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Richard Cook

Richard Cook

Richard Cook was one of the major feature writers for NME in the early and mid-'80s. He subsequently edited The Wire for seven years, before becoming editor of Jazz Review. He was the co-author of the highly-regarded The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD, and in 2001 published Blue Note: The Biography.Tragically, Richard's life was cut short by cancer in August 2007.

List of articles in the library by artist

23 Skidoo, Pigbag: Pigbag: Lend An Ear (Y)/23 Skidoo: The Culling Is Coming (Operating Twilight)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1983

BOTH OF these docile records stand or fall as assemblages: their creators propose to be organisers of sound, something more than itinerant pop musicians. ...

ABBA: Abba: The Singles, The First Ten Years (Epic)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1982

HOW TO do everything, and how to do nearly everything right. In the rack of Christmas compilations everything else is a non-starter beside this one. ...

King Sunny Ade and his African Beats: Synchro System (Island)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

IN A THREADBARE year for outstanding pop records, Synchro System is something to set excitement aflame – a torch song for the powers of rhythm. ...

Adult Net, The , The Fall: Brix Smith: A Spider's Web

Interview by Richard Cook, Sounds, February 1987

BRIX SMITH is the girl who can't really help it: she has rich-baby eyes, heavy blonde hair, a voice that comes in giggles. It's the ...

Joan Armatrading: Front Door Woman

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1983

DO YOU believe in romance? ...

The B-52s: Mesopotamia (Island)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1982

A BRIEF encounter between two of the most deceptively insidious forces in new American music – David Byrne's irresistible art scalpel and The B-52's immovable ...

Bad Brains: Rock For Light (Abstract)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1983

BAD BRAINS are an idea bursting full-tilt from a terminally fevered cortex. Rock For Light is the attempted rationalising of the notion, and it so ...

Anita Baker: The Deep Dark Soul

Interview by Richard Cook, Wire, September 1986

THE BAND PLAYS a slow, rough-textured groove, flesh laid on the dark bones of the bass. Three women set up a vocal counterpoint, rich with ...

The Beat: Beat Drowning in Confusion

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1981

A SHAKY YEAR for The Beat so far was compounded last week by a mix-up over their new single, 'Hit It'. The twelve-inch copy that ...

The Belle Stars: The Belle Stars (Stiff)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1983

WOMEN IN ROCK – a further note. It must be hard being a Belle Star. Not only do you have to squeeze your soles inside ...

George Benson: Kingsize Benson

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1983

So just how did this work a day guitarist called GEORGE BENSON sidestep the critical vitriol of the jazz and soul purists to become one ...

Steve Beresford: Everywhere Man: Steve Beresford

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

You name it, Beresford had done it. He'd played bass, played piano, played trumpet...he'd composed music, improvised music, organised music, he'd written about the damn ...

Black Uhuru, Mink DeVille, The Undertones: Black Uhuru, Mink De Ville, The Undertones: Roackpalast, Essen, West Germany

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1981

THESE BIENNIAL all-night Rockpalast bloat-ons are comically close to the idea of a festival mentality geared to Germanic efficiency: You vill be entertained! The groups ...

The Blue Nile: I Can See For Niles

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1984

BECAUSE DELICACY and good manners are so disgustingly commonplace in today's pop, it's hard to spot something deeper and more diverse when it comes cloaked ...

Boomtown Rats: V Deep (Mercury)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1982

I HAVEN'T bothered with this group since the awful 'I Don't Like Mondays', which made me douse most of the fonder memories for minor excellences ...

David Bowie: Tonight

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1984

IT MIGHT be foolish to conjecture on which are David Bowie's public and which are his private records. ...

Jackson Browne: Lawyers In Love (Asylum)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1983

JACKSON BROWNE is beginning to remind me of Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome or Missing: a secure and successful man provoked into action traitorous ...

