- NEIL YOUNG: RE-AC-TOR: 1981: 2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I’ve never liked this album much. 9 minutes of T-Bone seems like 9 hours. All it is is- repeated over and over ” got mashed potato, ain’t got no t-bone” It doesn’t sound or feel like a well thought out album. This is a guitar drenched album- he may have had fun making it but the results should have stayed in the vault. The closer Shots is pretty good though but it doesn’t save the album.
- XTC: WASP STAR [APPLE VENUS VOLUME 2} 2000: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The final studio album from one of the greatest bands that many have never heard- or have only heard a few select songs of. Apple Venus Vol 1- and this one were supposed to be a double album but they were convinced to break it up into two separate albums. Their final album is a album of pop songs-what they did best. Boarded Up, Wounded Horse, You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful and Stupidly Happy are some of the highlights. I wish this group had continued. If you haven’t seen the documentary on them do so- that is what inspired me to go through their catalog from beginning to the end. An enjoyable ride.
- FREEDY JOHNSTON: UNLUCKY: EP: 1993: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A six song EP- The Lucky One is the highlight along with a great cover of Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Lineman.
- ELVIS COSTELLO/THE ROOTS: 2013: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This was looking like Elvis’s last album- a collaboration with The Roots. Nothing Elvis does is surprising as far as his hooking up with other artists. Lawrence Welk is dead so we can rule that out. This album is Ok- but it would have been a shame if that had been his final album.
- BILL WITHERS: THE BEST OF BILL WITHERS: 2000: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: What a great voice. It was great to see him get into the Rock Hall of Fame a few years back- an institution that is a joke- but it gave Withers some needed attention.He only recorded eight albums in his career the last being in 1985. Ain’t No Sunshine, Lean On Me, Use Me, Lovely Day among his best known pop hits- included here are some R&B hits that you never heard on the radio- including what to me is his greatest song- Grandma’s Hands a song he wrote about his grandmother who was born into slavery.
- NEIL YOUNG: TRANS: 1982: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My first reaction after buying this record and playing it when it came out was “What?” Neil has always been unpredictable but what is this? I didn’t care for it on the first listen but have grown to love the album. Neil used a Senniheiser vocoder on six of the nine tracks-he was influenced by the electronic experiments by Kraftwerk. I wouldn’t want a career of albums that sounded like this but I enjoy this one- Geffen Records didn’t. Favorite tracks- Little Thing Called Love, Transformer Man, Sample And Hold, a reworking of his classic Mr. Soul and Like An Inca.
- NEIL YOUNG: EVERYBODY’S ROCKIN’ 1983: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This album was Neil giving the bird to Geffen Records- who would later unsuccessfully sue him for not making Neil Young albums. My main gripe about the album is 10 songs 25 minutes. A rockabilly album. Geffen suing Neil backfired on Geffen- hearing that his record company was suing Neil- make REM who was about to sign with Geffen- think twice and sign with Warner Bros. David Geffen ended up personally apologizing to Uncle Neil for interfering with his work.
- TIN MACHINE: TIN MACHINE: 1989: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Like Uncle Neil- David was unpredictable- by the late 80’s he had done so many different things- who would have thought he’d be a member of a band. Tin Machine made two albums before David moved on. This was a back to basics rock and roll album for Bowie and I like it. A noisy album- some as I recall didn’t like it- and it did get mixed reviews. It was the best album he was a part of since Let’s Dance. It was never in heavy rotation with me but a thumbs up. I like the fact it doesn’t sound like a Bowie album. A grunge sounding album before grunge began. Hunt and Tony Sales- Soupy’s boys were in the band.