Music News

Atrophy Cases

Ten acts that recorded in the Seventies that shouldn't have gone near a studio in the Eighties.

1. THE RAMONES: Their one-joke, three- chord escapades stopped being amusing sometime around 1979. Dee Dee even went solo as a reborn rapper. What's the punch line?

2. PATTI SMITH: With 1975's Horses, Patti Smith broke out of her literary- cult-hero status and produced one of the most raucous, nervy albums ever. After raising a family, she decided to resume her recording career in 1988. Unfortunately, Dream of Life is full of overrefined sap.

3. ROLLING STONES: Rock's reigning geriatrics played the biggest joke of the decade--the Steel Wheels Tour--on thousands of unsuspecting nostalgiaholics. The Stones charged sucker prices for this old timers' game. No one seemed to care that "the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world" hasn't been that for twenty years.

4. THE WHO: Pete Townshend couldn't hear, Roger Daltrey couldn't act, and John Entwistle found he couldn't get inside a stadium without his two pals. So why stage a farewell tour? Why not?

5. BOB DYLAN: That this faint echo of a generation hired Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead in a last-ditch effort to revive his career says it all.

6. LOU REED: New York only confirmed what Velvet Underground fans have known for twenty years--that Lou Reed should have quit while he was a junkie. The man who was arguably the biggest influence on the Eighties' underground matured into a credit-card and motor-scooter spokesman.

7. THE MONKEES: American TV's Beatles facsimile emerged from retirement to prove for the second time that the group's thespian skills were what carried it.

8. JIMMY PAGE: His post-Zeppelin guitar meanderings show he's rootless without Robert Plant.

9. THE STARSHIP: The yuppie version of the acid-popping Sixties group neatly encapsulated ex-hippie greed and couldn't stop retching up Top 40 garbage. Grace Slick, hide your head in shame.

10. FLEETWOOD MAC: Stevie Nicks turned into a goat after Tusk.

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David Koen
Michael Nevins