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Ian MacDonald

Ian MacDonald

The author of the acclaimed Beatles book REVOLUTION IN THE HEAD, and of the collection THE PEOPLE'S MUSIC, both published by Pimlico, MacDonald was Assistant Editor of NME in the early '70s and contributed regularly to Uncut. Tragically, Ian took his own life in August 2003.

List of articles in the library by artist

10cc: 10cc

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1973

SINCE THE Beatles re-created the album market with Sergeant Pepper we've become used to the idea that the best of rock'n'roll is invariably found in ...

10cc: Ying Tong Iddle I Po

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1973

CAN YOU AFFORD TO LAUGH – AND MISS OUT ON 10CC? ...

Daevid Allen

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1975

DAEVID ALLEN GOT out of it this year. Out of the VAT-race, to be more precise – and let's keep the double-entendres under control, eh? ...

Amon Düül, Tasavallan Presidentti: Amon Düül II, Tasavallan Presidentti: Imperial College, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1972

A CULTURAL ANECDOTE: It's early 1967 and The Soft Machine are having a little trouble getting it together — particularly Mike Ratledge. Finally, Daevid Allen ...

Amon Düül, Ash Ra Tempel, Can, Guru Guru, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Tangerine Dream: Krautrock: Germany Calling #2

Overview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1972

BOMB BLASTS AND THE BEAT: PART TWO OF IAN MACDONALD'S DEFINITIVE SURVEY OF GERMAN ROCK ...

Amon Düül, Can, Faust, Kraftwerk, Nektar: Krautrock: Germany Calling

Overview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1972

TIME WAS WHEN a sudden loud crash around West Germany was probably just an other F-One-Eleven. These days it's more likely to be the local ...

Amon Düül, Faust, Popol Vuh: Krautrock: Germany Calling #3

Overview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1972

From Amon Düül to Faust's new sound-world ...

Chris Farlowe, The McCoys, P.P. Arnold, The Small Faces: Immediate Records: Happy To Be Part Of The Industry Of Human Happiness

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

Sudden impact: Best of the label that brought us the Small Faces…and Jimmy Tarbuck. ...

Pete Atkin and Clive James: Pete Atkin And Clive James: From Little Atkins Great Oak Trees Grow

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1975

A fearsome encounter between two of the foremost minds of a Generation...uh...two of the most cerebral Rock Critics afloat...um, two of the most Accomplished Raconteurs...the ...

Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello: Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach: Painted From Memory

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 1998

ONLY FIVE years ago in the UK, it needed to be reaffirmed that Burt Bacharach is one of the greatest popular musicians of the second ...

Back Door: Just Who Do Back Door Think They Are?

Profile and Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1973

ONE OF the peripheral pleasures of a thriving music scene is being able to tell your friends about this great unknown group you've just discovered. ...

The Band: Northern Lights — Southern Cross

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1975

I'M UP AGAINST a deadline on this one, having to hurry – which is bad enough without having to respond fairly to a group operating ...

The Band: Wheels On Fire

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, September 2001

IN TERMS OF scale and impact, rock music was born during Dylan's 1965-6 world tour with a group called The Hawks. Dylan's rig was by ...

The Band, Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan: Before The Flood

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1974

AN APPOSITE QUOTE from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (the town preacher talking): "Oh Lord, can we truly accomplish this great task – or are we ...

The Beach Boys: Beach Boys: Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2001

Choral unevensong from the waywardly wondrous Wilson clan ...

The Beach Boys: Wave Culture…

Overview by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2000

SunflowerSurf's UpCarl And The Passions – So ToughHollandThe Beach Boys In Concert15 Big OnesThe Beach Boys Love YouM.I.U. AlbumLA (Light Album)Keepin' The Summer AliveThe Beach ...

Be-Bop Deluxe: Be Bop Deluxe: Axe Victim

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1974

IT'S GREAT to be right in there on the first still-to-be-perfected artistic utterance of A Truly Great Group To Be. That old warm self-congratulatory glow ...

