- BOB DYLAN: HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The previous Dylan album released 5 months earlier- was half electric/ half acoustic. This album left no doubt where Bob was at- this is a rock album. For the past 40 years I have been struggling-what is my favorite Dylan album- some days it is this one- other days it’s Blonde On Blonde. One thing I am sure of- Highway 61 has the greatest album opener ever in Like A Rolling Stone- because Like A Rolling Stone is the greatest rock song ever. Nine songs on this album-and they are all outstanding. The album was recorded in five days-and features a great back up band Michael Bloomfield on electric guitar, Bobby Gregg on drums, Al Kooper on electric organ- he had never played the instrument before the recording of Like A Rolling Stone-and his improvised riff is part of what makes the song what it ended up being. The closer on the album is the devastating Desolation Row- which clocks in at 11:21. One of my Top 10 albums ever.
- BLOOMFIELD, KOOPER, STILLS: SUPER SESSION: 1968: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Kooper and Bloomfield had played together with Bob Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited and at Newport during his ‘going electric” show that blew the folkies minds- both at this point had left or were leaving the bands they were in- Kooper’s idea to get together and jam. Bloomfield and Stills do not play together on the album. Stills was leaving Buffalo Springfield at the time and Kooper called him in when Bloomfield didn’t show up on the second day of recordings. The album was a success going to #12 on the album chart. Often cited as the beginning of the super group idea. The album only took $13,000 to make. A highlight is a cover of Donovan’s Season of the Witch- that I actually prefer over the original.
- VAN MORRISON: SAINT DOMINIC’S PREVIEW: 1972: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The early 70’s run of great albums continues for Van The Man. The title track is one of my favorite Van songs- it is hard to believe it wasn’t a hit- or even an A side single. Favorites on the album- Saint Dominic’s Preview, Almost Independence Day, Jackie Wilson Said, Listen To The Lion and Redwood Tree. Great album cover too.
- COURTNEY BARRETT: TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL: 2018: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I continue to listen to this new album to my collection of music. I guess its natural to compare artists albums and since Barrett only has two solo albums out at this point- while I certainly would recommend this album highly- I don’t think it matches her sparkling debut from a few years ago Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit.
- ELVIS PRESLEY: NBC-TV SPECIAL: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The big Elvis television special comeback. It is best to watch the tv special and listen to the music that way but the album stands up well without the visual. After all those -in my opinion crappy movies Elvis is back!
- VAN MORRISON: HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY: 1973: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Kind of a clunker- by Van’s standards but it still has it’s moments. Best song on the album is Warm Love, others I like -Purple Heather, Hard Nose The Highway and The Great Deception. His run of outstanding albums ends for a moment but once of his best will follow this one.