- THE ROLLING STONES: OUT OF OUR HEADS: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Stones 3rd album and they continue to show growth. They are still relying heavily on covers- only four of the dozen songs were written by them but the three best songs on the album were written by them- I’m Free, Heart Of Stone and The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man. Favorite cover- the opener- She Said Yeah- co written by Sonny Bono.
- THE ROLLING STONES: AFTERMATH: 1966: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The big breakthrough album- after relying heavily on cover material up to now- this is an album completely written by the Jagger- Richards songwriting team- and some of their best originals up to this point are here- Under My Thumb, Mother’s Little Helper, Lady Jane, Stupid Girl, Out Of Time, What To Do.. I can do without 11 minutes of Goin’ Home though. Their first truly great album.
- THE REPLACEMENTS: PLEASED TO MEET ME: 1987: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My ‘first” Replacements album- and still my favorite. Saw them on this tour and it is one of my favorite concerts. Alex Chilton is probably their most famous song- other great ones on here-I.O.U, I Don’t Know, Never Mind, Valentine, Skyway, Can’t Hardly Wait.
- R.E.M.: RECKONING: 1984: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I am going to make my way though the R.E.M. catalog. I love the sound of this album. This is a strong sophomore album. A little darker than the debut but just as thrilling. Harbourcoat, 7 Chinese Brothers, So. Central Rain, Pretty Persuasion, Don’t Go Back To Rockville are favorites.
- R.E.M: FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION: 1985: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 3rd album coming a year after the second, a concept album dealing with southern Gothic themes. Even though things were going gangbusters at the start of their career they changed producers and made the album in London. I recall this album was a little more difficult to get into than the first two albums at the time of release. A murky sounding record. Feeling Gravity’s Pull, Driver 8, Can’t Get There From Here, Wendell Gee among my favorites from this.