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Richard Williams

Richard Williams

Former editor of MELODY MAKER and currently chief sports writer for THE GUARDIAN, Williams is among the most respected music writers of the past 30 years. His books include Out of His Head, about Phil Spector, and The Man in the Green Shirt, about Miles Davis. Long Distance Call (Aurum Press) collects some of his best pieces. Richard's latest book is a biography of Enzo Ferrari.

Simon Warner's rockcritics.com interview with Richard Williams

List of articles in the library by artist

10cc: Rubber Bulletin

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973

UNTIL a year ago, Graham Gouldman was going through what he calls his "why not?" period. ...

Area Code 615: Area Code 615 (Polydor)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

AREA CODE 615. 'Southern Comfort'; 'I've Been Loving You Too Long'; 'Hey Jude'; 'Nashville 9-N.Y.1'; 'Lady Madonna'; 'Ruby'; 'Crazy Arms'/'Get Back'; 'Why Ask Why'; 'Li'l ...

Joan Armatrading: Joan Armatrading (A&M)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1976

REPUTABLE SOURCES assure me that this new record album is, in fact, by the same Joan Armatrading who almost died of fright during her London ...

Aswad, Linx: Linx and Aswad: Shades of Black

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Times, The, November 1981

THERE IS A special role in British life for young black pop musicians, involving a task more serious than could ever be demanded of their ...

The Band: Islands (Capitol)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1977

WHEN Isaac Hayes was at the peak of his success, some five or six years ago, he told me of his great ambition to write ...

The Band: A Melody Maker Band Breakdown

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1971

FEW ROCK AND ROLL concerts can have been so eagerly awaited as those which The Band are due to play at London's Royal Albert Hall ...

The Beach Boys: Beach Boys: A Reappraisal

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1971

IT'S PROBABLY pouring with rain by now, but the sunny days we were vouchsafed by the Almighty last week prompted me – and almost certainly ...

The Beach Boys: Holland (Brother/Reprise)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 1973

YOU HAVE JUST a fortnight to save up before this record hits the stores – and buy it you should, for it contains more fun ...

The Beach Boys: Surf's Up

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 1972

HERE'S ONE that won't disappoint anybody at all. Suddenly the Beach Boys are back in fashionable favour, and they've produced an album which fully backs ...

The Beach Boys, Christine Perfect/McVie, Dennis Wilson: Dennis Wilson Loves Christine McVie

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

The Beach Boys love good karma ...

The Beatles: Derek Taylor: Obituary

Obituary by Richard Williams, MOJO, November 1997

IN 1963, WHEN BRIAN EPSTEIN INVITED HIM TO HANDLE the Beatles' PR, Derek Taylor was a 31-year-old national newspaper reporter with a suit and tie. ...

The Beatles, John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John & Yoko (part 1)

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1969

"We had to do a lot of selling out. Taking the MBE was a sell-out for me". Part 1 of a new series by RICHARD ...

The Beatles, George Martin: The Beatles: Produced By George Martin

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1971

GEORGE MARTIN is probably the most shadowy character in rock and roll history. His influence has been immense, yet few people outside the immediate circle ...

The Beatles, Paul McCartney: The Times Profile: Paul McCartney

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Times, The, January 1982

In the year of his 40th birthday Paul McCartney, the world's most successful pop musician, adjusts the record ...

Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry: What Have They Done To My Roots, Ma? Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley

Comment by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1971

WHEN JOHN LENNON ended a recent epistle to Mailbag with a line saying "LP Winner: I’d like Chuck Berry, please," he wasn’t joking. Modern rock ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: The First Genius of Reggae?

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1973

BOB MARLEY, slightly-built and quiet to the point of diffidence, is a leader. He's the master of Reggae, the man who's about to give it ...

Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans: Bobby Sheen

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, 2000

WHENEVER HE MADE records under his own name, Bobby Sheen, who has died aged 57, was out of luck. But as Bob B Soxx, the ...

Graham Bond, Pete Brown's Piblokto: Graham Bond/Pete Brown's Piblokto: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1969

BOND NEARLY blew it. The extravagant return of the Great Graham almost turned into a fiasco – but happily everything came out all right. ...