Beck: Mutations

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 1998

Downbeat apocalypse: US master of ironic eclecticism unearths a diamond in the trash. ...

Albert King, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Mavis Staples, Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, William Bell: Stax: The Stax Story

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, March 2001

Four-disc overview for the label that brought you sweet soul music ...

Blondie: Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 2001

New York new wave pop pasticheurs repackaged ...

David Blue, The Dillards, Fred Neil, Judy Collins, Judy Henske, Phil Ochs, Tim Buckley, Tom Paxton, Tom Rush: Elektra Label: Various Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2001

Twenty-album reissue programme commemorates a great Sixties label ...

Blue Oyster Cult: Blue Oyster Cult/Tyranny & Mutation/Secret Treaties/Agents Of Fortune

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2001

WITH ITS de rigueur darkside lyrics, bugaboo blues-monster riffs, and hypermacho pose-striking, heavy metal was always the dumbest member of the rock family. ...

Blue Oyster Cult: Tyranny And Mutation (Columbia Import)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1974

WELL, HERE it is then: volume two of Sandy Perlman's boys' collective voyage in the S.S. "Cosmic Greaser Speed-freak" towards strange new worlds of murk ...

The Commodores, Hamilton Bohannon, James Brown: James Brown: Sex Machine Today, Hamilton Bohannon: Insides Out, The Commodores: Caught in the Act

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1975

"WHITE ROCK", OBSERVED CSM last week in his Wailers review, "lays its beat on you; the Wailers' music allows you to find your own rhythm ...

Booker T & The MGs, Eddie Floyd, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave: Various Artists: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-68

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, September 1998

Epic set of Sixties soul classics, formerly import-only ...

David Bowie : Young Americans

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1975

WHERE have all poppa's heroes gone? Living in New York, every one. A hard city by reputation, but presumably it has its compensations for someone ...

David Bowie: Images 1966-1967

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, May 1973

"I'M AGELESS," said David Bowie in a recent interview – and these 21 tracks from the very earliest days of his career point up the ...

David Bowie: Low

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1977

YOU'RE JUST a little girl with grey eyes and you never leave your room. ...

David Bowie: Pin-Ups

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1973

THE GOLDEN AGE Of Rock is almost universally assumed to have been in full swing between about 1954 and 1959, following which, according to every ...

David Bowie: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1973

THERE ARE crowds of kids outside the hall, waiting for Stardust to limousine into view. And for them this is all three times as real, ...

David Bowie: The Revolution Is Here

Essay by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

IN THE NINE months since he broke through to mass recognition, David Bowie has had more written about him than most rock artists will in ...

David Bowie: White Lines, Black Magic

Essay by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, October 1998

'I ran across a monster who was sleeping by a tree. And I looked and frowned and the monster was me'(David Bowie, 'The Width Of ...

Brian Eno, David Bowie: Eno Part 2: Another False World — How to Make A Modern Record

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1977

Thinking about music with BRIAN ENO. Some more monologues recorded and compiled by IAN MacDONALD. ...

Dennis Brown: Various Artists: Live At The Turntable Club/Reggae Hit The Town/20 Tighten-Ups/20 Reggae Disco Hits

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1975

"DENNIS BROWN," announces Trojan manager Webster Shrowder From the sleeve of the man's album, "is one of my favourite artists, who I put in the ...

James Brown: Live At The Apollo Volume II (Deluxe Edition) (Universal)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, October 2001

UNEDITED REISSUE of legendary 1967 double album. ...

Cream, Jack Bruce: Jack Bruce

Profile by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, May 1973

CREATOR OF one of rock's two most distinctive bass styles (the other being Paul McCartney's), Jack Bruce has, during the course of a long and ...

Buffalo Springfield: Buffalo Springfield Boxed Set (Rhino)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2001

MASSIVELY DETAILED retrospective packed with previously unreleased material ...

Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1975

HERE COMES ONE of the strongest reggae albums of this year, lately available only on import in specialist shops and now rushed out in Britain ...

Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1975

THIS ONE'LL SORT out the liggers. ...

The Buzzcocks, The Clash, New York Dolls, The Sex Pistols, The Undertones: Various Artists: Cash From Chaos: The Complete Punk Collection

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, February 2002

Perverse selection – from New York Dolls to Gonads, Buzzcocks to Toy Dolls — misses chance to be definitive summary ...

J.J. Cale: JJ Cale: Okie

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1974

YEAH, KING of the Laid-Back and all that bananas, but it goes a little deeper than that – cos, even though he probably spends more ...

Can: Limited Edition

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1974

Can in Curio City ...

Can: Automation For The People

Guide by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1997

A DEEP DISTANT DETONATION ECHOED by an aftershock and a seething high-frequency fallout of fire and rain. Out of this drizzle rises a robotic one-bar ...

Can: They Have Ways Of Making You Listen…

Profile by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1974

ONE NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1969 the phone rang in Irmin Schmidt's Cologne home. Schmidt got out of bed to answer it and found himself talking ...

Captain Beefheart: The Beef Of The Matter

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1973

DON VAN VLIET and his orchestra are here for their third British tour. The current line-up of The Magic Band features Zoot Horn Rollo (first ...

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nick Cave: No More Shall We Part

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2001

Tenth solo album from Saint Nick ...

Chic: The Very Best Of Chic

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 2000

Another Chic anthology — why buy? An intelligent sleevenote with participation from Nile Rodgers, full-length album cuts where applicable. La musique elle-meme. ...

The Chi-Lites, The Moments: The Chi-Lites: Half a Love and The Moments: Sharp

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1975

IF IT WERE ONLY for All Platinum's second certifiable classic – The Moments' 'Dolly My Love' – this group's new album would need to be ...

John Coltrane: Live Trane: The European Tours (Pablo)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, February 2002

MASSIVE BOX set of Coltrane's classic quartet in action. ...

John Coltrane, Miles Davis: Miles Davis and John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

TIME SASHAYS on and Miles Davis, who was still with us only a few blinks of an eye ago is already becoming history. Hence Sony's ...

Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1974

Alice's absurd achievements ...

Ivor Cutler: Dandruff (Virgin)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

I REMEMBER the time when you got seven tracks on each side of an album. Over the years, the quantity has been steadily decreasing and, ...

Miles Davis: Big Fun; Get Up With It; On The Corner

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, February 2001

CONTROVERSIAL FUSION megastructures from the early Seventies. ...

Miles Davis: Live At The Fillmore East (March 7,1970): It's About That Time (Columbia/Legacy)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 2001

FIERCE PRE-Bitches Brew live date at a rock venue. ...

Miles Davis: The Complete 'In A Silent Way' Sessions (Columbia/Legacy)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2001

ANOTHER EPISODE in Columbia's complete reissue programme ...

The Delfonics: La-La Means I Love You – The Definitive Collection

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, April 1998

THOUGH THE Delfonics are now seen as archetypal icons of '70s kitsch, they recorded their best stuff, including their three big hits, before the '60s ...

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left****; Bryter Layter****; Pink Moon*****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

Lost poet's main works re-released ...

Nick Drake: Exiled From Heaven

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, MOJO, January 2000

DURING THE ACADEMIC year of 1968-9, Cambridge University felt an alien influence from beyond its ancient facade of curtain walls and quiet quadrangles. Sober flag-stones ...

Nick Drake

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

"I was born to sail away into a land of forever/not to be tied to an old stone grave/in your land of never" — Nick ...

Bob Dylan: In My Time Of Dyin'…

Essay by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 2001

ON ITS RELEASE IN 1962, BOB DYLAN'S FIRST ALBUM BLEW MINDS ALL OVER THE WORLD. IAN MACDONALD RECALLS ITS IMPACT ON HIS OWN TEENAGE YEARS ...

