R. STEVIE MOORE
•••• Phonography / HP Music (1976)
••• Stance / HP Music (1978)
••• Delicate Tension / HP Music (1979)
Moore epitomizes the do-it-yourself philoso-
phy, recording these remarkable records sin-
gle-handedly at home on four-track machines
and releasing them himself. He also works in
a peculiar corner of pop music space where
the alien progressive rock strains of Eno and
Fripp, the prankish gags of the Residents,
and wholesome American Sixties rock & roll
intersect. What's even more peculiar is that
for the most part it works.
Phonography is the most intriguing of the
three records here. Moore originally re-
corded it as a demo disc, pressed up a hun-
dred copies and sent it to record companies
in 1976 (he has since released it in quantity).
What those record companies thought of an
album that featured everything from proto-
new-wave rockers, stark guitar-and-voice bal-
lads, The Andy Griffith Show TV theme, and
snippets of Moore reciting biographical infor-
mation has never been known. Stance---a
sixteen-minute mini-LP---and Delicate Ten-
sion sound a little more polished but are no
less fascinating. Moore's records are a re-
freshing experience---if you can find them.
R. STEVIE MOORE
Everything You Always
Wanted to Know...
One-man musical empire Moore
has been a major figure on the
independent recording scene
since relocating from his native
Nashville to New Jersey in the late
'70s. His mail-order tape club and
sporadic vinyl sorties confirm the
man's incredible, eccentric geni-
us: using countless instruments
and consummate home recording
skills to work wildly divergent
genres with equal facility, Moore
is something of a junior Todd
Rundgren without the occasional
self-importance. This French-only
double album recapitulates
Moore's recording career from
1974 to 1983, proving conclusive-
ly that he is a national treasure
unrecognized in his homeland.
THEN... THERE IS NOW, 2005.
"This old guy plays Indie pop/Neo Psychedelic better than any of those smirky twenty-two year olds with their Vox amps and perfect hair. Singer-songwriter, four-track extraordinaire R Stevie Moore hails from a record store in Montclair, N.J., where he used to sell Listen.com staff writer Tom Heyman lots of Yes and Jaco Pastorius records back in the day. He also found time to release a dozen or so records of his own, none of which have managed to make him a household name. But that's never been Moore's aim anyway. Taking the DIY aesthetic to a transcendent degree, Moore set out on his career of under-the-radar, homemade music in 1968 and he hasn't lost any of the love for music that inspired him, or his edge. With a talent for music equally divided between Paul McCartney-ish, Todd Rundgren-style Power Pop and good old Punk rock offhandedness, his terse little songs are as relevant to the Indie community as anything by the High Llamas, back before the High Llamas turned into Stereolab."