- NEIL YOUNG : OLD WAYS: 1985: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Uncle Neil was originally going to release a country album in 1983 but Geffen wanted a rock and roll album so he gave them the the double peace sign- with Everybody’s Rockin’- they got their rock and roll album. Next comes this album- which he calls Old Ways II- he wrote some new songs to add to what he originally had. This is a very good album- but at the time I recall some fans were restless- Trans, Everybody’s Rockin’ and now a country album? The album is one of the poorest selling albums of his career and got terrible reviews. Again, I think the reaction at the time was Make a Neil Young Album. In retrospect it wasn’t that bad of an album. Both Waylon and Willie make appearances.
- ELVIS COSTELLO: LOOK NOW: 2018: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Elvis’s best album of this century. Maybe the long nearly decade layoff [unless you count the album with The Roots} was a good thing. He comes back with a strong pop album-this isn’t a rock album– the first thing that comes through is the songwriting- not that Elvis was ever lacking in the ability but he really puts it all together here- again his best album of the 21st century. He wrote three of the songs with old pal Burt Bacharach and one with Carole King. Not bad company.
- VAN MORRISON: MOONDANCE: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van’s 3rd album- the follow up to Astral Weeks. Van didn’t do an Astral Weeks two here- but came up with his most commercial and accessible album of his career. Astral Weeks was stream of consciousness- there were more formal sounding songs. Both albums are great of course. Van has never had two back to back albums this good again but very few artists have. On the 1001 albums to hear list. Every song is great- two of the made my Van The Man Mount Rushmore of songs- Into The Mystic and Caravan.
- TALK TALK: NATURAL HISTORY: THE VERY BEST OF TALK TALK: 1990: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I liked Talk Talk as a synth-pop band which is what they were for their first three albums. I love the final two experimental albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock-which are experimental-and are termed ‘post-rock.’ With the passing of Mark Hollis I wanted to listen to some Talk Talk and those last two albums are albums that I need to be away from distractions to listen to-and I was walking at the time so I went with their best of. It’s My Life was their most famous song and their version blows away No Doubt’s- but I am glad No Doubt covered it and had a hit with it since it no doubt put some food on the table for the members of Talk Talk.