Bob Dylan: Wild Mercury: A Tale Of Two Dylans

Essay by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 2001

"Lotta people seeing double tonight.From the disease of conceit"– 'Disease Of Conceit' (Oh Mercy, 1989) ...

Brian Eno: The Drop

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1997

WHERE MOST folk in this business work on instinct, rarely pondering how to maximise their talent, supposing they have any, Eno is one of a ...

Brian Eno, Roxy Music: Eno Part 1: Before and After Science — Accidents Will Happen

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1977

Thinking about music with BRIAN ENO. Some monologues recorded and compiled by IAN MacDONALD. ...

Bill Evans: The Last Waltz

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2001

UNLESS YOU'RE hardline avant-garde (in which case, you'll vote for Cecil Taylor), Bill Evans (1929-1980) is the greatest jazz pianist of the post-bebop era. Classically ...

John Fahey: The Great San Bernadino Birthday Party And Other Excursions

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, April 2001

Solitary fingerstyle pioneer evokes the dark side of the Sixties ...

Family

Discography by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1973

ONE OF THE best of a large number of good British bands to emerge in 1967, Family were for about 18 months the most exciting ...

Faust: Faust IV (Virgin)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1973

FAUST IV is the chronological successor of So Far (The Faust Tapes being from the period of the transparent album) and, as such, represents the ...

Faust: The Wumme Years 1971-73

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2001

THERE'S STILL nothing quite like the first side of Faust's eponymous debut album, recorded in 1971 and released by a bemused Polydor in 1972. These ...

Faust: Sturm und Drang

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1973

Faust: The Guildhall, Plymouth ...

Faust: The Sound of the Eighties

Comment by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

A LOW buzzing sound, at first almost subliminal, emanates from a position somewhere between the twin stereo speakers. It wavers, hesitantly, from side to side ...

Faust: We're Just Trying To Be Here Now

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1973

Faust: Rainbow Theatre, London ...

Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music: Bryan Ferry: Party Fun From an Old Poseur

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1973

AT NOON PRECISELY, on a colourless day, I pressed the bell-push of Bryan Ferry's chic Earl's Court flat. Fifteen minutes later I was still ringing. ...

Aretha Franklin (with James Cleveland and the South California Community Choir): Amazing Grace (Atlantic)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1972

Aretha at her greatest ...

King Crimson, Robert Fripp: Robert Fripp: The Sexual Athlete

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1973

ROBERT FRIPP paused in a virtuoso display of cross-picking on Francisco Tarrega's 'Recuerdos de la Alhambra', the interlude music he'd chosen between the two parts ...

Robert Fripp, King Crimson: Robert Fripp: Head, Heart and Hips

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1973

ROBERT FRIPP doesn't give many interviews – which is silly because he's a shrewd, witty, and engrossing man who, when he's not sitting on a ...

Eric Gale et al: Negril

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1975

IF EVERYONE HAD a pair of disco turntables as well as a telly, this record might sell a million. ...

Marvin Gaye: Marvellous Marvin Reconsidered

Book Excerpt by Ian MacDonald, 'The People's Music' (Pimlico), July 2003

RARELY DID AN artistic persona run more counter to the truth than in the case of Marvin Gaye. Onstage, he was the quintessence of urbanity: ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: The Golden Road (1965-1973) (Rhino/Warner Bros) *****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, January 2002

THE GRATEFUL DEAD are probably the most puzzling enigma in rock history. ...

Claire Hamill, King Crimson: King Crimson/Claire Hammill: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

ON SUNDAY night, at that big weird place in Finsbury Park, Messrs. Derek Moss, Bart Brassert, Don Wilton and Rodney Frock most certainly did not ...

Harper's Bizarre: The Best Of Harpers Bizarre

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1974

THE TRADITION of the American pop/soft-rock interpretative/performing outfit, apparent now in the Pointer Sisters and Three Dog Night, goes back into the '60s (and ultimately ...

Hatfield And The North: Hatfield And The North

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1974

TO BE BLUNT, Hatfield And The North have missed the boat. What they're doing on this record, admirable as it may be in itself, is ...

