Ray(mond Douglas) Davies John Swenson - Essay

John Swenson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

British rock stagecraft has flirted with theatrical conceits for over a decade. What began as a performance dynamic in which movement was a direct function of the music itself (for example, the early Who and Stones) has evolved to the self-conscious spectacle of David Bowie's Cecil B. DeMille imitations and Jethro Tull's ridiculously cluttered, absurdist program pieces….

What's missing from this Grand Opera approach to rock performance is the solid conceptualization which can only come from strong songwriting point-of-view. The clarity and simplicity of statement which has always been one of rock's most positive songwriting attributes is gone from the tangled web of solipsistic allusions which...

(The entire section is 980 words.)