Booker T & The MGs: McLemore Avenue (Stax)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

NICE IDEA – they play all the tunes from Abbey Road, and imitate the sleeve of that album by picturing the four MGs crossing McLemore ...

Dennis Brown: Words Of Wisdom (Laser)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 1979

THE WHITE listener who came to reggae through Bob Marley may have been puzzled by the emergence of Dennis Brown, who at first seems to ...

Jackson Browne, Laura Nyro: Laura Nyro: Laura's London Triumph

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1971

Laura Nyro/Jackson Browne: Royal Festival Hall, London ...

Duncan Browne, Lou Reed: Broken Reed? Lou Reed, Duncan Browne: Sundown Theatre, Edmonton, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1972

THE FACT is that his association with David Bowie has done Lou Reed no good at all. Despite the adulation from the audience at Edmonton's ...

Tim Buckley: Lorca (Elektra)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1970

THIS IS presumably Buckley's last album for Elektra, being recorded (so I'm told) at the same time as Happy/Sad and before his first Straight album, ...

Burning Red Ivanhoe, The Byrds, MC5: The Byrds: (Untitled); MC5: Back in the U.S.A.; Burning Red Ivanhoe

Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, December 1970

BESIDES BEING ONE of the seminal rock and roll bands, the Byrds also possess perhaps the music's oldest case-history. Of the group which came out ...

The Byrds, The Kentucky Colonels: The Byrds: Byrd Watching (part 2)

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1971

THE COUNTRY consonants of Clarence White's guitar have fooled a lot of people — me included — into thinking that the man must have come ...

Cabaret Voltaire, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Nico, The Pop Group: The Pop Group/LKJ/Nico/Cab Voltaire

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1978

Disorder by juxtaposition. Subversion by paradox. Nothing is as simple as we're told. New feelings. ...

Can: The Can: Monster Movie (United Artists)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1970

THINGS ARE certainly beginning to happen in Germany. ...

Captain Beefheart: Lick My Decals Off Baby

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1971

ALREADY, I'M THINKING that this is the Captain's most satisfying album to date. ...

Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa: The Beefheart-Zappa Talk-in

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1969

Frank Zappa breezed into London last week in an orange tee-shirt. His aim was to launch the British end of his record label, Straight, who ...

Chet Baker: The Man Who Came Back From The Dead

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1973

The Return of Chet Baker ...

Chic: C'est Chic

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1978

DISCO, THE People's Music, is the modern blues: the truest expression of a generation's thoughts, bitter sweetness with a backbeat. The old blues celebrated the ...

Chicago, The Doors, Emerson Lake And Palmer, Jimi Hendrix, John Sebastian, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, The Moody Blues, Pentangle, Procol Harum, Richie Havens, Taste, Ten Years After, Tiny Tim, The Who: The Isle of Wight Festival: Five Days That Rocked Britain

Report by Chris Welch, Michael Watts, Richard Williams, Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, September 1970

MM's Richard Williams, Chris Welch, Michael Watts and Mark Plummer present a five-page report on an amazing weekend of music and other scenes... ...

John Coltrane:The Other Village Vanguard Tapes

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1977

The combination of affection, respect and awe in which his fans held the late John Coltrane is given to few people in any walk of ...

Ry Cooder: Into The Purple Valley (Reprise)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1972

THE COVER of Ry Cooder's second album features the guitarist and his lady posed in and out of a mid-Forties model Dodge convertible. It's straight ...

Elvis Costello: Costello Beats Anaesthesia

Comment by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

ELVIS COSTELLO spun the discs for a couple of hours on Radio One's Star Special last week, and the result was the kind of radio ...

Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Neil Young: Stills and Young

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

"DON'T BUILD me up into a pop star. I'm no different from you or anybody else. It's just that, because I'm a musician, I can ...

Miles Davis: What Made Miles Davis Go Pop?

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

Richard Williams talks to bassist Dave Holland in New York ...

