- SNIFF ‘N’ THE TEARS: FICKLE HEART: 1978: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I bought this album 40 years ago- due to the single Drivers Seat which I loved. I probably haven’t listened to this album in well over 30 years- I couldn’t have named another song on the album- actually a good album- Driver’s Seat went to #15 in the US- and would be their only charted song- for a debut album it did well too #35 and that was it- a few more albums with different members- the singer being the only constant member- maybe it was no fun being a tear- that few paid attention too- and that was it- except for a couple comeback attempts the latest being last year.
- ATLANTIC RHYTHM AND BLUES: 1947-74: DISC 3: 1991: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: More great stuff from the 1953-1958 era.- Brother Ray Charles, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Clovers, Lavern Baker, Ruth Brown, Chuck Willis, Joe Turner.
- ROY CLARK:GREATEST HITS: 1995: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: One of those choices- Buck Owens was one of the greatest country and western performers ever and Roy Clark was an outstanding musician who had his share of success also- then Hee Haw- which no doubt fattened their bank accounts but a lot of people remember them more for Hee Haw than for their previous success. Yesterday When I Was Young- was Mickey Mantle’s favorite song and as I recall Clark played it at his funeral. I Never Picked Cotton was a favorite song of mine back when I was a kid. Thank God And Greyhound another highlight- 14 songs on this greatest hits. Clark as a teenager lived one year in the town where I live. I have often wondered if there is anyone still around town that had a memory of him during his families brief stay?
- MORRISSEY: THE BEST OF MORRISSEY: 2001: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: No question the biggest prima donna in the world of rock music and he’s getting worse than better. Every time I see he is on tour- I figure how many shows will he end up cancelling? I loved The Smiths- one of my favorite 80’s bands. His solo career has had its ups and downs- and as far as a Smiths reunion- I wouldn’t wish that on Johnny Marr who seems like a pretty good guy. 21 songs on this best of from 2001. Suedehead, Everyday Is Like Sunday, Interesting Drug, The Last of The Famous International Playboys, Do Your Best and Don’t Worry are favorites.
- THE GREATEST RAY CHARLES: 1963: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: As a youngin’ before I was a big music fan I remember seeing Ray Charles on television and was fascinated by him. I didn’t know a thing about him but I thought he was amazing. This is the first Ray Charles album I bought. I have 500 or so vinyl albums- and they need put in order but first I am going to try to make a commitment to listening to at least one a day-until I listen to them all. Is Ray Charles the best all around singer? He could sing every style of music and sing them all well. Who is his competition for that title? I’d put Van Morrison up for consideration but other than that? Elvis? Aretha? This was a good intro to Ray- and everytime I hear Ray sing “What’d I Say” I think of John Belushi doing his Ray on SNL.
- GERRY RAFFERTY: NIGHT OWL: 1979: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: In the late 70s Rafferty was a surprise star with his outstanding City To City album featuring one of my all time favorite singles “Baker Street.” He had 5 hits total off of City To City and Night Owl and then disappeared. Reportedly he was not someone who liked the attention that being a star. Favorite songs on here- the hits- Get It Right Next Time, Days Gone Down- and Night Owl, Take The Money And Run. Not as strong of an album as City to City but still very good.
- THE MONKEES GREATEST HITS:1972: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This album has the basic big hits from The Monkees- some good pop music. Favorites being- Last Train To Clarksville, Daydream Believer, I’m A Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday, Stepping Stone.
- THE JACKSON 5IVE: GREATEST HITS: 1971: My brother was a big Jackson 5ive fan-and had some of their albums- I acquired his albums in some kind of trade we were always trading things back and forth back then. This greatest hits album came out pretty early in their career-favorites- I Want You Back, ABC, Never Can Say Goodbye, I’ll Be There. I always thought the Jacksons sounded like mice at this age.
- SAM COOKE: THE BEST OF SAM COOKE: 1962: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My starter album on Sam Cooke- a dozen songs- all winners from 1957-62 certainly not a career spanning best of- which is why I am deducting a star from my rating. Much better is Portrait Of A Legend which covers 1951-64 which offers 30 songs on one disc- and includes his greatest song A Change Is Gonna Come.