Hatfield And The North: New Band on the Old Road…

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, May 1973

PIP PYLE, Phil Miller, Dave Stewart, and Richard Sinclair have been on the road a few years between them. ...

Jimi Hendrix: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, October 2000

LOUD, FLASHY, purple, wild, a danger to the nation's daughters. Face it, if personalities like JM Hendrix didn't exist, life would be rather boring. (And ...

Henry Cow: In Praise of Learning

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1975

IT HAS been said that rock has lost its vision. It has also been suggested that the current drought of spectacular things to behold in ...

The Incredible String Band #1: Eight Years On

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

THE INCREDIBLE String Band, in various forms, have been playing for eight years and have recorded 13 albums, including two doubles and solo sets by ...

The Incredible String Band #2: Scientology and the Incredibles

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

MacDONALD: Was there any consistent philosophical or spiritual attitude behind the group's work during the Elektra period, or were you just tossing in anything you ...

Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow/Crown Of Creation/Volunteers

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, April 1998

"COUNTRY blues at deafening volume," was the verdict of one English pop star on Californian acid-rock in 1967, a view then widely held among his ...

Jobriath: Jobriath (Elektra)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1974

YOU WILL soon be told that this cat is going to be the big breeze in 1974. Receive this piece of information with sceptical, though ...

King Crimson: Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Island).

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

A NICE RECORD of pleasant, middle-of-the-road music which should prove a great favourite with everybody's mum and dad this Easter. Bill Bruford's whistling has improved ...

King Crimson: Latest Shade of Crimson

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1973

SOME REPORTS from America suggested that King Crimson's recent tour had bombed completely. Others maintained that everything had gone according to plot and that audience ...

King Crimson: Marquee, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1973

THE MARQUEE MAY be an ace gig as far as groups are concerned but, for audiences, it can be most uncomfortable – particularly when the ...

King Crimson: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, 1973

IT'S A ROCK concert evening and the stalls are filling to the accompaniment of music played over the public address system. A review-functionary takes his ...

The Kinks: Kinks: Pye Label Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 1998

Ray Davies and Co's first five LPs ...

The Kinks

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1998

MORE SEMINAL Englishness from the kings of Britpop ...

The Kinks: Preservation Act 2

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1974

THE MAIN OBSTACLE between a rock song-writer and Major Form (as ye olde musickologists have it) is Objectivity. ...

Kokomo: Kokomo

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1975

THE AVERAGE WHITES broke the ice with their second album and Kokomo will be the first of the beneficiaries. ...

LaBelle: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1975

THE PROVERBIAL BREATH of fresh air. ...

LaBelle, The Pointer Sisters: LaBelle: Nightbirds (Epic, Import); The Pointer Sisters: Live At The Opera House (Blue Thumb)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

AN IRRATIONAL prejudice: Given a choice between the sound of New York and the sound of New Orleans, I'd always go for the former. If ...

John Lennon: The John Lennon Anthology

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 1998

WE GET USED TO THE VOICE. THE SOUND of a largely self-educated, rawly-talented, troubled and often wildly erratic Englishman who, by means of the various ...

Little Feat: Dixie Chicken (Warner Bros.)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, March 1973

SINCE SAILIN' Shoes, the group's last album, asthmatic Pachuco bass-player Roy Estrada, formerly of The Mothers, has departed to join Captain Beefheart under the pseudonym ...

Love: Forever Changes

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, April 2001

ONE OF THE many misleading ways in which writers born since the Sixties view that enigmatic decade stems from the modern habit of judging success ...

Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds Of Fire (CBS)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1973

THE INNER Mounting Flame was a very extreme record: extremely fast, extremely dazzling, extremely lyrical, extremely passionate. If you go along with Robert Fripp's "Head ...

John McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra: John McLaughlin: The Heart Of Things — Live In Paris

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 2000

EX-MAHAVISHNU whizz and legendarily virtuosic cosmo-prog funk-jazz extrapolator in cool comeback shock ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley CD Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 2001

Catch A Fire*****Burnin'****Natty Dread****Live!****Rastaman Vibration***All Island Roots Of Passage: First instalment of definitive reissue programme ...

