The Ultimate A To Z Of Album Reviews By Gary Steel – O

Gary Steel is slowly compiling all his album reviews in one place. This is a work in progress, or what we call a “live document”. Today is the letter ‘O’.



Kai Olsson – Crazy Love (Chrysalis)

1979/Evening Post

Olsson’s Crazy Love is professionally produced but unexciting fare. 4/10



Original Soundtrack – Rock’n’Roll High School (Sire)

1979/Evening Post

Rock’n’Roll High School conveniently destroys two views generally held by rock fans and critics alike: that compilation albums featuring various artists need necessarily be TV-promoted market demand-fulfilling mediocrity, and that soundtrack albums contain insubstantial compositions which, when divorced from the movie they are extracted from, inevitably end their days vying for places in the world’s bargain bins.

The movie in question (which hopefully will see New Zealand release soon) stars New York City punk group The Ramones and, appropriately, they dominate the first side of this soundtrack.

The Ramones’ tracks include the title tune and a gloriously dumb, tinny live medley of their ‘hits’, which sport titles like ‘Teenage Lobotomy’ and ‘Pinhead’.

Classic songs about school rebellion by Chuck Berry (‘School Days’), Alice Cooper (‘School’s Out’), Brownsville Station (‘Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room’), and diversions by Eno, Todd Rundgren, Nick Lowe and others make Rock’n’Roll High School one of 1979’s most enjoyable releases.

Phil Spector, famous for his ‘wall of sound’ production on many 1960s hits, remixed this album and is likely responsible for the great sound. 7/10



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