Jackson Browne: Looking East

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, March 1996

CLOSE TO a quarter-century after his debut, Jackson Browne still can't settle down. His love life might not bother him the way it once did ...

Jackson Browne: Ramblin’ on Empty

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1982

RICHARD COOK meets JACKSON BROWNE, the California dreamer who spends his time being sensitive — especially when he gets heckled. Post-Woodstock ...

Dave Brubeck: The Unsquare Dance

Retrospective by Richard Cook, Wire, November 1986

DAVE BRUBECK looked the part. The face that stared out from a Time magazine cover 30-odd years ago had the sober, shaven outline of a ...

T-Bone Burnett: Trap Door and Behind The Trap Door

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, 1984

THIS LONG TALL TEXAN is a perplexing, sometimes infuriating contributor to the annals of rockin' psychology. As a maverick composer and player to various courts ...

Kate Bush: "My music sophisticated? I'd rather you said that than turdlike!"

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

A modern, multi-media, adult orientated entertainer or a wild and wuthering heroine who's been dreaming since a brilliant start to her career......Richard Cook plays Heathcliffe ...

The Buzzcocks: Buzzcocks: Looking Back

Retrospective by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

Proto-punk, pure pop and other bites and scratches. Richard Cook assesses the career and impact of "the world’s first modern pop group". 1 April ...

The Buzzcocks: Flag Of Convenience: a C.H.A.I.N. R.E.A.C.T.I.O.N.

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

Is there life after Buzzcocks? Steve Diggle and John Maher are trying again. After the passive disintegration of Buzzcocks in the spring of 1981, the ...

David Byrne: Feelings

Review and Interview by Richard Cook, MOJO, June 1997

Head boy's follow-up to 1994's David Byrne finds him working with a variety of producers, including DJ Hahn Rowe, The Black Cat Orchestra and Morcheeba. ...

Cabaret Voltaire: 2X45 (Rough Trade)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

WHAT IS least novel – and perhaps least satisfying – about the ascendancy of synthi-pop is its dependence on romantic humanist elements. Kraftwerk's love of ...

Cabaret Voltaire: Rock With The Digital Cavemen

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1984

AS ONE Voltaire remarks, it's good weather for journalism: weary skies stuffed with rainclouds over Sheffield and its hills. After London the gentle pace of ...

John Cale: Music For A New Society (Island)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

A STRONGER, loving world... The fulcrum of John Cale's work is its granite paradox, a loathsome ugliness garbed in the colours of rhapsody. Cale's abiding ...

Can, Holger Czukay: Holger Czukay: Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1982

AN AMBIENT tape is burring in the background. "I made a special cassette for a new kind of radio programme," explains Holger Czukay ...

Can, Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt, Neu!: A Trance In Tatters: Krautrock und Beyond

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

Can: Delay 1968 (Spoon); Holger Czukay: Canaxis (Spoon); Irmin Schmidt: Filmmusik Vol 2 (Spoon); Neu!: Black Forest Gateau (Cherry Red) ...

Can, Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt: The Can Founders: Columbiahalle, Berlin

Live Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, May 1999

Running order: Holger Czukay/Michael Karoli's Sofortkontakt/Irmin Schmidt & Kumo/Jaki Liebezeit's Club Off Chaos ...

Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band: Ice Cream For Crow (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

THE TIME has come and gone for Captain Beefheart to evade the confines of 'criticism'. If we posit Trout Mask Replica and Lick My Decals ...

Rosanne Cash: Cash Points

Interview by Richard Cook, Sounds, April 1986

It's payola time for country's latest lone star Rosanne Cash. Richard Cook tries to separate the hit from the myth. ...

The Clash: Pop Will Die... And Rebel Rock Will Rule

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1984

"YOU DON'T TREAT your enemies better than you treat your friends." ...

The Clash: Three Convictions on the Road From Hell

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1982

The Clash: Fair Deal, Brixton, London ...

