- U2: ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND: 2000: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A welcome return to form to what they do best- a rock band not a techno band. Another album disaster like Pop and they may have been playing county fairs for the rest of their lives. At the time they said that they were ‘re-applying for the job of best band in the world. I don’t think they got the title back- but in the late 80’s early 90’s they held the mythical title. Pop was in 1997- this was three years later- a wise move taking their time and getting it right. Beautiful Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of, Elevation, Walk On- the first four songs -are my favorites- again a top heavy U2 album. A strong album from start to finish though.
- MOTT THE HOOPLE: MOTT: 1973: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I saw the other day that Mott The Hoople are going to make a short tour of American in April. Ian Hunter turns 80 in June and is still going strong. All The Way From Memphis is a classic. Other standouts- Whizz Kid, Honaloochie Boogie, Violence and of course Ballad Of Mott The Hoople. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it as one of the 500 Greatest Albums Ever. No argument here.They had hit it big the year before with All The Young Dudes- yet Hunter’s songs are of disillusionment of the whole rock star experience. I see the tour will be in Cleveland- may have to look into it.
- XTC: ORANGES AND LEMONS: 1989: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: XTC’s second double album. I’d rank it so far just behind Skylarking. The album cover fits the music inside. 15 songs influenced by late 60’s psychedelic period and The Beatles. An album full of pop and rock songs- The Mayor Of Simpleton, King For A Day, The Loving, Garden Of Earthly Delights are favorites but the entire album goes down well.
- THE BEATLES: LET IT BE…NAKED: 2003: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Paul hated [and many others[ hated the production of the original Let It Be- by Phil Spector. For a band that 1-made great decisions and 2- had great luck with the people surrounding them- at the end having Spector come in to produce or work with what The Beatles had left him–and bringing in Allen Klein were bad moves. Spector was a great producer but a little flaky. Klein was just a bad egg. Anyway Paul took a lot of the over production away from the recordings. I had grown use to the original after all those years but this is probably better- with the addition of Don’t Let Me Down to the album–baffling that it wasn’t on the original.
- THE CLASH: THE CLASH: 1977: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The greatest punk album of all times. Even better than the Sex Pistol’s debut. The UK release is the best version of the album.
- THE CLASH: GIVE ‘EM ENOUGH ROPE: 1978: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Only pails when compared to their debut album- and the masterpiece that followed it- London Calling. Bringing in Sandy Pearlman the producer of Blue Oyster Cult a curious move. Not a flawless album like the other two mentioned above but still a 5 star one. A couple not so great songs.