- STEVE FORBERT: JACKRABBIT SLIM: 1979: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: It is hard to follow a great debut album. Steve Forbert’s second album is the best selling album of his career and gave him his only hit “Romeo’s Tune” #9. The album itself while it is no Alive On Arrival- it is pretty good. Make It All So Real, January 23-30, 1978, Say Goodbye To Little Jo other standouts. Forbert had a memoir come out this month- that might well be worth a read.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: BORN TO RUN: 1975: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: From one new Dylan to another- the most successful new Dylan. Bruce’s third album and his big breakout album. As far as the charts go his first two albums peaked at #60 and #59- Born To Run #3 and the single Born To Run #23. It’s hard to believe this wasn’t a #1 hit- one of the best singles of the 70’s. With this album he the promise he showed in his first albums together. Can anyone top the two side openers-Thunder Road and Born To Run? It is not my #1 favorite Bruce but it might be his best.
- WARREN ZEVON: WARREN ZEVON: 1976: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I am a big Zevon fan- and this album I believe is his best- due to it being his best collection of songs- Linda Ronstadt would cover a few of them. Jackson Browne produced this album- and there are a number of famous guests on the album-too numerous to even mention. Frank and Jesse James, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, Mohammed’s Radio, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Hasten Down The Wind- Desperados Under The Eaves- among the great songs- all eleven are. His next album would give him his most commercial success and only hit with Werewolves of London but no Zevon matches this one. One of the most literate of rock songwriters. No love songs. Love it.
- SEX PISTOLS: NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS HERE’S THE SEX PISTOLS: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: So this is what punk music is. I had heard of them eons before I actually HEARD them. As soon as I saw the album I bought it. They were much much bigger in the UK than in the US- the album was #1 and four hit singles. In the US the album #106 and no singles made the Top 100. Revolutionary album and a great one. God Save The Queen, Anarchy In The U.K., Holiday In The Sun, Pretty Vacant, Problems etc. Of course they weren’t built to last very long. A career as long as even The Clash’s would have been a shocker. After this collection of songs what could you really do?
- BOB DYLAN: JOHN WESLEY HARDING: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I wonder what they were expecting of Bob Dylan- after his motorcycle accident he had been silent for a year and a half- an eternity in those days for recording artists. The Summer of Love was over- were they expecting Dylan to join most of the crowd and come out with his psychedelic album? Was he going to pick up where he left off with another rock album in the Blonde On Blonde mode? I doubt few expected an album of what today would be filed under Americana.
- RANDY NEWMAN: LITTLE CRIMINALS: 1977: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I had never heard of Randy Newman until Short People hit the Top 40. I went out and got this album and shortly after his previous albums. This is a good album but not close to being his best. Favorites- Short People, Baltimore, Jolly Coppers On Parade, I’ll Be Home.
- TALKING HEADS: MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD:1978: Like the Newman album- I heard their hit “Take Me To The River” a cover of an Al Green song – liked it and went out and bought the album- turns out I picked another winner. Another band where when they put out an album I bought it unheard. This was the first of three Heads albums produced by Brian Eno.