country to alternative to techno to power pop to several genres which have not yet been named, because they don't exist anywhere except on this album; NOT as usual, the tracks hang together and this does not seem at all like a random collection of terrific songs (which it kind of is-- the songs were recorded over a 25 year period (!))-- but like the Last Great Album of the 20th Century, which it also is, unless something amazing happens in the next few minutes. The Billboard review of this album (it was Billboard's "Critic's Choice" for the week of August 28th) invokes everybody from Harry Nilsson to Devo as clear influences on the various songs, which is fair enough; the fact is, RSM has assimilated all of his influences and has surpassed many of them as both an artist and a craftsman.

The album kicks off with a cover of the Talking Heads' "Found A Job," recorded with a distorted, robo-voiced lead vocal and a lyric modified to include references to various Friends of Stevie; propelled along by the effortless virtuosity of the crack rhythm section (Stevie), this is one of those covers (like Detroit's version of the Velvet Underground's "Rock N Roll") where you find yourself saying "So THAT'S what it was supposed to sound like!" It concludes with an impassioned song called "Disaster in the USA" from one Antonio Fiornascente, possibly left (acapella) on Stevie's answering machine, and accompanied not by the major power chords (the musical equivalent of Socialist Realism?) the message would seem to demand, but by a twisting progression of augmented and diminished chords; they make Fiornascente's song moving in a way he probably did not intend, but without making fun of it.

Pick hits among the other 15 songs are the lovely instrumental "For Vini," the Nilsson-like "Once and For All" (Billboard heard Nilsson's influence on "Everyone, But Everyone," but "Once and For All" sounds like a deliberate homage), and the dreamy "Where We Are Right Now" (one of two cuts featuring the great Krystyna Olsiewicz on lead vocal). Also pretty irresistable is the version of Sparks' "Fletcher Honorama," where, for a change of pace, all instruments are played (excellently) by Andy Charneco and Stevie contributes the vocal.

All credit to the producer, the seriously disturbed Irwin Chusid1, responsible (I assume) for the sequencing and the unusally superb sound quality (the album was mastered in Germany). He made a lot of decisions which would appear to be counterintuitive-- including so many covers (6) on an album showcasing a great songwriter, and even starting the set with one of them, including some of Stevie's most uncommercial material ("Oh Baby Baby Baby"), including tunes where other people sing lead. But virtually all of it works. Because the range of material is so wide I don't think anybody will like everything, but surely everyone (or at least everyone reading this) will like MOST of it. Available for $16.00 PP from:
R.Stevie Moore
14 Evelyn Place #4
Bloomfield NJ 07003

1 Also aboard as a drummer on some tracks. For some of the comedy stylings of Irwin Chusid, check out Stevie's great "Senior Superlatives" collection, available as a ninety-minute cassette ($8) or a double CD ($20).

Aquarius Records (S.F.) new release sheet #79:

MOORE, R.STEVIE "The Future Is Worst Than The Past" (Megaphon) cd

Before things such as "indie-rock" or "DIY" were phenomena of cool, R. Stevie Moore started hometaping his own pop songs over 30 years ago with a naive style that even Rolling Stone magazine recognized, by naming Moore's album "Phonographie" to it's list of the 50 most influential records of all time. With over 1000 (yes over one thousand!) songs, 14 albums, and 250 cassettes, it may be difficult to judge which R. Stevie Moore records would be worth owning.

"The Future Is Worse Than The Past" is a best-of compilation of Moore's work which collects his quirky pop sensibility (which parallels such intentionally naive indie rockers as Calvin Johnson and Mark Robinson) onto a single CD.

Did we mention that he has no car?

Rock of Ages
R. Stevie Moore
The Future Is Worse Than The Past
by David Greenberger
Oct 21-27, 1999

recorded thousands of songs, for the most part at his home in New Jersey. Since the early '70s, he has self-released over 250 cassettes along with 14 albums on 10 different labels in four countries. But if he's slipped under your radar, you're not alone. Thankfully, his brand-new The Future Is Worse Than The Past is a perfect entry point into his oervre. Born out of the ad hoc nature of home recording, Moore has found his sound. Where others have either stopped recording this way or moved on into "real" studios, he explores the hidden depths in methods to which others have given scant attention –– apart from their use as a writing tool or for making demos.

   The first three songs alone demonstrate his breadth –– Moore is part mad scientist and part unabashed romantic. The opening cover of Talking Heads' "Found A Job" and the next song, Moore's own "Misplacement," are both flush with his characteristic cranked and crackling guitars, drum machine, bass and slightly distorted vocals. The slow, expansive third number, "Everyone, But Everyone," smartly breaks from the density of the previous two; throughout the album, Moore's wacky dramatics give way to overt dreaminess. On [i]Future's[/i] 17 songs, he is joined by a number of guests, but this is primarily a solo show, with him playing nearly everything you hear. The prime difference between this and his ongoing home-cassette releases is the presence of a producer. Irwin Chusid brings cohesion to Moore's disparate inclinations, so love and looniness intermingle with grace and ease.


DisAgreement Online


The Future Is Worse Than The Past

17 songs / 63 minutes
Pink Lemon / Megaphone
- 10 -

The first thing that struck my eye was the wonderful cover artwork: it is the same painter than the one who made the cover for the last Infamis-CD, and I just love that style that reminds of Munch with lots of yellow, but also blue and red colours. Looks just cool! I have never heard the name R. Stevie Moore before, but the song titles already were very promising. My first impression upon hearing the CD was: LO-FI!!! Compared to Mr Moore, even early Guided By Voices sound as overproduced as Def Leppard. But Moore has a method, it's not just bad sound just for the sake of it. In fact Moore is a big tape recorder, and has already released about 250 tapes in his lifetime... even Zappa seems like a lazy guy compared to this. Moore doesn't make often CDs, so also this one contains material recorded from 1975 to 1998. The fun fact is that it still sounds homogenous, because there has been no change with lo-fi over the years. Moore does most stuff by himself, but also has a lot of people helping him out. Above all Krystyna Olsiewicz's voice is remarkable... and who the hell sang the original of 'Rose Garden'? Oh yeah, there's a hatful of cover tunes: David Byrne, Sparks and even more obscure stuff.
Back to the music: Moore is a real sound magician, and sometimes sounds like a cross between Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers, both ex-Soft Machine. There's a Canterbury touch to some of the songs, but not with the Caravanesque elegance (playing golf and drinking cups of tea), rather with the rough charm of the unemployed, having problems with his bladder, scratching his back while shouting at all the opium idiots. Did I tell you that I love this CD? Well, now I do: I love this CD. Why? Because songs like 'Misplacement', 'Everyone, But Everyone', 'Where We Are Right Now', 'Bladder', 'Idiot Opium', etc. just kick ass, have great melody lines, and are just different from the mainstream styles. Check out R. Stevie Moore's homepage if you have the time. Maximum rating for this cute little item!

1978 icrsm78.jpg    rsmdollarirwin.jpg  1997

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