Delaney & Bonnie, Flying Burrito Brothers, John Phillips: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: On Tour; Flying Burrito Brothers: Burrito Deluxe; John Phillips: Wolfking of LA

Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, June 1970

THAT DELANEY AND BONNIE have been instrumental in reshaping a considerable part of the ethos of modem pop music is indisputable. Eric Clapton, the charismatic ...

Bob Dylan, Sandy Denny: Bob Dylan: Biograph; Sandy Denny: Who Knows Where The Time Goes

Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, December 1985

NOTHING AS simple as a "greatest hits" collection from the Bob Dylan of 1985, of course. ...

Dire Straits: Communiqué From a Washeteria

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1979

A million quid from record sales can buy you the love of a multinational, but can it pay for the freedom to wander up the ...

Dire Straits: Graceful Strengths

Interview by Richard Williams, Times, The, April 1984

By most of the yardsticks of pop music in 1984, Dire Straits are so conventional as to be practically invisible. No exotic dancing, no men ...

Dire Straits: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1979

The end of innocence ...

Dire Straits: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, July 1983

FEW ROCK GROUPS depend as heavily for success on an intimate engagement with the emotions of the listener as Dire Straits, so it is a ...

Bob Dylan: Live 1966 - The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert

Review by Richard Williams, MOJO, November 1998

SO HERE it is, the Holy Grail of rock'n'roll, famed in song and story for a generation, finally on sale at your local record store. ...

Bob Dylan: On Common Ground: Bob Dylan live in Rome

Live Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, June 1984

Richard Williams gets a taste of Dylan as his tour makes its way towards Britain ...

Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead: Bob Dylan: Life Among The Dead

Comment by Richard Williams, MOJO, June 2001

I SUPPOSE you would have to say that 1987 was not a great year for Bob Dylan, or for Bob Dylan's fans. He played harmonica ...

Earth Wind and Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire: Flying Sorcerers

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1978

Earth, Wind & Fire are the biggest soul group in the world – their albums now go platinum. But Britain will have to wait until ...

East of Eden: A Good Time East of Eden

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1970

"IF I HAD a choice of playing a technically perfect set or giving people a good time," says Dave Arbus, "I'd definitely give them a ...

The Everly Brothers: Everly Brothers: Bye Bye Love

Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1973

IT'S ALMOST eleven years since the first serious rumours suggesting the breakup of the Everly Brothers appeared. What with that, and a much-noted coolness between ...

The Everly Brothers: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, September 1983

You had to half-close your eyes, but then it all came back: 1958, The Perry Como Show, two boys with strange faces, perfectly greased quiffs ...

Kim Fowley: I'm The Most Phenomenal Man In Records!

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1972

KIM FOWLEY'S looking for love. "Well," he says, snuffling into a wad of Kleenex, "I'm real entertaining and I have some nice human qualities...and I'm ...

Bill Frisell: Let your fingers do the talking

Interview by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, 2001

Jazz guitarist Bill Frisell has worked with everyone from Chet Baker to Marianne Faithful. So why start taking lessons now? Richard Williams met him ...

Little Feat, Lowell George: Lowell George: The Rock'n'Roll Doctor

Obituary by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1979

Of all the hundreds of white boys who fell in love with the blues, few used the idiom with such brilliance as Lowell George. Singer, ...

Grateful Dead: American Beauty (Warner Bros)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1971

THE BEST adjective I can think of to describe the Grateful Dead is "disarming." They're beautiful because, unlike so many bands, they never overwhelm you. ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: Dead on Arrival

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1970

The Grateful Dead fly into Britain ...

Ellie Greenwich, 1940-2009

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, August 2009

NOT LONG AFTER Ellie Greenwich, who has died at the age of 68, met her future husband and songwriting partner Jeff Barry at a Thanksgiving ...

Merle Haggard: The Fightin' Side Of Me (Capitol)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1970

MERLE HAGGARD is a tough ol' boy. While Johnny Cash broods about it, you have the feeling that Haggard might just get it done. ...

George Harrison: The Concert For Bangla Desh

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1972

If you buy only one LP in 1972, make it this one ...

Richie Havens: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

CHARISMA: a rare kind of animal magnetism, frequently wrongly attributed to popular artists who don't possess it. ...