Eddie Cochran: The 25th Anniversary Album

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1985

He was a tough-looking man, hefty square shoulders above turned-up sleeves and keg fists; the voice was an Oklahoman baritone that could hiccough with determination ...

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (F-Beat)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1982

ONE THING Elvis Costello has never learnt is good manners. I don't want to go to Chelsea! I don't want to be a goody-goody ! ...

Elvis Costello: The Costello Show And Tell

Interview by Richard Cook, Sounds, March 1986

The self-proclaimed 'King of America' talks to RICHARD COOK about his new LP, his uncomfortable relationship with the music press, and the mediocrity of today's ...

Count Basie

Obituary by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1984

Richard Cook pays tribute to the man whose Kansas City swing band conquered the world – a jazz aristocrat for 50 years. ...

Randy Crawford, Roberta Flack: Randy Crawford: Windsong (WEA)/Roberta Flack: I’m The One (Atlantic)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

ALAS FOR these voices: they are neither souls crying in a wilderness of sorrow, nor the sensuous claimants of a pathway to the inner sanctum ...

Marshall Crenshaw: Marshall's Law

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1982

ELVIS COSTELLO LOVES HIM... BUT NOBODY ELSE HAS EVER HEARD OF HIM! WE BRING YOU MARSHALL CRENSHAW – THE MOST ANONYMOUS NAME IN POP. SNAP: ...

DAF: Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft: Fur Immer (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

ONCE AGAIN we're suspended in that intangible vacuum, between idea and realisation, between the bursting theory and grey actuality of DAF. ...

Miles Davis: London, Hammersmith Odeon

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1983

MILES RUNS the voodoo down down down ... and here I am, somewhere way up in the high heights of the Odeon (gee I hate ...

Miles Davis: Miles Runs The Voodoo Down

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1985

The man with the horn, MILES DAVIS, whose silvery trumpet lines have embellished jazz for 40 years, is back in action with a new band ...

Miles Davis: Still Miles, Time After Time

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1985

Richard Cook takes two Davis records, a quarter-century apart, into custody. ...

Bobby Day, Larry Williams, Little Richard: Little Richard/Larry Williams/Bobby Day albums

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1985

Little Richard, Here’s Little Richard (Ace)Little Richard: Little Richard Volume 2 (Ace)Little Richard: The Fabulous Little Richard (Ace)Larry Williams: Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Ace)Bobby Day: The ...

The dBs: The dB's: Sophisticated Jukebox Music

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1982

THE APPEARANCE OF The Great American Pop Band on these shores hasn't exactly caused a stampede to the nation's box offices. But the dB's ...

Defunkt: The Life and Death of Romance

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1982

Neo-realist funkt, anyone? Joe Bowie describes his big city reggae to Richard Cook. ...

Echo & The Bunnymen: Echo and Bunnymen: Per Omnia Scallia Scalliorum

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1983

Echo and Bunnymen: Hammersmith Odeon, London ...

Echo & The Bunnymen: The Altar'd Boys: Echo and the Bunnymen

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1983

The beleagured King Rock is on its discredited throne again, and Echo And The Bunnymen rule supreme. RICHARD COOK finds them holding court in ...

Duke Ellington: Duke 56/62 Volume One ; Duke 56/62 Volume Two ; Featuring Paul Gonsalves and more

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1985

...

Donald Fagen: A Nightfly Up Against The Wall

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, January 1983

RICHARD COOK meets the urbane spokesman of cool, DONALD FAGEN who, for 14 years, partnered Walter Becker in Steely Dan. A celebrated eccentric, Fagen ...

The Fall: The Curse Of The Fall

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, January 1983

THIS IS SPLENDID Fall country. From the bricked ugliness of the Victorian railway buildings the crawl of streets pitters up slopes, entwines a town centre ...

The Fall: These Fallish Things: Hex Enduction Hour (Kamera)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1982

"Everyone gets too serious about The Fall."Mark E Smith, November 1981 ...

