- THE ZOMBIES: ODESSEY & ORACLE: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Zombies career was short- they are remembered most for three hit singles and this album which was their best. I was happy to see them get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally- not because I give a hoot about the Hall of Fame but because it will give them some needed attention. On the list of 1001 albums to hear. One of my favorite ever box sets is the one on The Zombies which came out in the late 90’s- Zombies Heaven-which has their entire catalog and live and rare recordings. Zombies Heaven indeed. They were a lot more than their three big hits- She’s Not There, Tell Her No and Time of The Season.
- SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: BOOKENDS: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Simon and Garfunkel’s most celebrated album- it is a concept album that explores a life from childhood to old age. Mrs. Robinson, A Hazy Shade Of Winter, At The Zoo, Fakin’ It and America were all singles from the album- another favorite the album track Old Friends.
- ROD STEWART: EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: 1971: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: By far my favorite Rod Stewart album- and his best work. Maggie May his ‘signature’ song which went to #1- so did the album. But that is merely the most famous song on this album- the whole album is a gem. A mixture of originals and covers- he turns the cover songs- Reason To Believe- I Know I’m Losing You, Seems Like A Long Time into his own. A great rock album. On the 1001 albums to hear list.
- STEVIE WONDER: FULLFILLINGNESS FIRST FINALE: 1974: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: From the heart of Stevie’s classic period- it won three Grammy’s including Album of the Year. A reflective album. Two hit singles- You Haven’t Done Nuthin’- his commentary on the soon to be departing Richard Milhous Nixon administration that went to #1 and Boogie On Reggae Woman #3. The album went to #1 as it should have- it was Stevie’s first #1 album on the Billboard album chart. On the list of 1001 albums to hear- as are all of Stevie’s early to mid 1970’s albums.
- ELVIS COSTELLO: THE DELIVERY MAN:2004: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A concept album about a delivery man in the American south. Around this time Elvis’s albums all seemed to have a concept or a theme. I don’t know how well the concept part of it works but its a good sounding record that works. Tom Waits has called it one of his favorite records.
- THE BEATLES: RUBBER SOUL: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The most important album to The Beatles career? It marked great growth in their sound and songwriting talents. In ranking the closers- Run For You Life- has not aged well and would not go over well in today’s world. The lyrics sound like something out of gangsta rap. Of course the album is on the list of 1001 albums to hear.
- ELVIS COSTELLO:MOMOFUKU : 2008: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Elvis should do this kind of thing more often- he usually thinks thinks out- sometimes too much so- this was a spontaneous album- written, performed and released quickly. This album came shortly after Elvis announced he was through with recording. His best album rocking album in years. No Hiding Place, American Gangster Time, Harry Worth, Turpentine, Go Away and Stella Hurt among my favorites.