Jimi Hendrix: Far Out

Book Review by Richard Williams, Q, December 1989

Charles Shaar Murray: Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-War Pop (Faber) ...

Jimi Hendrix: The Music

Essay by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1970

THE IMPORTANCE of Jimi Hendrix as a musician was sometimes forgotten behind the man's sexuality and the flamboyance of his act and appearance. ...

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks: Dan Hicks Strikes it Rich

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1972

ROBERT PLANT was the first Dan Hicks fan I ever knew. A couple of years ago he broke up an interview session by playing a ...

Buddy Holly: The Angel with the Devil's Music: Buddy Holly

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, January 2009

Fifty years ago, Buddy Holly's life was sadly cut short. Richard Williams salutes the clean-cut 22-year-old who came to Britain and showed a whole generation ...

Jackie Wilson Said...

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1972

"JACKIE WILSON said… it was reet petite." Now as it happens, Jackie Wilson doesn't really need Van Morrison's approbation. But he's flattered by it all ...

Elton John: Elton Storms The States

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1970

AL KOOPER, talking about Elton John's last album: "That album's really got me screwed up. It's just the perfect album, and I carry it around ...

King Crimson: Robert Fripp…Super Stud?

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1973

"I AM," MUSES Robert Fripp, "already a living legend."The light breeze ruffles his curly locks. He settles back in the plastic garden chair, sips his ...

King Crimson: Zoom Club, Frankfurt

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1971

AFTER MORE than a year off the road, King Crimson slid quietly back into public performance last week with a hush-hush four-day stint in Germany. ...

King Crimson: Reincarnation of King Crimson

Report by Richard Williams, Times, The, December 1970

IN THE PAST, pop music has taken it for granted that its groups would stay together; when a musician has left a band, or the ...

Kool and the Gang, The Ohio Players: Kool and the Gang: Spirit Of The Boogie; Ohio Players: Honey

Review by Richard Williams, Let It Rock, December 1975

OCCUPYING ROUGHLY the same area in the impressively wide spectrum of contemporary Black music, these two orchestras both play for dancers but nevertheless perform entirely ...

Led Zeppelin And How They Made 37,000 Dollars In One Night

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1969

LED ZEPPELIN and the adjective "heavy" are practically synonymous. They were made for each other, and it's difficult to think of one without immediately associating ...

Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant: Robert Plant: Down To The Roots

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1970

ROBERT PLANT lives in an old, rambling farmhouse near Kidderminster, on the edge of the Black Country, with his wife Maureen, baby daughter Carmen, dog ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John & Yoko (part 2)

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1969

"People prefer a dead saint to a living annoyance like John and Yoko. But we don't intend to be dead Saints for people's convenience". Part ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John & Yoko (part 3)

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1969

"We're always together, like 24 hours a day. We're never apart by more than a 100 yards". RICHARD WILLIAMS concludes his exclusive series ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John Lennon: So This Is Christmas…

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Uncut, January 1998

UP ON THE 17TH FLOOR OF THE St Regis Hotel in New York City, John Lennon is learning to type. P...I...M...P, he types. I AM ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: In The Studio With The Wailers

Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973

THE ROLLING STONES are upstairs in Studio 1, where they've been for the past five weeks. ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers, Toots & The Maytals: Reggae: Black Gold of Jamaica

Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1972

Reggae – in its more commercial form – has won the battle for mass acceptance, and has gone on to influence rock and soul musicians ...

Paul McCartney: The Paul Perplex: A British Commentary

Book Excerpt by Richard Williams, Giants of Rock Music, 1971

And here’s another clue for you allThe Walrus was Paul. ...

McDonald and Giles: McDonald & Giles: Outside The Court Of The Crimson King

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1970

THERE ARE, YOU understand, these two musicians, both having played in one of our very best bands, who're sitting at home doing virtually nothing at ...

John McLaughlin, Santana: Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu John McLaughlin: Love Devotion Surrender

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973

Jamming in the spirit of Coltrane ...

Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (CBS)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

Bitches Brew an aural acid trip from Miles ...