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Welcome to the Pleasure Dome

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1984

IT IS, of course, brilliant. And nothing more so than the last glittering shards, the final breaths taken in this pleasure dome. ...

Genesis, Peter Gabriel: Rhythm Of The Pete

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

After the ambitious WOMAD Festival, the bailiffs cometh and PETER GABRIEL has decided to get himself out of hock – even if it means a ...

Genesis: Invisible Touch

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, June 1986

HAVE THEY paid enough? Have their sins been atoned for? Are the misdemeanors of that Genesis far enough past for the big-chap sophistipop of this ...

Grateful Dead: Rainbow Theatre, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1981

IT MUST be a resurrection year if the San Franciscan pensioners come over twice to play. No danger of saturation for the faithful, though. Saturday ...

The Gun Club: For Hire: The Gun Club

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1983

Last year Jeffery Lee Pierce was a chronic depressive and a shithead full of venom. But since then he's sorted out his personal life, and ...

The Gun Club: The Venue, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

IF YOU'VE ever heard Charley Patton's 'Mississippi Boll Weavil Blues' then you'll be aware of the kind of high lonesome wail that blows through the ...

Hall & Oates: Bedroom Politics — the Acceptable Sound of Young America

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

THEY DON'T get up when I come in, but then despite their slight physical stature Daryl Hall and John Oates are big men now. After ...

Herbie Hancock: Herbie Goes Lite-weight

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

NOW LOOK — I am not a purist. it doesn’t bother me that Herbie Hancock effectively quit the most testing areas of jazz for fusion, ...

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Blue Note '60s Sessions

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, January 1999

THESE DAYS he's an avatar of jazz-funk, but Hancock's salad days offered a lot more than apprentice-work. Only 24 when he composed and recorded the ...

Heaven 17: Three Steps To Heaven

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

INITIATION ...

Don Henley

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1985

"No, I don't have any sensational stories to tell. And I don't have anything to say about drugs." ...

John Hiatt: Riding With The King

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, 1983

SOMETIMES I think nuthin iz new in this old rock music, and every time it seems I have to turn to John Hiatt to shake ...

John Hiatt: Half Moon, Putney, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1983

FOR THE SECOND time in a matter of weeks this body-choked backroom played host to a mislaid American master. In John Hiatt’s territory he has ...

The Hollies: Cheap Hollidaze in Your Own Back Catalogue

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1981

THE 'CARRIE-ANNE' BOYS CARRY ON ...

Husker Du: Husker Dü: Camden Palace, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1985

If they played like they looked, Husker Du’s music would be a slobbering mastodon rock without grace or curves or beauty. But from these angry ...

Husker Du: Hüsker Dü: Flip Your Wig

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1985

I'VE GIVEN THIS some thought. Let's suppose – and it's not a weak notion – that four groups bond together the one significant play in ...

The Isley Brothers: Between the Sheets (Epic)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1983

SOME SOUL groups have their own continuum. If a senior vocal unit like The Temptations has to suffer a producer's — and hence a popular ...

Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross: Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade 1986-1996 (A&M)/Luther Vandross: Greatest Hits 1981-1995 (Epic)

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, December 1995

Hit compilations from ‘80s-into-’90s soul megastars. ...

Joe Jackson: Night And Day (A&M)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

JACKSON IS the kind of nice guy people admire rather than warm to. He has the right sort of moves and an unimpeachable humanitarian streak; ...

Millie Jackson: How To Talk Dirty and Influence People

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1984

WHAT'S HAPPENED to the great soul singers? ...

James, The Smiths: Meaty Marr-Might Sandwich: The Smiths/James: Brixton Ace, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1985

JAMES ARE POISED on the cusp of something that might be new, that's certainly afloat with ideas. It was too short a set to say, ...

Japan: Exorcising Ghosts (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1984

THIS WAS, after all, one of the stranger groups of musicians who went the route of pop's long march. ...

