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Album Review

R. Stevie Moore Is Worth It was recorded in June and July of 1985, at the same time that Moore was starting preparations on Glad Music, his first album of new material for the French New Rose label. As is his wont when working on a relatively high-profile, pop-oriented project like that, Moore fills this album with his more experimental ideas, things that are uniformly interesting and often very good, but perhaps not the best showcase to a new and wider audience. As a result, much of this two-disc set is devoted to extended instrumentals and near-instrumentals like the opening "Your Dancing Ears," a multi-section workout for electric guitar that recalls some of Frank Zappa's more accessible instrumental work (this nearly eight-minute take was wisely redone, at less than half the length, for Glad Music) or the seven-minute "Without Progress," woozy psychedelia with found-sound voices built on a backwards drum part by Mark Cudnik. On the poppier side, this album introduced "Shakin' in the Sixties" and the absurdly bouncy "You Love Me, Do Something," two of Moore's most popular songs from this period, as well as an early, dreamier version of the exquisite faux-Beatles psych pop of "Colliding Circles," possibly R. Stevie Moore's most famous song of all time. The two-CD version adds on an odd concert recorded in Moore's adopted hometown of Bloomfield, NJ, on May 20, 1985. Along with his usual rhythm section of bassist Chris Bolger and drummers Lee Miller and Jim Price, Moore shares leader duties with his friend Frank Balesteri, who adds vocals, found sound from an on-stage television, and tape loops to an unfocused but intriguing set that at times sounds like a mid-'80s indie rock version of the sort of amorphous soundscapes that would be played in the rave scene's chillout rooms half a decade or so later.


Born: 18 January 1952 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most difficult to categorize musicians in rock, R. Stevie Moore is a true original. Bypassing the traditional recording industry more thoroughly than just about any internationally known singer/songwriter ever has, Moore has self-released literally thousands of songs through the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club (online at, an ongoing mail-order operation that has hundreds of individually dubbed cassettes and CD-Rs in its catalog. The handful of traditional LPs and CDs...
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R. Stevie Moore Plays Songs By the Beatles, R. Stevie Moore
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