Lee Evin is not the age of someone whose ears can miss the tastes of 1977. Not that he’s heard Ornette Coleman’s take on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. Evin owns all of half his age in albums, though not even that really because none of them are outright his. Surely by now he’s stopped listening to the Elvis soundtrack, whose appearance in the house might be strictly down to a glut of beat up records at the drug store. Or not.There’s no accounting for taste, either good or bad, and Lee Evin’s’s determined by availability. There is radio. Where to turn the dial, dictated by curiosity or a lack of sump’m similar? Having only barely graduated from AM, the Freq Mod Album Orient is the new gatekeeper of what flows through his hair, which can’t hang higher than his earlobes.
In this neck not yet the burbs, 1977 means that in spite of the full lot of debuts, precious few of ’em Evin’ll know until the year is firmly in its dust jacket. As of the present, it’s the past in the making. Cheap Trick are as infectious as ‘ll eventually prove unavoidable, as are Talking Heads or Television to any DJ with the wherewithal to be a self-sleeved oddball, not in the middle of nothing but next to it.
Forget The Clash or Sex Pistols for a little while yet, unless it’s via TV news anchors musing weird on what’s going on in someone else’s world. Never mind Buzzcocks. Not even Bowie’s Low gets much play on the big two or three large here. After Before and After Science in December comes AOR indifference, Rumours is still getting cranked up after a year of airplay, liable to continue for years to come. Peter Gabriel’s debut solo gets spun, what with his genesis.
’77 is a foretaste; Lee Evin is not the age of himself when he’ll come to appreciate the vintage.
The Brothers Johnson are Right on Time with a reprise of recent Black history with their cover of Shuggie Otis. Even classic rock radio recognizes the supremacy of this strawberry letter. But Bootsy barely gets play even though he’s number 1, because Lee Evin heads to school the wrong direction to pick up on the vibe, spending time seeking interest on the east of the dial. On the other side of what passes for main street, only just, Bernie Worrell’s earth vibrating bass tone shimmers like a flashlight and, though you might not catch it, Herbie Hancock is all over the place.
Then of course there’s disco — say, Chic — to name a trend that will be around. Is the best that peach-fuzzed & greasy sandy-blond boys can do to buck that trend, in all their disco destroyer-ness, The Grand Illusion? Short answer: Yes, yes it is. Longer answer: The likes considered to be local lads will manage to drown out a lot with their ridin’ storms out and such. It’s a market racket, after all. Even in the Quietest Moments…
So long, 1977! He hardly knew ye.