Charlie Mingus: Charles Mingus's Sound of Love

Obituary by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1979

Charles Mingus died in Mexico on January 5, of amytrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He had been in Mexico ...

Joni Mitchell: For The Roses

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1972

MORE SONGS OF transient euphoria and stabbing loss, played out against an ambiguous background of relentless fatalism and constant hope, mingled in approximately equal proportions, ...

Van Morrison: Gonna Rock Your Gypsy Soul

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1973

"IT'S SHOWTIME, ladies and gentlemen! And here's the one you've been waiting for – the Caledonia Soul Orchestra with ... VAN MORRISON!" ...

Nico: Desertshore (Reprise)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

IT'S FUNNY, isn't it: this time last year Nico arrived in London, played two quiet gigs at the Roundhouse, and a bare handful of people ...

Laura Nyro: Lady Lightning: Laura Nyro

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, April 2005

"EXPERIENCED A catastrophe so profound that its effects would never quite fade" (Laura Nyro) ...

Laura Nyro

Profile by Richard Williams, Times, The, January 1971

THE CURRENT STATE of pop music allows its performers to make the most naked personal statements. Only an artist with considerable character, though, can keep ...

Laura Nyro: Christmas And The Beads of Sweat

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1971

EACH OF LAURA Nyro's four albums has had its own distinct personality. ...

Laura Nyro: Songs in the Key of Life: Laura Nyro's Angel in the Dark

Review by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, April 2001

THIS ALBUM IS incomplete, but so was Laura Nyro's life. It is the project on which she was working when she died of ovarian cancer ...

Osibisa: Beat The (African) Drums For Osibisa

Profile by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1970

IT MAY BE that, having endured the painfully stilted and emotionally lukewarm playing of most rock drummers for the last decade, audiences are waking up ...

Osibisa

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1971

PEACE AND brotherhood, truth and happiness. These are words which crop up constantly in conversations with Osibisa, the creeds by which they attempt to live ...

Van Dyke Parks: Return of a Musical Maverick

Profile by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, June 2012

AS THE SMALL, white-haired, bespectacled man in a sleeveless cardigan took his seat a few rows from the front of the stalls in London's Royal ...

John Phillips: John The Wolfking of L.A. (Stateside)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

INSIDE THE Mama's and the Papa's, something better was waiting to get out – and this is it. ...

The Pop Group: First Steps In The Primal Skank

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

Tribal customs live on, even in the era of Afterpunk. RICHARD WILLIAMS investigates The Pop Group. ...

The Pretenders: Moonlight Club, London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1979

NO APOLOGIES for following Mark Williams' review of the Pretenders at the Moonlight last week with an instant replay. Now is the time to catch ...

Quintessence: Quintessence (Island)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1970

A BRILLIANT group in many respects, Quintessence unfortunately manage to alienate many potential enthusiasts through the expression of their religious and spiritual sentiments. ...

Lou Reed: The Raven

Review by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, January 2003

IF ANYONE IS still wondering, more than a quarter of a century later, what Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music was all about, they need look ...

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Martha Reeves: Martha's Moving On

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1973

A FEW WEEKS AGO Martha Reeves cleared out her apartment in Detroit, piled her possessions into a U-Haul trailer, and set off along Route 66 ...

Jonathan Richman: Rock Poet Of Lower Middle-Class Suburbia

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1976

I'm in touch with the modern worldI'm in love with the modern worldI got the radio on(Radio on) ...

Smokey Robinson: The Way You Do The Things You Do

Essay by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1972

THERE’s a new Smokey Robinson album out in the States, called One Dozen Roses. The natural reaction is to ring E.M.I. and ask them when ...

The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street

Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, May 1972

IN A VERY few days from now, the Rolling Stones begin their massive tour of America. And with the tour comes a new album, Exile ...

Roxy Music: Roxy in the Rock Stakes

Profile by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1971

A curious feature of modern rock music, is the way it's taken potential artists away from other spheres. Men who might have become poets, painters, ...

Roxy Music

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1972

BINGO IS THE SCENE most nights at the Granada, Wandsworth Road, London SW8. Fruit machines line the foyer and there's a big sign with lots ...

