- PAUL MCCARTNEY: EGYPT STATION: 2018: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The grade could change- this is only my second listen- am liking most of the songs- I could do without Fuh You though.
- DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: DUSTY IN MEMPHIS: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Dusty’s most acclaimed album and she never sounded better. I listened to the double album with bonus songs- adding up to 25 songs- the original had 11 songs- highlights Son Of A Preacher Man a hit at #10. Shockingly the album peaked at #99 in the US and didn’t chart in the UK- but the greatness of the album has been recognized over the years. Producers on this album all noted ones- Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd. A great soul album of well chosen songs.
- STEVE GOODMAN: HIGH AND OUTSIDE: 1979: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Most famous for writing “The City Of New Orleans” which Arlo Guthrie made into a big hit- and for one of my favorite baseball songs “A Dying Cub Fans Last Request.” Also known for his friendship with John Prine. Died tragically of leukemia at the age of 36 in 1984. The One That Got Away, What Have You Done For Me Lately, and Men Who Love Women Who Love Men- are standouts.
- STEVIE WONDER: FULFILLINGNESS’ FIRST FINALE: 1974: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Stevie was money in the bank from the start of the 70’s on to the unfortunate I Just Called To Say I Love You a decade later. You Haven’t Done Nothin’ was a #1 hit and Boogie On Reggae Woman #3. Other favorites here- Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, They Won’t Go When I Go, Creepin’.. Steveland in his prime.
- DIRE STRAITS: DIRE STRAITS: 1978: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: All it took was hearing The Sultans Of Swing once on the radio to be hooked- had to go out and find the album- and it didn’t disappoint. An outstanding debut- love Mark Knopfler’s guitar work throughout the album.
- THE GO GO’S: BEAUTY AND THE BEAT: 1981: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Go Go’s first album is by far their best. It is an album of catchy, fun songs. There were two hits on it- Our Lips Are Sealed #20 and We Got The Beat #2. The album went all the way to #1. There were more hooks on this album than you’d find in Babe Winkleman’s tackle box. What happened after this? Things quickly came apart- the second album a major disappointment. Three albums and they were done. Other songs I like on this- This Town, Lust To Love, Skidmarks On My Heart.
- ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: A NEW WORLD RECORD: 1976: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Three hits off this- Livin’ Thing- #13, Do Ya #24, Telephone Line #7. Other favorites- Rockaria!, Tightrope. Not a bad song on the album. This album and the next the double album Out Of The Blue were the peak albums of ELO.
- THE CARS: THE CARS: 1978: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Cars first album was their masterpiece. The album is full of catchy pop songs-two of which were Top 40 hits- Just What I Needed #27, My Best Friends Girl #35 and Good Time Roll just missed at #41. All three should have been bigger hits- if not for disco dominating the charts I reckon. Nine songs- Ric Ocasek sang 5 and Ben Orr 4. Band member Eliot Easton said they used to joke that this album should have been called The Cars Greatest Hits- indeed it could have. Excellent.
- THE WHO: ODDS AND SODS: 1974: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Outtakes and rarities from The Who- 11 songs on this original vinyl release. The remastering has 23 songs. I need to get that. While the other members of The Who were preparing for the release of the movie Tommy- bassist John Entwistle was in charge of putting this together.
- THE HARDER THEY COME: SOUNDTRACK: 1972: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I have never seen the movie- but the soundtrack was my first reggae album and what a great one to start with- no Marley on this but six from Jimmy Cliff, some Melodians, The Maytals, Desmond Decker etc. This has a dozen songs on it- I should seek out the re-issue with a bonus disc -a total of 30 songs.
- BILLY JOEL: 52ND STREET: 1978: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Joel became a huge star with 1977’s The Stranger. He followed up quickly the next year with 52nd Street which would win the Grammy for best album. It had three big hits-My Life, Big Shot and Honesty and sold like a gazillion copies. Was it the best album of 1978 -of course not but it isn’t bad pop music. It has now been 25 years since Joel has released a new pop album- he said he had said all he had to say- I can respect that.