- FRED ASTAIRE: THE ASTAIRE STORY: 1952: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: CD: Recorded back in 1952 the album was conceived and produced by Norman Granz. The album is an overview of Astaire’s singing career- singing many standards with an all-star cast of musicians behind him. The two CD’s- time in at 134 minutes. I like Astaire’s singing- my wife doesn’t. He isn’t Sinatra that is for sure but I think his singing career is underappreciated. Favorite songs- and there are many- Isn’t This A Lovely Day, Puttin’ On The Ritz, Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, Top Hat, White Tie and Tales, A Fine Romance, Cheek to Cheek, Steppin’ Out With My Baby,,,etc.
- BOZ SCAGGS: SILK DEGREES: 1976: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: Scaggs was a seasoned veteran working with Steve Miller and as a solo artist when this album came out of nowhere to become what he is still his signature album full of hit singles. His career has continued but has never been as commercially successful as this. He had three Top 40 hits and one which just missed and another song which became a hit for Rita Coolidge “Where All Alone.” “It’s Over #38, “Lowdown” #3,
“What Can I Say?” #42, “Lido Shuffle” #11. The album went to #2 on the album chart and sold 5 million copies. The Dean of Rock Critics- Robert Christgau’s comment sums the album up well as – “white soul with a sense of humor that isn’t consumed in self-parody.”
- Slim Whitman: ALL MY BEST: 1979: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: In the late 70’s- early 80’s the commercial for this album was all over television and it sold like crazy, not bad for a man whose career had peaked in the 1950’s. I didn’t know it at the time when the commercials were airing- but in the 1950’s he had toured with Elvis as the opening act and he was a big influence on a youngster growing up in Liverpool, England named George Harrison- “The first person I ever saw playing a guitar was Slim Whitman, either a photo of him in a magazine or live on television. Guitars were definitely coming in.” His picture playing his guitar left handed- also inspired Paul McCartney to restring his guitar so he could play left-handed. Michael Jackson cited Slim as one of his ten favorite vocalists. 20 songs on this album- pleasant listening.
- SUPERTRAMP: CRIME OF THE CENTURY: 1974: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: Supertramp’s commercial breakthrough with their third album. Bloody Well Right cracked the Top 40 in America, while Dreamer didn’t chart. I have heard both of these songs over the years so often I figured both of them were decent sized hits. Dreamer did make #15 with a live version in 1980. I am not crazy about this album but I am not a huge Supertramp fan either. The songs seem too long to me. It is one of their more acclaimed albums. Not a big Prog Rock fan.