• LOU REED: THE BLUE MASK: 1982: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Blue Mask was my first Lou Reed album and it is one of his best. It was a period where Reed was settling down- he had gotten married, was about to turn forty. The guitarwork of Reed and Robert Quine stand out on this album. Favorites- Underneath The Bottle,  My House, Waves of Fear, The Day John Kennedy Died.

Superimposed on a background consisting mostly of a cloudy, pale blue sky is a three-row by four-column borderless grid. Eleven of the 12 blocks in the grid contain the title from one of the songs on the album and an illustration for that song.  The 12th block, located in the first row, third column, has a white background.  Starting from the top, the words "SHAVED FISH LENNON" are vertically aligned, appearing in large black block capitals with a red dot centred in a separate row between "FISH" and "LENNON"; below "LENNON", in a single row of smaller block capitals, are the words "PLASTIC ONO BAND".

  • JOHN LENNON: SHAVED FISH: 1975: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A collection of all the John Lennon singles released in the US up until his 5 year retirement- save Stand By Me. A good collection. Some of Lennon’s best songs though were album cuts which of course are not represented among the 11 songs here.


James Taylor - Greatest Hits.jpg

  • JAMES TAYLOR: GREATEST HITS: 1976: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Greatest hits up until 1976- there would be more and there are other Cd’s out there that cover his career- but most of his best songs are on this album. My Mount Rushmore of James Taylor- Fire and Rain/ Carolina In My Mind/  You’ve Got A Friend/ Something In The Way She Moves. Not a big JT fan.


  • LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM: GO INSANE: 1984: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My favorite Buckingham solo album. Recorded while Fleetwood Mac was on hiatus. When hasn’t Fleetwood Mac been on hiatus?  Go Insane the single peaked at #23. I thought I Want You also had hit potential but it was never released as a single.

Joe Walsh - But Seriously Folks.jpg

  • JOE WALSH: BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS: 1978: 4  1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Joe had been with The Eagles a couple years when he released this solo album. Life’s Been Good would be his biggest hit #12 and the album went to #8. I bought the album at the time due to Life’s Been Good- but quickly found out that while that was the best song on the album- the rest of it was pretty good too. Over and Over, Second Hand Store,  Indian Summer my other favorites.


  1. Great block of music here though I disagree a tad bit with your ratings. If I may be so bold (and I guess I am since I’m doing it) I don’t understand Shaved Fish being 4 1/2 starts and Go Insane being 5. I realize Shaved Fish is a compilation album, but what a compilation album it is. To me, Go Insane is a solid 4 and the rest of these albums are 5’s. But that’s just me.

    • Good point but I should have noted like I have on some of these other greatest hits best of type deals- there are newer and better options- than Shaved Fish- if you want John Lennon- which includes album tracks that were not singles. I would give for example the Working Class Hero best of which came out in 2005- a double album with 38 songs a 5 stars… same with the James Taylor greatest hits- it came out mid-career- you can get a more complete look at his career today with other cds.. I should have stated that out front.

  2. I wish I’d kept my vinyl of ‘But Seriously …’ My CD version has a ‘humourous’ duck chorus after Life’s Been Good’ but I seem to remember a reprise of Weirdos or Tonorrow being there on the LP.

  3. Nowadays I tend to play songs, but back then any LP would be played from start to finish. Consequently you knew what was coming next.
    I had a compilation called Modern Dance back in the early 80s. I played it so many times that if I ever hear John Foxx’s ‘Europe After the Rain’ I expect The Cure’s ‘Charlotte Sometimes’ (which was next on the LP) to come thundering in after.

    • LOL.. I know the feeling- When I play a song in my head- at the end the next song from the album will come in….and for the most part it is the correct order.. I don’t know why but I never have been someone who skipped over a song even when it was a song i didn’t like.

    • Lou Reed once said that his albums were each like a chapter to a book- or something of that order- and The Blue Mask would certainly fit into that description.

Comments are closed.