Song recorded at home, 1615 Forrest Avenue, Nashville TN March-May 1976
AMG REVIEW: R. Stevie Moore had really gotten into the groove by the time of 1976's Play; although it's not quite up to the technical standards of what he would be doing even a year later, this two-disc set shows that Moore was energized by the completion of his first proper LP, Phonography, earlier that year. (Two of the bonus tracks on the CD edition of Play are "Not for 13-Year-Old Girls, Pt. 2" and "Uncle at Nephew's, Pt. 1," surreptitiously taped conversations with Moore's uncle and early mentor, Harry Palmer, upon hearing a new tape that would eventually become part of the 1977 EP Stance.) Three of these songs are among the finest he'd written up to this point, although only one of them, "Under the Light," (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNdU7e...) a tuneful shuffle powered by a deep, twangy reverb guitar line, would be resurrected on one of Moore's later "official" vinyl and CD releases. The other two, the disorientingly psychedelic and oddly pretty "We're in Vietnam" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6xO1P...) and the catchy falsetto workout "Benefit of the Doubt" (which features a bass line blatantly swiped from Paul McCartney's "Mrs. Vandebilt"), are just the sort of hidden power pop gems Moore would regularly unveil with apparent casualness from this point on in his career. Though none of the rest of the album is up to the high standards of these three excellent songs, Play is an important transitional work into the kind of new wave-influenced power pop that Moore would pursue for the next several years; even lengthy tracks like the eight-minute exploration "Safe Reliable and Courteous" and the hypnotic seven-minute "Habitat" are more structured and focused than similarly expansive songs that had come before, sounding rather like the similar one-man-band experiments that Todd Rundgren was indulging in around this time.