Picks and Pans Review: Mcvicar
Rock stars gravitate toward their profession—as Willie Sutton explained of bank robbers and banks: That’s where the money is. Coincidentally, The Who’s Roger Daltrey has chosen John McVicar, a real-life English criminal and escape artist, as his first nonmusical film role. Besides portraying the title character, Daltrey sings on the sound track. A master at using his combustible vocal engine on Who classics like Tommy and Quadrophenia, he is no stranger to the demands of narrative works and emotes passionately here. On Free Me, which does for cons what My Generation did for alienated teenagers, he is so convincing that the anger, frustration and smell of the cellblock come through. My Time is Gonna Come and Bitter and Twisted let Daltrey lash out vocally at his past. Only the ballads (Just a Dream Away, Without Your Love) seem tame, perhaps because Daltrey’s voice sounds caged. The sound track was made while Pete Townshend was recording his brilliant Empty Glass, and thus the music and lyrics were written by others, Russ Ballard notably. But all of The Who sit in, and this is the closest thing fans will get to a group effort until The Who release their new studio collection in early ’81.