On his personal blog, music writer Mr. Richie Unterberger, takes his personal record collection to task based on an old The Rolling Stone Record Guide.
It might seem relatively puny today when there are so many other sources for album reviews in print and on the Internet, but when it came out in late 1979, The Rolling Stone Record Guide was a godsend to those of us just building our music collections. Crucially, it didn’t just list and describe almost 10,000 records, but also gave them critical analysis (if often briefly in the case of most of the more minor artists) and ratings. Like many another publication rating albums, movies, books...the scale went from one star (“poor”) to five stars (“indispensable”). Well, that wasn’t quite the whole range. There was also a no-star rating, represented not by a star but by a solitary square, reserved for the worst of the worst.
I bet not all of y'all Slog Out readers own a copy of a 1979 The Rolling Stone Record Guide, right? Well, if not go check out this blog sampling 493 (?!?) of the 10K albums reviewed in the The Rolling Stone Record Guide; it's a good, tho' jazz-heavy, sampling of five-star-rated LPs and a few that didn't rate. It's funny to see some of this stuff rated poorly as I reckon it was filtered through punk AND disco's then contemporary, tho' collapsing, relevance. The late '70s was an interesting time as pop had fractured, become somewhat formalized while also diversifying. Many of the RS reviews and ratings seem silly now, like, handfuls of Best Of albums get five-star rated?!? Seriously, two volumes of the Best Of Bobby Bland rates five stars, but not his Here's The Man!!! LP?! Oh, and an RS writer BLAMES Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes for disco!!
Anyway, please dig these no-star albums which proudly reside in my collection—Muddy Waters': Electric Mud, most of the Uriah Heep catalog, The Tubes: The Tubes, Rush: A Farewell to Kings, Pearls Before Swine: Balaklava, The Osmonds: Crazy Horses, The Dictators: Go Girl Crazy! AND Manifest Destiny, Rolling Stones: Metamorphosis...ad nauseam! Honestly, except for John Denver, prolly all the rest of the NO STAR rated albums I own!!! GAH! In my defense, I DO own complete LP catalogs of A LOT of '60s/'70s bands, so I might have a ton of no rated albums just 'cause I rarely meet an album I don't wanna take home!!