Wife of Argentinian Dictator .Real Star in Rock Opera

Rice and Webber Team Up

By Elias Lieberman Webber and Rice have "" - Time Rice and Andrew Lloyd woven together a clutch of melodies and Webber (MCA Records) well-worked lyrics that are stylistically the equal of their work in "Supers tar. " 'The term "rock-opera" has been ban­ The music drifts convincingly from died about quite a bit by the critics ever ballads to rock, from choruses of since 's "Tommy" and Webber Argentine army officers to a funeral and Rice's "" march sung by Argentine workers. The debuted some years ago. The passing role of Evita Peron is sung by Julie years have done little to further define the Covington, a woman with a strong, term but the genre definitely lives on. engaging voice. She's at her best in the Webber and ' Rice have teamed up once operas' most melodic tune, "Don't Cry For again. I'll quote from a publicity blurb to Me Argentina." A gritty-voiced C. T. introduce their latest effort. " ·'Evita' " is Wilkerson sings the role of Che, the an opera based on the life story of Eva Argentine student who acts as wry com­ Peron, the second wife of the Argentine mentator as Evita's story unfolds. The role dictator, Juan Peron. ltis a story of people of Juan Peron is sung by Paul Jones, a whose lives were in politics but it is not a veteran of Manfred Mann's early days as political story. It is a Cinderella story well as 's West End theaters. about the astonishing life of a girl from the most mundane of backgrounds who The whole work runs 103 minutes. became the most powerful woman her Tasteful packaging and a libretto com­ country (and indeed Latin America) had plete with stage directions makes it easy to ever seen, a woman never content to be a follow the story as Evita climbs to power mere ornament at the side of her husband, and finally relinqUishes it to death. It's not Her death of cancer in 1952 ensured that the kind of you'll rush home to slap she became a legend. She just 33 when on the turntable to help you unwind after a she died." So much for background. long day, but it's definitely worthy of Webber and Rice made a slightly bizarre, repeated listenings. Rock-opera is still but fortuitous, choice of a subject for their struggling to its feet, undergoing an opera, for Evita's story' has just the right identity crisis. But talents like those Eva Peron touch of pageantry and pathos to receive possessed by Webber and Rice are clearly an operatic treatment. up to the challenge.

Disco .. .. Soul .a Disagreeable New Sound For An Old Group

By Glenn Isaacson can sing better and write melodies better However, this group has proved The real bright spot of this album is than ever, as evidenced on their last LP throughout their career that they can do "Love Me," which has a Throughout their 21 year career in "." The tragedy of their latest "anything" well, and music is no current hit version of. But you haven't music, the have had two main album "" is that exception. The incredible "You Should ~e heard the song until you've heard it done assets that have been paramount in these two assets go totally unused. With Dancing," featured on this new album, IS by the Bee Gees, with Robin singing lead in making them one of the most popular the new disco-funk- they are possibly the best disco record ever made. that inimitable, frail-sounding vibrato of recording groups of all time. The first was doing, their voices are wasted. Barry is And , doing black-oriented music his. This is one of the LP's two ballads, the their ability to write superb, powerfully reduced to growling "Ah, you sexy sexy is nothing new for the Bee Gees-their 1968 other being "The Way It Was," a nice song simple melodies that were both instant and child" while Robin shrieks out hit "To Love Somebody" was heavy sung by Barry. The title track, "Children lasting. The second was the pOssession of background vocals, and suddenly rhythm and . of the World," is an unusual midtempo two voices that sounded devastating either Maurice, who never sang a lead in his life, piece with some great occapello singing by solo or in : Barry and . is out front on every new Bee Gees song, There are other good things on the new the . Robin has the distinctive vocal quaver that doing a soul that is a novelty at album. "" is okay, but it's a said that side two of the became a trademark of thr. Bee Gees first, but eventually grates on the nerves. direct cop from their previous hit "Fanny Main Course album wasn't played because ·'S ound. Barry has a wide range and a And as for melodies, in disco music who (Be Tender With My Love)," which was a it was "oldish Bee Gees." I lover{ that side ~ tartlingly excellent voice that sounds needs a ? The .beat is everything, much better song. "Subway" is a really of the album. But I also liked "Jive equally good doing a tender ballad or an and the melody is usually just a simple fine disco song' listen to the sax player Talkin" and "," which upbeat rocker. The third Gibb , chant repeated endlessly. I have nothing work out near the close of the song. "You were much more melodic than their Maurice, only sang background. against disco music. It's the Bee Gees Can't Keep A Good Man Down" is kind of a current di.sco songs, with much nicer doing pure disco that I object to, because nice, catchy disco number. "Boogie singing. Okay, Bee Gees, go where the Over the years, these two assets have their greatest talents lie in doing a more Child," their new single, is pretty bad, money is: I don't blame you for it. But I nQt deserted the brothers. If anything, they melodic type of music. although it ~as a nice hook to it. lament it..