Grace Jones: Bond Age Woman: Grace Jones

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1985

First only a face, then an image, a singer and now a film actress, GRACE JONES has always been A Star. RICHARD COOK interviews her ...

Rickie Lee Jones: American Pirate On The Rocks: Rickie Lee Jones

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1983

On a rare visit from her new home in France, Rickie Lee Jones lays down her cutlass and beret to discuss the songwriter's art, dissect ...

Kajagoogoo: Puppy Love In The Plasma-Glow: Kajagoogoo at Hammersmith Odeon

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

AS PHENOMENA GO, Kajagoogoo seem like the nastiest end of a train that starts in Boy George's inspirational and self-sufficient glamour and ends in the ...

Kid Creole & The Coconuts: Lyceum, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

God's a Creole – No Kidding! ...

Killing Joke: Brighter Than A Thousand Suns (EG)***

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, November 1986

THEY USED to be real hard men once. Now, though, Killing Joke sound as noble and sterling as St George. The gigantic mug shots that ...

Led Zeppelin: Coda

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1982

THAT THERE is no appreciable difference between 'We're Gonna Groove' from 1969 and 'Wearing And Tearing' from 1978 – the opening and closing tracks in ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: Yoko Ono: We Are Only One

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1984

How does the widow of John Lennon face up to a world that won't leave her husband's memory alone, three years after his death? In ...

Lone Justice, Marquee, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, 1985

TWICE I see this group in a couple of weeks and both times I wind up more exhausted than exhilarated. Lone Justice are trying so ...

Madness: Keep Moving (Stiff)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1984

I'M TOLD Madness are in decline, and for someone who found 'Grey Day' and 'House Of Fun, to be the only tracks he wanted to ...

Madonna: 'Bruce Springsteen Was Born To Run, I Was Born To Flirt...'

Essay by Richard Cook, Sounds, February 1986

RICHARD COOK takes a manly look at the pop tart goddess, MADONNA, who has put sleaze and safety back into pop stardom ...

Taj Mahal: A Calypso Now!

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1981

Taj Mahal, Desperadoes: Hammersmith Odeon, London WITH VIV Stanshall confining himself to introductions, we were given two personalisations of black music, and an expected ...

Mantronix: In Full Effect (10 Records) ****1/2

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, March 1988

THE WAY Mantronix put their music together, you'd think this sort of thing was easy. It just falls into place, fluent, fresh, each lick set ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Legend

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1984

ONE STRANGE THING. Naturally, we group Bob Marley with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Dennis Brown, Michael Jackson: black music-makers with the stature of giants. Yet ...

Wynton Marsalis: Darting Into the Stratosphere

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1982

Teenage trumpet major WYNTON MARSALIS lights up another admirer ...

John Martyn: Sunday's Child Tame 'n' Tired

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

John Martyn: Hammersmith Odeon, London ...

Michael Jackson: Welcome To The Bad Boy's Island: Michael Jackson: Bad (Epic) ****

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, September 1987

WESTLAKE AUDIO is a nondescript building from without, a simple whitewashed Los Angeles block. ...

Mink DeVille: A Son-of-a-bitch Interview with Willy DeVillle

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1981

Richard Cook gets threatened by a real life American rock 'n' roll star. "oh, there ain't nothing that I wouldn't doJust to walk that ...

Joni Mitchell: Wild Things Run Fast

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

A YEAR before her 40th birthday, the great romantic of rock music undoes her locket once more. Three years have passed since Mingus and ...

Ennio Morricone: Film Music 1966-1987 (Virgin)****

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, February 1988

FILM SOUNDTRACKS are wretched records to keep because there's only a couple of minutes you want to remember on each one – the lavish sweep ...

Motorhead: Another Perfect Day (Bronze)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

THE SPIRIT of this group was probably born in a flop single made Screaming Lord Sutch in 1964. It was called ‘Jack The Ripper’, and ...

Alison Moyet: Ode To An Invisible Man

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

ALISON IS waiting for me outside her publicist's office. ...

