- THE BAND: JERICHO: 1993: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Band’s Last Waltz was in November 1976- seventeen years later they return without Robbie Robertson and sadly without Richard Manuel. Three original members are here- Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson- and while they miss Robertson’s songwriting and guitar and Manuel’s voice- it’s a highly listenable album. Favorite songs- their cover of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”- Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell” Remedy, The Caves of Jericho. I saw them touring for this album at a small venue- and they were well worth seeing.
- THE BAND: THE LAST WALTZ:1978: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS. The Band’s farewell concert and they did it up well- not only recorded but made into one of the great rock music movies by the greatest director ever -in my opinion- Marty Scorsese. Not only that they have the greatest guests- Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil’s Young and Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield. The highlight for me of both the movie and the soundtrack- Van The Man’s Caravan.
- THE BEATLES: THE BEATLES [THE WHITE ALBUM]: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A fun game to play for years has been what if the material The Beatles had released as a double album here – had to be narrowed to one single album-what songs go? There are 30 songs on The White Album- totaling over 93 minutes. Cut it in half-what songs make it. If I were given the job the following fifteen songs make the cut- Back In The USSR, Dear Prudence, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, I’m So Tired, Blackbird, I Will, Julia, Birthday, Yer Blues, Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey, Sexy Sadie, Helter Skelter, Revolution I and Savoy Truffle….. Some great songs are among the fifteen I cut- Glass Onion, Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da, Wild Honey Pie, The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, Martha My Dear, Piggies, Rocky Raccoon, Don’t Pass Me By, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road, Mother Nature’s Son, Long, Long Long, Honey Pie, Cry Baby Cry, Revolution #9 and Good Night. The album of songs I had to cut would make an outstanding album on its own I think.
- THE DOORS: WAITING FOR THE SUN: 1968: 2 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I like The Doors- to a point. I think they are the most overrated rock band in history though. Their first and last albums I’d rank very highly- the second album “Strange Days” is a notch below but strong– albums 3- to 5 are spotty. There are folks who think that The Doors rank up there with the best of them that is revisionist history. Jim Morrison was a second rate singer at best. Poet? He was no poet. Best songs on this album the hit single Hello I Love You, Five To One and The Unknown Soldier.