The infamous NME dismissal of Poet, Fool Or Bum in 1973 (the smart-arse, one-word “Bum” review) was as pathetically obvious as it was wrong. However, the equally facile fan response?”Poet”?is also as inaccurate as the title, which should have read “Poet, Fool And Bum”, for Hazlewood was abundantly all three.
No wonder the rock bores all despised him. Though not scaling the eccentric heights of 1970’s Cowboy in Sweden, PFB is still packed with the sumptuous rock-rule-breaking flash of strings, choirs and spaghetti twang backdropping Hazlewood’s whiskey-croaked outsider lyricism.
Whether 1977’s Back On The Street Again makes you “as happy as Dolly Parton’s guitar” depends on the size of your Hazlewood habit. It may be a bit too Clint-Eastwood-and-his-monkey-on-the-CB-radio for comfort.
Then again, its German-recorded crap synthesiser stylings might just be inexplicably, perversely right.