Colin Newman: Not To

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

I miss Wire. I was always partial to the austere subversiveness, their brittle sense of editing, their hybrid of ghoulish chants and Byrdsy chiming. Though ...

Randy Newman: Laughter in Paradise

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, January 1983

Punk, people, performing and parenthood – Randy Newman talked about his life, work and hates to Richard Cook ...

Orange Juice: Rip It Up

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

I JUST played Buddy Holly's version of 'Rip It Up' to remind me, although Edwyn Collins gives the impression he is unfamiliar with such iconography. ...

Roy Orbison: Mystery Girl

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, January 1989

"I THINK IT sounds like me," said Roy Orbison, and it does. The trembling but never quite breaking falsetto of ‘In The Real World’ is ...

Robert Palmer: Maybe It's Live (Island)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1982

ROBERT PALMER'S roguish dilettantism will get the better of him one of these days. It might have been anticipated that the pre-set routines of a ...

Charlie Parker

Retrospective by Richard Cook, MOJO, April 1995

Four decades on from the premature death of Charlie Parker in March 1955 the world remains split between the dazzled – including fans as disparate ...

Charlie Parker: Bird on Verve Vols 1-8

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1984

RETURNING TO Parker, after any kind of sabbatical, is electrifying. The memory always recalls the timbre of that cutting wall, that matchless tone; what can ...

Dolly Parton: In Gloss We Trust: Dolly Parton at the Dominion, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1983

HOWEVER MUCH YOU take righteous liberal umbrage at the mass of contradictions Dolly Parton presents, you lose. As surely as the lonely waifs and ...

Art Pepper Dies

Obituary by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

ART PEPPER, one of the true greats of modern jazz saxophone, died from a cerebral haemorrhage last week, three months short of his 57th birthday. ...

Pigbag: Snouts 'n' Snails 'n'Pigbag Tales

Report and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1982

"WELL, I BEGAN with alto sax. Then I started playing more and more guitar and less sax; then I did more percussion because we ...

Pink Floyd: Over The Wall And Into The Dumper: Pink Floyd's The Final Cut

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1983

LIKE THE poor damned Tommies that haunt his mind, Roger Waters' writing has been blown to hell. Although The Final Cut is "performed by Pink ...

The Police: Junger than Stingtime: The Police's Synchronicity

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

THE POLICE are much like Gods to their pop universe, not only in their worship rating but in their omnipotent attitude to their work. They ...

The Police at Wembley Arena

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, January 1982

THE LAST night of a residency can be many things: a blow-out, a piss-up, a tired release, a last lunge for the heights. I don't ...

The Police: Princes of the City

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1983

PRINCES OF THE City. There's nothing like an American stadium show to make you feel small and alone. ...

Otis Redding: Otis Blue (Atco)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, 1984

AS WITH SUCH iconic records as Forever Changes and Anthem Of The Sun, time has eroded the stature of Otis Blue. ...

The Residents: Mark Of The Mole and The Tunes Of Two Cities (Ralph)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1982

The Residents Going Underground ...

Rip Rig and Panic: Rip Rig & Panic

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

"OH NOOOO! Look at this one! Look at Springer's head!" ...

Sonny Rollins: Sonny Side Up

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1985

Sonny Rollins: Dominion Theatre, London ...

Sonny Rollins: Ten Questions for Sonny Rollins

Interview by Richard Cook, MOJO, January 1997

On Milestones, Rolling Stones and Maintaining Mystique ...

Linda Ronstadt: Confessions of an LA Bunnywoman

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1983

IN THE MOUNTAIN of scorn heaped on the Los Angeles musical community, nobody has been maligned more than Linda Ronstadt. The vapid esteem she was ...

Roxy Music: The Thrill Of It All (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, January 1996

THERE WERE GROUPS OTHER THAN THE Beatles back long ago, and one of them was Roxy Music. Their awkward early steps in 1972 were almost ...

