- NEIL YOUNG: FREEDOM: 1989: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: In the weaning months of the 80’s Neil releases his best album of the decade and best since Rust Never Sleeps. He had left Geffen and had returned to his old label Reprise. I wonder what David Geffen thought when this came out? Now he does a Neil Young album! Neil even bookends the opener and closer- Rockin’ In The Free World- an acoustic opening a rock closing like he did My My Hey Hey on Rust Never Sleeps. Other favorites Crime In The City, No More, Don’t Cry, a cover of On Broadway. Neil wins the Comeback of the Year Award.
- MITSKI:RETIRED FROM SAD, NEW CAREER IN BUSINESS: 2013: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Mitski’s first two albums were self-released. Piano based- my favorite song on the album is Strawberry Blond. Other favorites- Square, Shame and the opener Goodbye, My Danish Sweetheart. An impressive young songwriter.
- CHARLIE RICH: THE FABULOUS CHARLIE RICH: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I am a big Charlie Rich fan- when I said that to a friend of mine years ago he associated Charlie Rich with only those two big 70’s easy listening hits- Behind Closed Doors and The Most Beautiful Girl. No! Not that Charlie Rich- I am glad he had great success there towards the end of his career but the best of Charlie Rich was before that- for the most part. His wife Margaret wrote the best song on this album- “Life’s Little Ups and Downs” and in reading about Charlie’s life he sure had his share of ups and downs. Also- yesterday I chose The Oak Ridge Boys “Elvira” as a worse hit- a song written by Dallas Frazier- Dallas wrote a song on here also-Love Waits For Me.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN:GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NJ: 1973: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Ok I said last week that I wasn’t going to start any more of these from start to end artist discography listens until I finish up on the ones I am currently doing- well since I listened to Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town yesterday why not go back and start Bruce- this is his first album- his songs here are kind of wordy- but it sure does show potential. If I had heard this when it came out I like to think I would have thought- this is an artist to keep an eye on. Blinded By The Light would later be a #1 hit by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band- [talk about a wordy song} a good collection of songs- save Mary Queen of Arkansas which is kind of an embarrassment. Favorite song here is Growin’ Up.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: THE WILD, THE INNOCENT AND THE E-STREET SHUFFLE: 1973: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A good friend of mine saw Bruce in 1973 at a small venue- his first two album were released in 1973–and to this day this is the Bruce he likes. He doesn’t care for what came later- he tells me the Bruce on this album is who he really thinks Bruce is- that the rest -the working class hero stuff is for the most part a pose. I don’t know about all that- I do think this album is a good snap shot of where Bruce was at the time. No doubt in 1973 he could walk down the street in any American city unnoticed- that would soon change. The other day I said the first two Bruce albums were ‘doubles off the wall” in comparison to Born to Run being a tape measured home run. Truth is I don’t really care much for this album as a whole and its not because I haven’t listened to them dozens upon dozens of times over the years. 4th of July, Asbury Park and Rosalita I like the rest I can do without especially the nearly 10 minute closer New York Serenade- which to many is the centerpiece of the album.
- FRANK SINATRA: MY WAY: 1969: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The title track of course is Sinatra’s signature song [ he hated the song} Frank goes contemporary here with covers of The Beatles Yesterday, Simon And Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson [he kind of improvises on the lyrics here} For Once In My Life which had been a hit for Stevie Wonder. Not a bad album at all-
- JOHN MAYALL: THE TURNING POINT: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: a live album recorded at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. British blues. I am familiar with Mayall-he is still around at 85- but not all that familiar with his albums- this is a pretty good one. Mayall around this point had suggested a guitarist in his band Mick Taylor to Mick Jagger as a potential replacement for Brian Jones so Mick Taylor had gone off to London and was jamming with The Stones.