- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: THE RISING: 2002: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Bruce’s first album in seven years and his first with the E-Street Band since Born In The USA in 1984. The reunion was long overdue. This is Springsteen’s best album post Tunnel Of Love. The album was heavily influenced by 9-11 and its aftermath. Of all the music that was ‘inspired’ by 9-11 this is probably the best. A few of the songs were written before 9-11 but most of the songs seem themed on it. It was also a return to the top of the charts #1 album the first week of release. The critics also loved it. Long album coming it at over 72 minutes.
- CROWDED HOUSE: TEMPLE OF LOW MEN: 1988: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Their second album is darker than the first- and wasn’t as big of a hit in the US- and no hit singles. The song writing is stronger overall on this album-highlights- Better Be Home Soon, When You Come, Into Temptation, I Feel Possessed.
- CROWDED HOUSE: WOODFACE: 1991: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another strong album from Neil Finn and the boys- on this album brother Tim joins the group. A strong set of songs- there were five singles but none made any impact in the US- after the success of the first album it is a bit curious as to why they fell off commercially- the material is certainly strong. Chocolate Cake, Fall At Your Feet, Weather With You, Four Seasons In One Day, It’s Only Natural all sound like hits to me.
- VAN MORRISON: COMMON ONE: 1980: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I was nineteen when this album came out I gave it a few turns on the turntable and dismissed it. My 19 year old self certainly wasn’t patient enough for this album- six songs a couple of them super long- Summertime In England and When Heart Is Open are both over 15 minutes in length. It took a few decades but I eventually ‘got’ the album. I wasn’t alone a lot of the critics at the time of its release hated it- one exception was the late great Lester Bangs. Not my favorite Van by any means -it requires patience but better than first thought.
- THE BEATLES: SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND: 1967: The Sgt. Pepper songs from best to least favorite-1- A Day In The Life 2-Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3-With A Little Help From My Friends 4-Good Morning, Good Morning 5- Getting Better 6-Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 7-Fixing A Hole 8-Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite 9- Sgt. Pepper [reprise} 10-She’s Leaving Home 11-Within You Without You 12-When I’m Sixty-Four 13-Lovely Rita.
- CROWDED HOUSE: TOGETHER ALONE: 1993: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This would be the last Crowded House for 14 long years. My favorite ever CH song -Distant Sun is one this one- I can’t see why this wasn’t a #1 hit everywhere. There were seven singles from this album and none made even a small splash in the US-Distant Sun, Nails In My Feet, Locked Out, Fingers Of Love, Pineapple Head, Private Universe and Together Alone. The album only went to #73 in the US. Tim Finn who joined the group on the last album Woodface was gone for this one.