Todd Rundgren: The Venue, London

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

EVERYTHING YOU remember about rock music is secreted somewhere on some Todd Rundgren record. The synthetic flash, the bullet-browed machismo, the candywisp sentimentality, the filibuster's ...

Sade: Educating Sade

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

FOR THE way she sang words and music, the way she interposed herself in the lyric, the way she could swing a line and stay ...

Scritti Politti: Say A Little Prayer For Green

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1984

DEEP END, feet first. Is it true you're Mr Paranoid? ...

Pete Shelley: Let Your Fingers Do The Talking

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1983

PETE SHELLEY STRIKES UP A DIALOGUE OF HIS OWN ON THE LINE TO MARTIN RUSHENT'S COUNTRY STUDIOS. RICHARD COOK PLAYS TELEPHONE OPERATOR AND LISTENS IN. ...

Nina Simone: Moody Dues

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1987

JAPANESE TOURISTS frantically snapping photographs of each other is a recurring scenario common to the lobbies of Europe's grandest hotels. Today is different. Stepping from ...

Frank Sinatra: Songs For Young Lovers and other Capitol reissues

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1984

BECAUSE SINATRA has lasted so long, has outlived his own legend – to the point where he can make a record with Quincy Jones and ...

Siouxsie & The Banshees: Siouxsie and the Banshees: A Kiss in The Dreamhouse (Polydor)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

IT'S RARE for a group to make their fourth LP and still be provocative, still be interested in themselves, let alone break any substantially new ...

The Slits: Return Of The Giant Slits (CBS)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1981

SO SOMEONE else gives up their all to the beat of the drum. Bongos clump, shakers rattle and roll, the bright ching of bells and ...

Spandau Ballet: Last Dance Of The New Romance: Spandau Ballet’s Diamond

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1982

IT SEEMS like Spandau Ballet are having trouble, and they're not sure how to face up to it. The concept of Spandau has grown ...

Bruce Springsteen

Essay by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, December 1984

TO ANYONE who wasn't born in the USA, America is still defined by the clutter of images it sends us: television, cinema, music, cars, fast ...

Squeeze: The Crackerjack Days Are Over

Report and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1982

Squeeze's new LP is ready — and if last year's East Side Story is any indication, Sweets From A Stranger will be the best collection ...

Stephen Stills: Crazy After All These Years

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1983

MR STILLS and I are watching a video of some playing by Crosby, Stills And Nash. The composer leans back in his chair, a whisky ...

The Stranglers: Playful Mates

Live Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1982

The Stranglers: Hemel Hempstead PavilionAS A LIVE proposition, The Stranglers have eluded me until now. The exceptional crunch of this show made me wonder why. ...

The Stray Cats: Gonna Ball (Arista)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1981

FOR A trio so preoccupied with a style summed up in a quiff. The Stray Cats can make a pretty mean music. With tough-baby roller ...

David Sylvian: Brilliant Trees (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

ANY WHO expect David Sylvian's sheaf of essays to present wafery, neutral music must be confounded by the diversity and strength of Brilliant Trees. This ...

Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Sire)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

DAVID BYRNE is a man with a moon in his throat, is an intellect nervously filling out a fool's cap and greasepaint, is the writer ...

Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club: Quiet Americans in Paris

Report and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1982

Will Talking Heads survive? Is the family in jeopardy? What is this bastard offspring Tom Tom Club? ...

Test Dept.: Beating The Retreat (Some Bizzare)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

THE WORK of Test Dept – and this is work, for sure, not playing – is inextricably cabled to a rhetoric of 'action'. ...

Richard Thompson: Hand Of Kindness

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, July 1983

From a maker of acclaimed albums, something that is more of the same, as dependable as any itching in the heart, toothache, telephone bill: it ...

U2: A Dreamboat Named Desire

Report and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, February 1982

"THEY WENT right through it. Took out every sock. Squeezed every tube of toothpaste. Then this guy says to me 'You – come with me. ...

