- THE KINKS: ARTHUR [OR THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE] : 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A very British album. It was inspired by the Davies oldest sister Rose immigrating to Australia in 1964- the theme as with much of Ray Davies work is nostalgia. Stephen Thomas Erlewine at allmusic calls it” one of the most effective concept albums in rock history as well as one of the best and most influential British pop albums of it’s era.” Matt Golden of Stylus calls it “the best rock opera ever.” It tells a story and it tells it well- unlike most so called ‘rock operas” in which the story is kind of flimsy- Tommy can you hear me?
- NEIL YOUNG: AFTER THE GOLD RUSH: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Great album cover. Has to be on the short list of Neil’s greatest albums- after all the great title track, Southern Man, I Believe In You, Birds, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Tell Me Why all great songs. It was Neil’s third album and his first 70’s release- he would go on to be one of the top rock performers of the decade.
- XTC: NONSUCH: 1992: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 13 of the 17 songs were written by Andy Partridge. The track that got the most attention was The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead- the lead off track. The album comes in at 63:29. There is a great variety of music on this album and most of the 17 tracks succeed. Maybe not their best album but one I’ve always liked. Of course The Dean Of Rock Journalism- Robert Christgau called it a ‘dud!