John Martyn: The Stormbringer Comes Into The Sun

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1973

"Love me with your head and heart.Love me from the place it starts;Love me from your head and heart.Love me like a child." ...

Matching Mole: Cosmic Music and a Weird Fripp Trip...

Report by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1972

INSIDE THE control-room of CBS Number One, Whitfield Street, producer Robert Fripp leans forward in his swivel chair and addresses the studio in general: "This is ...

John Mayall: Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, and; The Best Of (As It All Began)

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1998

WANT TO know what the fuss was all about? Drop the old laser-beam on track 21, the stereo version of 'Have You Heard?', John Mayall's ...

Curtis Mayfield - A Gently Sensitive Observer

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 1998

SIX MAYFIELD albums on three CDs, from the great to the grottyCurtisGot To Find A WayRootsSweet ExorcistBack To The WorldLove ...

Curtis Mayfield: America Today

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1975

THREE YEARS AGO, Curtis Mayfield was one of the golden boys of New Wave soul, having broken with marketing formats (The Impressions) and joined the ...

Curtis Mayfield: Superfly (Two-CD Special Edition)

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, September 1998

ORIGINALLY RELEASED in 1972, Curtis Mayfield's album of music for one of the most notorious blaxploitation films of the Seventies is typically compassionate, melancholic, and ...

Paul McCartney: Driving Rain (Parlophone)

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, January 2002

ROCKIN' MACCA goes for live spontaneity. ...

Mott The Hoople: Mott the Hoople: All The Young Dudes: The Anthology

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 1998

Boxed set full of rarities and goodies from self-conscious stylists of Glam ...

Randy Newman: Good Old Boys

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

"A VINDICATION of the South?" Hey Randy – y'all gon' lay A CONCEPT ALBUM on us? Yeeee-haw! ...

Randy Newman: Here Comes The Rain

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1998

Ian MacDonald salutes Randy Newman's first solo album as a flawless masterpiece ...

Laura Nyro: The Essential Masters

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2000

DEEP ARTIST travestied by shallow "Greatest Hits" package. ...

Laura Nyro: The Five-Year, Five-Album Span Of High-Pressure Creativity

Overview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1974

"Nights in New York street angels running down steps into the echoes of the train station to sing..." ...

Laura Nyro: Oh My Love-Trumpet Soul: Laura Nyro's New York Tendaberry

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2000

AND A GREAT tenderness came forth from the unforgiving streets of the East Side. It's easy to dislike Laura Nyro. Your first requirement is to ...

Yoko Ono: Approximately Infinite Universe (Apple)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1973

IN AS MUCH AS the Lennons have spent four years trying to turn self-dramatisation into an art-form, the criticism of indulgence so often aimed at ...

Pet Shop Boys: Release (Parlophone)***

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2002

ON THEIR seventh album proper, PSBs go songful at home with Johnny Marr. ...

Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon

Essay by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1974

IF YOU'D played this to an average record-company executive at the beginning of '73 and told him it would become the year's best-selling rock LP ...

Pink Floyd: Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, January 2002

Long-awaited greatest hits package from English progressive legends ...

The Pointer Sisters: The Pointer Sisters

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1973

ANITA, RUTH, JUNE and Bonnie Pointer come to us with the fervent recommendations of seemingly everybody in America. But with the best will in the ...

Prince: The Rainbow Children (Redline Import) **

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, February 2002

SQUIGGLE GOES cosmo-Biblical. ...

Junior Walker & The Allstars, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Anthology/Junior Walker & The All Stars: Anthology

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

MARTHA AND The Vandellas never really made the grade. ...

Republica: Speed Ballads

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 1998

Second LP from Big In America, 'Ready To Go' hitmakers ...

Smokey Robinson: Quiet Storm

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, May 1975

HOW MUCH SUGAR do you take? ...