Roxy Music

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1972

ALMOST a year ago to the week, Bryan Ferry sat in a council flat in Shepherds Bush and explained his timetable for the next year. ...

Roxy Music In Paris

Report by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, May 1973

STAYING AT THE George V is one of life's great experiences, at least to a traveller who savours his changing environments. ...

Roxy Music: Manifesto (Polydor)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

AN INAUSPICIOUS time for the old heavy-weight to take the gloves off the shelf and clamber back into the ring? ...

Roxy Music: Roxy Music (Island)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1972

KARI-ANN STARES, with lustful expectancy, teeth bared and surrounded by frosted deep pink lips. She reclines on a counterpane of silvery satin in a halternecked ...

Roxy Music: The Sound Of Surprise

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, July 1972

PAUL THOMPSON's tom-toms ground slowly to a shuddering halt as Eno's synthesiser simulated the sound of Firestone Wide Ovals being pushed past their limit around ...

Santana: Carlos Santana: Oneness: Silver Dreams/Golden Reality (CBS)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

AS THE sleeve makes abundantly clear, this is Carlos Santana's equivalent of Pete Townshend's Meher Baba solo album: a dedication to Sri Chinmoy, the guru ...

Boz Scaggs: Big Boz Man: Boz Scaggs

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973

BOZ SCAGGS is the cult hero with the strongest claim to wider fame. He’s in Britain all summer to play and record...he talks to MM’s ...

Sister Sledge: We Are Family (Cotillion U.S. import)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1979

I WAIT for new work by Chic's Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers in the way that I once waited for the latest items from Phil ...

Sly & The Family Stone: Fresh (Epic)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1973

I LIKE A little mystery, don't you? 'Course you do. So here's one: the finished version of Sly's new album, in the shops at last, ...

Phil Spector

Comment by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1976

BY NOW we must all, surely, regard the coming of rock's New Wave as beneficial. Whether the currently fashionable bands prove to be the real ...

Phil Spector

Profile by Richard Williams, Let It Rock, October 1972

ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED MOMENTS IN late-Sixties rock comes at the beginning of 'To Be Alone With You' on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline album. ...

Spirit

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 1970

SPIRIT IS one of those fine American groups which came to light following the Indian summer of 1967, and which have never really gained the ...

Bruce Springsteen: A Promise Fulfilled — But What Next?

Live Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, July 1985

Bruce Springsteen: Wembley Stadium, London ...

Bruce Springsteen: A responsible rocker

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Sunday Times, May 1981

Bob Dylan arrives in Britain next month hoping to repeat his triumphant series of concerts of three years ago. Many observers feel that his timing ...

Bruce Springsteen: All Or Nothing

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Q, December 1989

"FILMS ABOUT America should be composed entirely of long and wide shots, as music about America already is," the German film director Wim Wenders wrote ...

Shakin' Stevens: Legend (EMI)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1979

ROGER SCOTT, Britain's only disc-jockey (no, that's not a misprint – it's a fact) put this into what they call "heavy rotation" last week. It ...

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra: The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra. Vol. 1. (Fontana)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1970

'Heliocentric'; 'Outer Nothingness'; 'Other Worlds'; 'The Cosmos'; 'Of Heavenly Things'; 'Nebulae'; 'Dancing In The Sun'. ...

Sylvester: Stars (Fantasy, U.S. import)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1979

AS A POP 45, Sylvester's symphonic recasting of 'I (Who Have Nothing)' has been a slow starter. Even coming off the massive crossover success of ...

Johnnie Taylor: Lifetime: A Retrospective Of Soul, Blues And Gospel 1956-1999

Review by Richard Williams, MOJO, February 2001

LIKE MANY soul singers, Johnnie Taylor was only as good as the songs he was given. But when those songs were good – and most ...

The Temptations: Psychedelic Shack (Tamla Motown)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1970

SHAME, SHAME, shame... Motown's sold its soul for a spoonful of wah-wah guitar. Actually that's not quite true, because you can't totally obliterate the true ...

Third World: Journey To Addis

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1978

SINCE THEIR appearance in 1975, Third World have always seemed the most likely candidates to follow Bob Marley through the gates marked Reggae/Pop Crossover. ...

