- THE DOORS: THE DOORS: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I think The Doors are highly overrated as far as their entire career goes-but I will give credit where it is due and their first album is one of the great debuts. The most famous song from the album and the most famous song by The Doors- Light My Fire went to #1- the album went to #2 on the album charts- Light My Fire is a song I am tired of hearing but I never get tired of Break On Through To The Other Side, Soul Kitchen, Crystal Ship or The End. They made three 5 star albums and 3 mediocre overrated ones.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: DEVILS AND DUST: 2004: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Bruce’s third acoustic album- following Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad. After The Rising put him back on top- Devils and Dust debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts. Most of the songs on the album had been written long before. The album received five Grammy nominations. I have always found it amusing how awards like the Grammy’s are slow on the uptake- Bruce has won 20 Grammy’s in his career- the first being in 1981. A lot of his best work was pre-1981. No doubt if he’d release a new studio album this year it would get nominated-no matter the quality of the album.
- CROWDED HOUSE: AFTERGLOW: 1999: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A collection of rarities and outtakes- after the band had as it turned out temporarily broken up. Essential for fans of the group- like myself but the casual fan probably not.
- THE BEATLES: MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Ranked in order of my liking- 1- Strawberry Fields Forever 2- Penny Lane 3-I Am The Walrus 4- All You Need Is Love 5-The Fool On The Hill 6-Baby, You’re A Rich Man 7- Hello, Goodbye 8- Magical Mystery Tour 9-Blue Jay Way 10-Your Mother Should Know 11- Flying.
- THE BAND: THE BAND: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: One of my favorite albums of all time- and one I could listen to over and over and over again-never get tired of this. I don’t even think I could attempt to rank these songs in order of my liking- 12 way tie for first place.
- CAROLE KING: TAPESTRY: 1971: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The most celebrated and best album of the early 70’s singer-songwriter craze. King had been around forever as a songwriter-she started as a teenage in 1958- I have always tended to think of her at this point- as being older but she wasn’t yet thirty years old. The album won four Grammy’s including Best Album and Best Record-and it was all deserved. Every song on this album feels like a classic-that surely was an old standard she was covering- but she had her hand in writing all the songs. Rolling Stone ranked it #36 on their 500 Greatest Albums Ever list. The album sold an incredible 25 million copies. The singles It’s Too Late went to #1, So Far Away #14. If there is one song I don’t care for on the album- Smackwater Jack.
- VAN MORRISON: BEAUTIFUL VISION: 1982: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Cleaning Windows is one of my favorite Van songs- other favorites on this album- Celtic Ray, Dweller On The Threshold, Vanlose Stairway and the title track. An album of Celtic folk with a blending of jazz and of course spiritual themes- which would be common in Van’s 80’s work and well his career. A better album than Common One his previous album.