The Rolling Stones Play With Fire

Essay by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 2002

IF IT'S DIFFICULT to understand the initial impact of The Beatles without understanding the nature of their times and society, it's quite impossible to understand ...

Sonny Rollins: The Freelance Years

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2000

COLTRANE'S GREAT tenor rival gets another boxed-set boost. ...

Roxy Music: Ferry Interesting Roxy

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1972

Bryan Ferry stunning in gold trimmed black pyjamas and matching shades, greeted me from where he reclined, half-submerged beneath a heap of scented fanmail, on ...

Roxy Music: Stranded (Island)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, November 1973

IN A WAY, Roxy Music's original ambiguous stance – the Chinese Box thing that was probably their most enticing quality – always fought against their ...

Roxy Music: The Dome, Brighton

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1973

GROUPS TOURING Britain are expected to put on that little bit extra for their London dates on the simple score of the probable presence of ...

Roxy Music: The kind of example we wish to set our parents?

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1972

THE CHAMPAGNE was flowing freely when I interviewed Phil Manzanera, guitaring personality of Roxy Music, in freefall at twenty thousand feet over the English Channel ...

Roxy Music: The Man Who Put Sequins into Middle Eights

Interview by Nick Kent, Ian MacDonald, Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, January 1973

The BRYAN FERRY interview, in which the Roxy mastermind meets IAN MacDONALD, CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY and NICK KENT ...

Todd Rundgren: Initiation

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1975

"I WAS BORN to fly higher, born to stand where I'm standing now/Basking in the light of the neon fire/As it burns my useless body ...

Santana: Carlos Santana: Divine Light — Reconstruction And Mix Translation: Bill Laswell (Sony Jazz)****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 2001

AMBIENT, HINDU-influenced, mystical jazz-rock spectacular. ...

Santana: Welcome

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1974

SANTANA WERE always a good group, even though debs and deadheads liked them and played 'Soul Sacrifice' endlessly at boring Friday night Strand-ups. ...

Simon & Garfunkel Reissues

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 2001

Wednesday Morning, 3am*/The Sounds Of Silence****/Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme***/Bookends*****/Bridge Over Troubled Water*** (All Columbia) Sixties folk-rock digitally done up and decorated with extra tracks ...

Soft Machine, part 2: The End of an Ear at the Proms

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, February 1975

IN LAST week's issue, Part One recounted the history of the Softs from their schooldays to the break-up of the group following the recording of ...

Soft Machine, The Wilde Flowers: Soft Machine, part 1

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, January 1975

CLASS OF '61 at the Simon Langton School, Canterbury – an exclusive, private establishment for the sons of local artists and intellectuals. Very free, emphatically ...

Sparks: Kimono My House

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, May 1974

ONE WAY or another, 1974's turning out to be quite a year for rock 'n' roll. ...

Sparks: Propaganda

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

PEOPLE WHOSE tastes are rooted in the Blues did not, apparently, find what Ron Mael was doing with rock on Kimono My House either interesting ...

Spirit: California Saga

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1973

ATTENTION PLEASE. For the next few weeks, Britain will have the chance of witnessing 'live' one of rock's most creative and significant guitarists. ...

Dusty Springfield Re-releases

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, July 1998

Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty/Where Am I Going/Songbooks Three more re-releases from the undisputed Queen of UK pop-soul ...

Steely Dan: Pretzel Logic

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, 1974

A FINE RECORD. And that sentence goes first because the fact that a band as perfectly poised as Steely Dan can reach their third album ...

Steely Dan: Two Against Nature

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, March 2000

First album in two decades from America's premier cerebral jazz-pop twosome ...

Steely Dan: Decadent Diversions

Retrospective by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, March 2002

IAN MacDONALD ON STEELY DAN'S DARK HORSE, GAUCHO ...

The Supremes: Anthology

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1974

I NEVER COULD understand why so many Rock Critics (sic) couldn't stomach The Supremes. ...

