- U2: BOY: 1980: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The debut of one of my all time favorite bands. I have a few artists right now where I am going through their discography from beginning to end-may as well add another. By the time they released their debut they had a stockpile of 40 songs-so they were not struggling for material to fill out an album. Of the eleven songs on the debut- I Will Follow is the classic- but other favorites-Twilight, Out Of Control, The Ocean, Into The Heart and A Day Without Me. A very promising debut.
- U2: OCTOBER: 1981: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The problematic sophomore album. A problem here seems to possibly be Bono lost a suitcase that contained in in progress lyrics for their new songs and they were hurried to get the album done. The opener Gloria is the best song. I wouldn’t call this album a dud by any means but maybe a step back from the debut. Overall the songs weren’t as good. The third album was going to be critical.
- U2: WAR: 1983: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Still one of my Mount Rushmore U2 albums- this was my first U2 album- I had heard of them prior to this but after hearing a couple songs from War- I was sold. Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Years Day- U2 classics that are still on their concert setlists. Two Hearts Beat As One, Red Light and 40 also favorites but I like everything on the album. The album was also their commercial breakthough #12 in US and #1 in UK where War knocked Thriller off the top of the chart! Take that Michael! Sold 4 million in US without a hit single. The first three albums produced by Steve Lillywhite.
- THE ROLLING STONES: BETWEEN THE BUTTONS: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I have long held Exile On Main St. as my favorite Rolling Stones album but as of the last year or so this is my most listened to Stones album.This feels like the first album where it was a true Rolling Stones album. A lot of great songs that are not played to death on the radio.
- R.E.M.: REVEAL: 2001: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Not an R.E.M. classic but much better than I remembered it. I probably haven’t listened to this for ten years. Sounds more like a return to the old R.E.M. field after the experimentation into electronic music of UP. but still not going to make one forget their 80’s heyday. Imitation Of Life, I’ll Take The Rain, All The Way To Reno, Summer Turns To High highlights. Uneven as most of the later day R.E.M albums are.