The Dictators – The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! (Review)


Do you ever want to write about or review an album and just feel unequal to the task? I feel that way about The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! The New Yorkers’ 1975 debut album has got so much going on. It was a critical success and commercial failure and manages to be classic and overlooked at the same time.

I’m not really comfortable talking about its supposed punk influence either, given I’m not a big punk fan. This always just sounded like fun, back-to-basics rock n’ roll to me: Louie Louie riffs, The Who and The Beach Boys with teenage, street level attitude and a ton of pop culture references thrown in. It’s an album that I love but I’m reluctant to recommend. Especially if, like me, you came at this from a Manowar direction and want to hear where guitarist Ross the Boss started out. After hearing the lamentable cover of I Got You Babe and the silly Back to Africa you’re going to wonder what the hell is going on. (Anyone reading this for Manoreasons should probably check out The Dictators’ third album Bloodbrothers first. It’s quality muscle rock!)

But from the “let’s go” of the fourth track Master Race Rock on, this album is a veritable blast. Two Tub Man, (I Live For) Cars and Girls and Weekend all put such a joyous spring in your step that you wish every rock album was like this. It’s so quirky, arch and fresh. The occasional vocal interjections of “secret weapon” Handsome Dick Manitoba add to the fun too. The album’s second side is so perfect it makes you forget the first one ever happened.

And… Ross the Boss. Fingers and steel, baby! The man is a legend.

So, like I said. I’m not equal to the task of covering this great and weird album. But never mind… with my financial holdings I could be basking in the sun in Florida. This music-writing lark is just a hobby for me! Nothing, ya hear? A HOBBY!

34 thoughts on “The Dictators – The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! (Review)”

    1. Actually I found out about this album from a KISS review. I think it was for Destroyer… basically it said to ignore Destroyer and listen to this instead. The critics loved The Dictators but they hardly sold any LPs! Whereas KISS… hated by critics but mega huge!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Haha, this is on the 1001, what a cover!
    Handsome Dick Manitoba, wow, the sequin jacket with a map of his Canadian provincial namesake, that is spectacular.
    Two Tub Man is playing as I type, Quirky sounds right – and right up my alley, I’m excited to check this one out, especially side 2.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I didn’t even know about the map! I’m sure there’s a ton of references on this that have sailed right over my head. Unequal to the task right enough!

      I think you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s lots of fun. Side 1 is good too but it really takes a couple of songs to get going. The 1st track, Next Big Thing, is great but the two weaker tracks I mentioned are just a bit too jokey. And jokey tracks always wear a bit thin with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HMO your review is even more magnificent after listening to the album!
        I love that line of yours about it being classic yet overlooked – and I’d agree that the latter half is the better half.
        Such an impressive album – and I don’t have any of the punk background either, I just thought it was a brilliant record!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Always heard the name Dictators especially as I bougnt the first Manowar album…for all intent purposes HMO your discovering the roots of the Dictators….nice write up….freaky cover

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s cool to hear the first recorded album of Ross the Boss. This is a piece of Manowar history. He is such and incredible and overlooked player. Awesome. Actually I’ve got some even earlier Dictators recordings too, their demos from 1973!


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