KEITH MOON – Two Sides of the Moon (1975)

Review by: Michael Strait
Album assigned by: Roland Bruynesteyn

There is a deluxe edition of this. It is two discs long.

Heaven help us.

Crazy Like A Fox: Kinda does sound like mid-70s Who, actually. What that means is that it sounds like forgettable, bland 70s rock except for the vocals – done by Moon, presumably – which are kind of sassy and sardonic in a way I can kind of like. There’s a decent bassline. In fact, the instrumentation is quite lush and varied really, and there’s a perfectly competent guitar solo. The question is why does this exist? This is really just a karaoke performance, innit?

Solid Gold: Some sort of sarcastic spoken word intro. Oh wait, this is actually the whole thing. Some pretty female voices harmonise some vocal chants as Moon drunkenly stumbles over the lyrics of this tune, like he’s going through some sort of terrible impressions game at a pub. Is this a comedy album? No, worse – this is a NOVELTY album, where the novelty is “Keith Moon sings the classics”, as if he’s some children’s cartoon character or Kardashian and the prospect of him singing is inherently funny. :/

Don’t Worry Baby: String section shit. Meh. He’s actually singing this time, though not particularly well. ‘Course, worse singers have been great vocalists before, but then mostly they’ve actually been singing over worthwhile music. This is still just karaoke nonsense. Utterly pointless, like the other album I was assigned this round – not offensively bad, nor intriguingly bad, nor even depressingly bad, just sort of confusing. Why would anyone ever listen to this? Why was it made? Actually, I take that back – I’m imagining Moon singing this in the studio now, imagining his face contorting into soulful expressions as he sings his heart out, and it’s very depressing.

One Night Stand: Slide guitar an’ all. His vocals are buried under so many doubled layers of themselves that I can barely make them out. Is he trying to put on an American accent? Oh Christ, he is, isn’t he? Has anyone in world history actually listened to this for pleasure? Are there people in the world who sometimes think “yeah, I’ll just listen to Keith Moon sing One Night Stand”? Perfectly competent guitar solo here, again – it’s all just so confusing to me that this exists.

The Kids Are Alright: Loud guitar chord opens this one. Siiiiigh. OK, he really is butchering this one with his singing – he CAN’T sing, or at least not well enough to sing songs that require actual singing. He’d make a great frontman for a band like, say, The Clash or whatever, but he just hasn’t got the skillset for this kind of music so why is he misapplying himself? The band actually does sound kind of incompetent here, for ones – the entire thing sounds like it’s tripping and stumbling about, and it does NOT sound natural at all.

Move Over Ms. L: A Lennon track! Well, here comes Moon to do his best to ruin it by singing it almost exactly like a punk rock singer, except more middle-class. This song has lots of brass instruments on it. I don’t like it. This isn’t one of Lennon’s best efforts anyway. Apparently Moon drummed on that track. Barely noticed.

Teen Age Idol: Melodramatic nonsense! Moon can’t sing. People DO call him a teenage idol, though. Or did, at least. R.I.P Keith Moon. It sounds like it’s trying to be a gahdawful movie song except Moon just can’t sing. Oh my god that was horrible panning. Made me feel sick.

Back Door Sally: :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ He kind of DOES have the chops for this kind of singing – just raw charisma, no actual tunefulness, which sorta fits with this song, except it still doesn’t quite work because the end result still sucks. At least it sucks on its own terms though. Oh Christ he’s starting to sound like a glam metal vocalist. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Lots of brass on this song again. Kinda sounds like good-old-fashioned British glam rock except garbage.

In My Life: The Beatles, eh? That piano sounds horrible somehow. Moon can’t sing. Moon can’t sing. Moon can’t sing. Well, he’s REALLY ruining this melody. The entire thing sounds bargain bin and phoned-in – he’s making this Beatles tune sound like a shitty generic showtune, and that takes a sort of perverse anti-talent. Really over-egged melodramatic choral backing vocals don’t fucking help matters.

Together: The last one. Phew. Ringo co-wrote this one with like 2 other blokes. The drumming on this track is so bad it’s actually hilarious – or maybe it’s just mixed badly; it sounds arrhythmic, like it’s spurting at random. Moon’s singing is, as usual, horrible – so horrible it’s been mixed down to the point of near-inaudibility. There are garbage steel drums on this track. Saving the worst for last, were we? Moon and Ringo are being a comedy duo now. They aren’t very good at it. This should not exist. His singing has started again now. This has made the track worse. Ends with a nonsensical fade back into In My Life’s chorus. It’s over.

Bullets I dodged by skipping the bonus tracks include songs called “Hot Rod Queen”, “Real Emotion”, “OK Mr. Starkey” and something ominously titled “Together ‘Rap’”.

P’raps this album is why God killed Keith Moon?