Toots & The Maytals: Toots and the Maytals: In The Dark

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1974

This, Toots, was made for dork-ing ...

Allen Toussaint: Southern Nights

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1975

IF ALLEN TOUSSAINT ever wants to make the great album he's obviously capable of, he'd be best advised to first take a year's sabbatical from ...

Tricky: Angels With Dirty Faces

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 1998

HEROES DON'T last long these days. Partly because the scene is shallow and restless; partly because cynicism is always muttering, "Why do we need heroes ...

Utopia: Todd Rundgren's Utopia

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, October 1974

OF THE presumably few people who ignored the charges of self-indulgence and pretentiousness generally levelled at Rundgren's last effort (the double-album Todd) and, despite everything, ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground Bootleg Series, Volume One — The Quine Tapes

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2001

Audience recordings of rare live gigs from 1969 ...

Rick Wakeman: The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, April 1975

The Cadbury capers, part 1: the management requests you leave your brain at the door ...

Weather Report: New Victoria, London

Live Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, December 1975

TO MYSTERIOSO OR not to mysterioso – that was the question facing Weather Report last Thursday at nine p.m. ...

The Who: BBC Sessions

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, March 2000

Re-generation… From amphetamine mod-yobs to hairy rock messiahs on Radio Auntie ...

The Who: My Generation Deluxe Edition (Polydor) ****

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, October 2002

BEFORE NEW, larger sound systems ushered in rock in 1966-7, there was beat music, a tighter, more driving sound based on pushing club-scale amplification to ...

Bill Withers: Morale Music For The People In The Ghetto

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1972

A TELEPHONE CABLE that runs off the edge of Britain, down under the Atlantic, and up again into the heart of North America to St. ...

Bobby Womack - I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1975

FROM 1964, FOLLOWING the death of his mentor Sam Cooke, to 1969, when he finally began to record under his own name, Bobby Womack was ...

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1974

COUNTING MATCHING Mole's first album, this is Robert Wyatt's third solo record. It echoes his previous ventures in being a strong statement of mood, but ...

Robert Wyatt: Join The Professionals, Form A Rock Band…

Interview by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, July 1974

YEAH, WELL – Robert Wyatt (fact) drummed with Soft Machine, led Matching Mole, and fell from a fourth-storey window in Maida Vale early last year, ...

Yes: Close To The Edge (Atlantic)

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, September 1972

Meaningless magnificence from Yes? ...

Neil Young: "You're All Just Pissing In the Wind"

Essay by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, September 1998

RIGHT NOW, Neil Young is in kind of an invidious position. On The Beach is his equivalent of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album in terms ...

Neil Young: Are You Passionate? (WEA) **

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, May 2002

YOUNG GOES Stax, trips over shoe-laces. ...

Neil Young: On The Beach

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, August 1974

RIGHT NOW NEIL YOUNG is in kind of an invidious position. On The Beach is his equivalent of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album in terms ...

The Zombies: Zombies: Zombie Heaven (Big Beat/Ace)

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, November 1997

WHAT'S POP magic? A certain quality of feeling; quelque chose de je ne sais quoi; a little bit of soul. To be prosaic: something indefinably ...

List of genre pieces

Motown: Stop! In The Name Of Love

Overview by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, August 1998

SECOND ONLY to The Beatles' catalogue as the finest single coherent body of pop music ever recorded are the records made in Detroit for Motown ...

Paul Gorman: In Their Own Write: Adventures In The Music Press

Book Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, December 2001

Perceptive, hysterical history of rock journalism — from the horses' mouths ...

Stax - The Stax Story - Volumes I & II

Review by Ian MacDonald, New Musical Express, June 1975

SINCE THE 32 tracks collected here were cut after the 1968 Stax/Atlantic split it would be unwise to take the over-all title of this two-record ...

Various Artists: Machine Soul: An Odyssey Into Electronic Dance Music

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 2000

From Kraftwerk to BT, via Throbbing Gristle, Moby and the Chemicals – the history of synthpop ...

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