- LAURA NYRO: GONNA TAKE A MIRACLE: 1971: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Nyro’s 5th album. It was her last commercial success. I am only familiar with her album Eli and The Thirteenth Confession which I came across earlier this year. I knew of her name before but didn’t realize what I was missing. Produced by Gamble and Huff famous for their Philadelphia Soul sound- and with the help of the group LaBelle- an album of all covers. An album of covers can be tricky but she seems to turn the songs into her own.
- NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND: UNCLE CHARLIE AND HIS DOG TEDDY: 1970: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I knew the band mostly from its classic “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album from 1972. Their only hit single was on this album- the cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles which went to #9. Three other singles also charted House At Poor Corner and Some Of Shelly’s Blues. On this album they cover songs from Randy Newman to Stephen Foster to a young Kenny Loggins and Earl Scruggs and traditional songs.
- BILLY JOEL: STREETLIFE SERENADE: 1974: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Billy’s 3rd album- he was a slow developing artist- it wasn’t until the 5th album that he exploded with The Stranger. The Stranger was my first Joel album then I bought the earlier ones- they show potential but were inconsistent. Up until The Stranger he had two mid level hits- Piano Man and The Entertainer. I don’t know if I can honesty say in listening to those four albums that I saw a superstar in the making.