- BOB DYLAN: INFIDELS: 1983: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Along with Oh Mercy my favorite 1980’s Dylan album. Produced by Dylan and Dire Straits Mark Knopfler- interestingly before he approached Knopfler he talked to Frank Zappa, Elvis Costello, David Bowie about doing it. This album is seen as marking the end of his religious album period. The album opens with the outstanding Jokerman- other favorites- Neighborhood Bully, License To Kill, Man Of Peace and Union Sundown. Dylan at the time had his magnificent Blind Willie McTell as a possibility but rejected putting it on the album.
- VAN MORRISON: DAYS LIKE THIS: 1995: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 12 Songs in a mixture of styles, a couple duets with his daughter Shana. This was a very popular album in the UK where it reached #5. The album has its moments and I don’t know if there is such thing as a bad Van album- his voice alone assures that doesn’t happen but overall I don’t think this is as good as his previous albums during the `1986 to 1995 era. The title track is a standout. Perfect Fit, No Religion and You Don’t Know Me are also favorites.
- METALLICA: METALLICA: 1991: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The black album. I have never really been an avid Metallica fan. When this album came out a friend suggested it to me- and this is one Metallica album [i have listened to most of their albums} that I really like. I know a lot of long time Metallica fans didn’t like this one when it came out- too mellow they claimed. Favorite songs- Enter Sandman, Sad But True, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam and Nothing Else Matters.
- THE GLOAMING: THE GLOAMING: 2014: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I was turned on to The Gloaming by Larry Kirwan and his radio show Celtic Crush. He was playing several songs from them and I just had to have the album. A blending of ancient and modern Irish/Celtic music- it is full of beautiful music and singing. Highly recommended. The closer Samradh Samradh [summer summer} is stunning. So is the rest of the album- highly recommended. Mojo named it one of the best albums of 2014 and it was hugely popular in Ireland.