- SKIP SPENCE: OAR: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Spence was a veteran of the SF music scene of the late 60’s he was a co-founder of Moby Grape, a guitarist in Quicksilver Messenger Service and a drummer for Jefferson Airplane. This was his only solo album- and he played all the instruments and recorded it in seven days. Spence was suffering from drug and mental issues- and this album was recorded after his release from a hospital for mental issues. The album has been described as ‘one of the most harrowing documents of pain and confusion ever made.” In 1999 a tribute album would be made More Oar: A Tribute To The Skip Spence Album. Some of the artist on it- Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Beck, Jay Farrar. The tribute album is as outstanding as is this the original.
- VAN MORRISON: SAINT DOMINIC’S PREVIEW: 1972: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van was on a roll. The title track is one of my favorite Van songs ever. It was also the most successful Van album on the album charts until 2008. It’s criminal that Jackie Wilson Said only made it to #61 as a single. Other favorites- Listen To The Lion and Almost Independence Day. A great sounding Van album. Great album cover also.
- MITSKI: BE THE COWBOY: 2018: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Listened to this for the first time yesterday and really liked it- going to play this on a consistent basis I think.
- PHIL OCHS: REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT: 1969: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The events of 1968 left Ochs in a deep depression- on the album cover with the tombstone it has his death listed as 1968 Chicago. His mood was dark and so is the album. The weakest selling album of his lifetime. He would end it all in 1976 at at the age of 35 but many who knew him say he died in Chicago in the summer of 1968. I have a friend who counts Ochs as one of this favorite recording artists. Ochs may have been the target of Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street.”
- ROD STEWART: NEVER A DULL MOMENT: 1972: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Listening to the early 70’s Rod Stewart albums makes you just wonder what happened to this guy? Such a promising start to his career. You Wear It Well is the classic hit from this album but he also does outstanding covers of some of the giants- Dylan’s Mama You’ve Been On My Mind, Jimi’ “Angel” and Sam Cooke “Twisting The Night Away.” The Faces serve as his back up band.
- ROD STEWART: GASOLINE ALLEY: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Stewart’s second album. His debut was good this one ups the bar- it is included in the 1001 albums to hear list. A mixture of originals and covers- Stewart is a great artist covering others songs. The Faces are all over this recording also which isn’t a bad thing. No hit singles yet for Rod but the album did well- reaching #27. He covers Dylan’s Only A Hobo- and also a highlight is a cover of The Stones hit- It’s All Over Now- other highlights Country Comfort [an Elton song} and Small Faces “My Way Of Giving.”
- VAN MORRISON: HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY: 1973: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Warm Love is the highlight of this album. A decent album but considering the great albums he released in the late 60’s and 70’s it doesn’t quite match up with many of the others. Other favorites on here- Snow In San Anselmo and a cover of the traditional Purple Heather.
- ROD STEWART: AN OLD RAINCOAT WON’T EVER LET YOU DOWN: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Stewart’s debut as a solo artist. In the US the album was called “The Rod Stewart Album.” There were three singles from the album but no hits- a cover of The Stones “Street Fighting Man”, “Dirty Old Town” and “Handbags and Gladrags.” Overall a strong debut. The early Rod albums were good ones for sure.