R Stevie Moore - Personal Appeal

Highlights from DIY legend’s cassette-club rarities

Personal Appeal

It seems appropriate that, in an era when the music industry at large is on its knees, those who have always existed outside the business are finally getting the recognition their recordings undoubtedly warrant.

R Stevie Moore is everywhere these days. Magazine covers, radio sessions, festival appearances and successful tours are something of a novelty for the Grandfather Of DIY. Since the 70s, Moore has made hundreds of releases through a number of labels, as well as through his own mail-order cassette club. It’s from the latter that this diverse batch is taken, spanning the years 1973-2001.

Mention DIY or lo-fi to some and they’ll likely expect the unconventional – absurd, even – construction of a song like Pretend For A Second That You Are Very Intelligent, but they might be surprised by the classical beauty that underpins the genuinely witty Makeup Shakeup, or the simple, almost-Beatlesque The Picture (albeit lyrically closer to Pictures Of Lily than Mother Nature’s Son). Elsewhere, Treat Me inhabits the space where The Monkees and Frank Zappa overlap.

Moore’s Nashville-based father Bob played bass for everyone from Dylan and Elvis to Sammy Davis Jr and Quincy Jones, and his influence is clear; all of pop music is here.  

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Care In The Community | tbc (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Paul McGuinness
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