Pleasure & Pain

by: Dr. Hook

Consolidating their position as satin-clad seductors, Dr. Hook gets sweet and saccharine on Pleasure & Pain, a record that opens with the one-night-stand anthem "Sharing the Night Together" and ends with the novelty boogie "You Make My Pants Want to Get Up and Dance." In between, Dr. Hook touch upon almost every other kind of quickie, celebrating infatuations, flirtations, and broken hearts, sometimes getting close enough to melancholy to register as a sadness but most of the time happy to sell heartbreak as seduction. And so, Pleasure & Pain is supremely slick, a record designed to play in the post-Saturday Night Fever discos of 1978 and destined to remain in its time, and yet the sheer cravenness of Dr. Hook retains an inexorable appeal. These guys never attempted to be anything more than what they were: hippies happy to make the transition to polyester, just as long as they can keep bedding hot young things. The sleaze is appealing and alienating in equal measures and redolent of the late '70s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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