- B.B. KING: COMPLETELY WELL: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Features his biggest hit single “The Thrill Is Gone” his signature song. The album was a commercial break through for B.B. who co-wrote six of the eight songs on the album. B.B’s voice is at its peak on this Completely Well. I was lucky enough to see him in concert once.
- JACK BRUCE: SONGS FOR A TAILOR: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Bruce’s solo debut album after the break-up of Cream the year before. Theme For An Imaginary Western, To Isengard. The Clearout and Weird Of Hermiston favorite songs on the album. The title was in tribute to Jeannine Franklyn a clothing designer- and girlfriend of Richard Thompson’s who was killed in a car accident a few months before the album was released.
- THE CLASH: COMBAT ROCK: 1982: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The 5th and final album by The Clash with their classic line-up intact. It was the highest charting album they had in the US- #7 and they had their biggest US hit with the single Rock The Casbah. The album is uneven. Side 1 much stronger than side 2. As with Sandinista an album of diverse styles. I saw them in concert the summer after this album was released. One night Elvis Costello- the next night The Clash- at the same venue. It will never get better than that.
- THE BEATLES: ABBEY ROAD: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The final Beatles album that was recorded. In rating the closers while The End is the perfect ending to the last Beatles album- it would be the 8th out of 12 Beatles closers.
- WARREN ZEVON: SENTIMENTAL HYGIENE: 1987: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: After a 5 year lay off between records I was starting to wonder would we ever hear from Zevon again- and then he was back with this fine record. The title track, Trouble Waiting To Happen [now there is a perfect title for a Zevon song/ his life} Reconsider Me, Detox Mansion, Bad Karma and his Even A Dog Can Shake Hands [written with 3 of the REM boys} are favorites. Buck, Berry and Mills from REM would also record an album not long afterwards as Hindu Love Gods [which has a knockout version of Prince’s Raspberry Beret}
- THE BEATLES: PAST MASTERS: I: 1988: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: In going through The Beatles catalog again- the Past Masters are singles and b-sides which didn’t make the regular studio albums- some of the best of The Beatles are on the two CD’s.
- WARREN ZEVON: TRANSVERSE CITY: 1989: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The album was inspired by William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels. Side 1 especially feels like a futuristic nightmare concept album. Transverse City, Run Straight Down, The Long Arm Of The Law and the brilliant Turbulence which follows a Soviet soldier in Afghanistan star the album off and are all highlights- On side 2 one of my favorite Zevon tunes-Splendid Isolation, Gridlock and the closer Nobody’s In Love This Year are all first rate.
- THE BEATLES: LET IT BE: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The final released Beatles album- I am excited about the project that Peter Jackson has been hired to do- making a new documentary out of the Let It Be footage. Get Back the closer- I’d rank as the 5th best Beatles closer. Next time I go through The Beatles catalog- probably in the very near future I will rank in order of greatness each song on each album. I kinda like these boys.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: BORN TO RUN: 1975: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Bruce’s 3rd and most famous album- his break though- he certainly showed great potential on the first two albums- a couple doubles off the wall but with Born To Run he hits a tape measure home run. The two side openers- Thunder Road and Born To Run remain two of his most famous songs. The songs that end both sides-are epics- Backstreets and Jungleland. On the 1001 albums to hear list.