Picks and Pans Review: Rock-It to Stardom

updated 08/20/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/20/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy

So how do you even start to explain the Legendary Cowboy? Norman Carl Odam was discovered in 1968 in a talent contest at a Lubbock, Texas radio station. He was playing guitar and bugle and screaming the words to a song called Paralyzed. Sample lyrics: "I went to the refrigerator/Hungry as an alligator/Opened the door and what did I see/I saw my baby staring right back at me/I was paralyzed, paralyzed." T-Bone Burnett produced the first single of Odam singing Paralyzed, and it hit the pop charts as well as instant cult status. Then the Ledge (as he calls himself) more or less dropped from sight, working as a waiter. What followed was this terrific album, complete with a revision of Paralyzed. There are great new songs too, with screaming Odam vocals, backed up by the superb LeRoi Brothers band. The Ledge has said that all he's interested in is the Old West and space exploration ("Everything in between is garbage"), and it shows up on this album in such frontier-oriented songs as Cactus and Cast-Iron Apron. This is the guy after whom David Bowie patterned his Ziggy Stardust persona. (Amazing Records, PO Box 26265, Fort Worth, Texas 76116)

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