James Blood Ulmer: Odyssey (CBS)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, January 1984

WITH THE unprecedented challenges of his earlier records taken up by nobody, and with his own position of fringe acclaim at a nebulous standstill, Blood ...

James Blood Ulmer: Jazz Gets a Blood Transfusion: James Blood Ulmer

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1981

JAMES BLOOD ULMER seemed faintly bemused by it all. Sat square in his little hotel chair like some Great Panjandrum surprised by a person of ...

Tom Verlaine: The Foolish Heart of Tom Verlaine

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1984

TALKING WITH Tom Verlaine, as legend has it, is one of the less entertaining or productive options available to the interested party. A teeth-pulling exercise. ...

Tom Verlaine: Words From the Front (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, May 1982

TOM VERLAINE is one of the last great rock musicians to come out of America; and the neglect he's suffered, after two brilliant records, is ...

Scott Walker: The Original God-Like Genius

Profile and Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1984

"I LIKE to watch people throw darts." ...

Scott Walker: Tilting at Wind

Interview by Richard Cook, Wire, May 1995

Scott Walker, perhaps the most enigmatic singer in recent times, has returned with his first recording since 1984. But is it a work of experimental ...

Was (Not Was): Was Not Was: Born To Laugh At Tornadoes (Geffen)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1983

AMERICA HAS been dressed by improper minds. Corralling the year's important American records – Swordfishtrombones, Girl At Her Volcano, Burlap And Satin and Born To ...

The Waterboys: Scott Yet Another God Like Genius

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, August 1984

"I SOMETIMES thought that in the old days the young men of the tribe would want to grow up to be great warriors. In our ...

Weather Report: High Wind In Birdland: Weather Report's Procession

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1983

I DON'T BELIEVE IT, but they've done it again. Just when it seemed that the tuneless roar of last year's Weather Report had permanently iced ...

Kim Wilde: Select (RAK)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1982

ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS. ...

Jah Wobble: Invader of the Lost Art

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, November 1982

Richard Cook meets the musical Nomad Jah Wobble who has now found the Arab in himself but not stardom. "I'll never be a big pop ...

Bobby Womack: The Poet II (Beverly Glen import)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, March 1984

AN OLD-FASHIONED man in the midst of a booming, disordered black music, Bobby Womack's journeyman career comes to a glorious peak with The Poet II. ...

Robert Wyatt: Going Back A Bit – A Little History of Robert Wyatt (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, MOJO, August 1994

HE IS A GREAT ENGLISHMAN, a pragmatic jazz buff, a witty and wise lyricist, an ingenious instrumentalist; but it's by his singing that Robert Wyatt ...

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom / Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (Virgin)

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, April 1981

THE REAPPEARANCE of Robert Wyatt's two Virgin albums (1974-5 vintage), now in a double package, is as welcome as a spring day after a relentless ...

Robert Wyatt: When The Boat Comes In

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, June 1983

Well, Robert Wyatt's boat has certainly come in with the surprise success of his single 'Shipbuilding' on its re-release. In this interview Richard Cook talks ...

XTC: Mummer

Review by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1983

I DON'T THINK "England" means very much to me any more, although I do have some sympathy with Andy Partridge's particular affection for a country, ...

Neil Young: When Does a Dinosaur Cut Off Its Tail?

Interview by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, October 1982

"I don't know if I can be classed as a contemporary songwriter. I'm like a dinosaur with a large tail – I'm so big I ...

List of genre pieces

A Return Not a Discovery

Report by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

The New African Music, part one: "More difficult to cage than reggae. It leaps and sprawls... It can go on and on because nobody wants ...

Mighty Movers of Mombassa

Report by Richard Cook, New Musical Express, September 1982

The New African Music: part two. Continuing our musical trek... to Mombassa, where we meet Mazembe — the voice of Kenya, and discover the talk ...

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