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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1985 (Volume 17, Number 4)

Robert Plant, flanked by Sade and R.E.M., was featured on the cover of the September 1985 issue of Creem. Plant was coming off his biggest post-Led Zeppelin pop success as lead singer for the Honeydrippers, a studio aggregation that produced the hit single cover tunes “Sea of Love” and “Rockin’ at Midnight.” Author Billy Altman noted Plant’s latest solo album (“Shaken ‘n’ Stirred”) was “a record filled with hi-tech, hip-hopping funk ‘n’ roll, a dizzying foray into body music…For once, the song sure ain’t the same.” Plant’s perspective, “This record really does make the point that whatever anybody else thinks, Robert Plant does indeed exist entirely on his own with these new guys…This record is sort of my ultimate pass to freedom musically.” Plant had the perfect ending note for the interview, “I was in the West Indies not long ago, and a beautiful little girl about 12 years old came running up to me. Her parents apparently had one of those satellite dishes and she said, ‘You’re the guy who does ‘Big Log!’ What did you do before that?’ I told her, ‘It’s a long, long story.’”

In “Rock ‘n’ Roll News,” Stewart Copeland commented that the Police had disbanded “at the end of our 1984 tour of America.” They did perform a few gigs in 1986 and recorded a new version of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” but thankfully, they were otherwise kaput for a few decades.

The Beastie Boys appeared in “The Beat Goes On.” Adam Yauch explained their m.o., “You must understand one basic fact about the Beastie Boys and that’s that we do ANYTHING we want.”


“It’s Been a Sade Night: & She’s Been Working Like a Dog!,” by Barbara Pepe

“R.E.M.’s Rock Reconstruction, Getting There…,” by Bill Holdship

“Focus, Roddy: It’s Aztec Camera,” by David Keeps
“Another Look at Giuffria!,” by John Kordosh
“Alison Moyet: Yaz, Alf & Other Three Letter Words,” by Sylvie Simmons
“Teena Marie: Lovergirl on Parade!,” by Laura Fissinger

Barbara Pepe wrote a thorough piece on Sade, going deep into her personal background and her time in the music business.

Bill Holdship conducted good interviews with Michael Stipe and Peter Buck of R.E.M., who had a sense of idealism that felt both naïve and inspirational. They were still a left-of-the-dial act but had mainstream ambitions.

Roddy Frame seemed a big smug in his interview with David Keeps, but he wasn’t shy about providing opinions, such as country music is “so Dumbo” and “I think Van Halen can’t write songs at all.” He wasn’t correct, but he wasn’t boring either.

Alison Moyet sounded a bit defensive in her interview with Sylvie Simmons. However, being an independent woman in an image driven medium probably wasn’t a walk in the park.

Quotable Quotes:

Robert Christgau on R.E.M., “They have a good beat, and you can boogie to them.”

Sade, “If we make tons and tons of money through our music, fine. I’m not going to give it back to the record company. But my main object isn’t to make tons and tons of money.”

Michael Stipe, “I didn’t really listen to much music until I found out about the New York CBGB’s thing. It was like the first time you went into the ocean and got knocked down by a wave.”

Bill Holdship, “It seems that often R.E.M. often pick up on childhood images, cliches and reference points, merging them into a dreamy stream-of-consciousness format with music that’s evocative of the past, yet manages to descend into a reference point of its own.”

Peter Buck, “We’re gonna be like the Grateful Dead. We’re just gonna muddle along, though none of us will probably get arrested for freebasing.”

Peter Buck, “I don’t like sloganeering, especially when it gets to something like the Clash who don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Roddy Frame, “Rock ‘n’ roll is dead. We’re just dancin’ on its grave!”

Robert Plant, “I belonged in a band that had perhaps the greatest chemical combination that one could have wished for.”

Robert Plant on the Honeydrippers, “The whole purpose of the thing was to get that Roy Brown/Wynonie Harris rhythm ‘n’ blues feel across to FM or AM radio, to say, ‘Hey, THIS is where a lot of things came from the first time around.’”

Alison Moyet on her fans being primarily female, “So long as there’s an audience somewhere I don’t care about their genitalia!”

Craig Zeller on Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” album, “Look, Mark Knopfler is a stick in the mud. He couldn’t cut loose if you handed him the knife.”

Summary: Robert Plant proved once again that he was more charming than Morrissey.

Grade: A-

Latest price on eBay: $5.00 to “Buy It Now.”

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