Pete Townshend: Empty Glass (Atco)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, April 1980

TO MOST people, it's probably always been obvious that Roger Daltrey was simply Pete Townshend's mouthpiece, the hired vocalist who put the professional gloss on ...

James Blood Ulmer: Tales Of Captain Black (Artists House)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, 1980

IT WON'T be long, I guess, before someone describes James "Blood" Ulmer as "the new Hendrix", so you might as well be forewarned. ...

Van Morrison: His Band And The Street Choir (Warner Bros.)

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1971

Has Van Morrison eased up? ...

The Voices of East Harlem: The Black Pride Of 13 Hip Kids

Profile and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1970

BLACK PRIDE, as a kind of more inner-directed companion to Black Power, is rapidly becoming a force in our musical world. "Black Is Beautiful" was ...

The Walker Brothers:Take It Easy/Portrait/Images

Review by Richard Williams, MOJO, October 1998

Their first three albums, remastered for CD, each almost doubled with extra tracks. ...

Joe Walsh: The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get

Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, September 1973

MAY I TAKE just a couple of seconds to make my position clear? I thought, and still do, that the James Gang were a very ...

The Who: Live At Leeds

Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, May 1970

THE IMPORTANCE of The Who lies not only in their excellence, but in the crucial attitude of their leader, Pete Townshend. ...

Brian Wilson: From Surf To Symphony

Profile by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, June 1974

BRIAN WILSON was 19 years old when, in 1961, the Beach Boys committed his first song, 'Surfin'', to tape. ...

Stevie Wonder: Motown the Uptight

Essay by Richard Williams, Let It Rock, July 1974

We’ve got love a’ go-go nowLet’s not wonder whyLove-a, love a’ go-go nowTomorrow that love may die– Stevie Wonder, 1966 Sing it loud for your ...

Stevie Wonder: London

Live Review by Richard Williams, Times, The, July 1984

PERHAPS ONE DAY Stevie Wonder will recognize that inviting a British audience to sing along with him does not evoke the kind of ready response ...

Neil Young: Neil Gave Everything — And They Asked For More

Live Review by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, March 1971

Neil Young: Royal Festival Hall, London ...

Frank Zappa: Past Flops And Future Shocks

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, August 1973

HIS ARMS AROUND a red-haired girl whose ample chest was covered with a Mighty Thor t-shirt, debonair Frank Zappa (32) sank deeper into the couch, ...

Frank Zappa: The Mothers Are Dead, But Zappa's Still Very Much Alive

Report and Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, October 1969

THE MOTHERS are dead. Killed by a public apathy towards a style of music which the rest of the world will catch up with maybe ...

List of genre pieces

Ian MacDonald, 1948-2003

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, September 2003

PROBABLY NO other critic – not even the late William Mann of The Times, with his famous mention of pandiatonic clusters – contributed more to ...

Ahmet Ertegun

Obituary by Adam Sweeting, Richard Williams, Guardian, The, December 2006

A mogul who nurtured the careers of stars such as Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield ...

Dave Godin: Champion of Black Music who coined the term "Northern Soul"

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, October 2004

WHEN THE MUSICIANS and singers of the first Motown Revue – the Miracles, the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, "Little" Stevie Wonder and Earl Van ...

Island Records: Reggae to Riches

Interview by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, November 1972

IF YOU WORK for Island Records, nobody minds if you take your dog into the office every day – or even if it misbehaves on ...

Penny Valentine 1943 - 2003

Obituary by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, January 2003

Richard Williams mourns "probably the first woman to write about pop music as though it really mattered". Below, some examples of what made Valentine such ...

Philly Days: Cameo-Parkway

Retrospective by Richard Williams, Melody Maker, January 1973

Richard Williams reviews the Cameo recordings, recently reissued on two double albums, which made Philadelphia the 'Crap Capital of America' ...

Rhythm Kings: The Musicians of Motown

Essay by Richard Williams, Guardian, The, November 2002

So many things made the Motown sound special – the singers, the songs, even the food. But what about the musicians? ...

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