- TALKING HEADS: FEAR OF MUSIC: 1979: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:Talking Heads were great right off the bat with their debut album but they kept getting better- their third album in three years was their best and most innovative yet. Favorites- Life During Wartime, Heaven, Cities, I Zimbra and Cities. Bryne’s vocals and the rhythms of the songs continue to draw me in. When Talking Heads released an album I faithfully bought it even if I hadn’t previous heard a single track. They never let me down. On the 1001 albums to hear list. I wish I had seen them in concert.
- SCOTT WALKER: SCOTT 3: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I always think of Scott Walker- as British- must be because he was much more successful across the pawn than he was in the US. It seemed like he gets regular write ups in the Brit music mags I regularly buy. Scott died today at 76. This album went to #3 on the UK charts- it didn’t chart in his native US. Walker was busy in the late 60’s- with three releases in 1969 alone. File under baroque pop. Ten of the thirteen songs were written by Walker- the final three on the album were by Jacques Brel. Favorites- Copenhagen, Big Louise, We Came Through, Funeral Tango and 30 Century Man.
- TIM BUCKLEY: BLUE AFTERNOON: 1969: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Buckley’s second album released in 1969 the other was Happy Sad. Folk rock with jazz influences though out. I prefer the Happy Sad album but this album has its moments- favorites-Chase The Blues Away, The River and The Train.
- THE BEATLES: PAST MASTERS I: 1988: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Finishing up my 3rd go round this year on The Beatles studio recordings- not putting the songs from either Past Masters album in order- since they were just random singles -b sides as it was.
- THE BEATLES: PAST MASTERS II: 1988: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
- THE BLACK KEYS: TURN BLUE: 2014: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Released 5 years ago it is the most recent release from the band. They did release a single this month- and are going on a tour so I’d figure a new studio album is on its way. Turn Blue would be the first Black Keys album to go to #1.- favorite songs on it- Gotta Get Away, Fever, Turn Blue, Bullet In The Brain, Weight Of Love.
- PROCOL HARUM: A SALTY DOG: 1969:3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The album has its moment-s notably the opening tune- A Salty Dog. The album covers a number of genres- classic rock, blues, R&B, progressive rock. I saw them once in concert many years after their fame- I think it was Procol Harum opening for Jethro Tull- it was a weird evening. I remember the fans at this more than the concert.
- MOONDOG: MOONDOG: 1969: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I must admit to never having heard of Moondog until today- in going over 1969 albums to listen to- this was listed on a long list of best albums from that year. It had been a dozen years since Moondog had released a new album- how to describe his music? Avant-garde- classical? In reading a bit about him- an interesting fella to say the least. From wikipedia entry on him “Hardin lived in New York City from the late 1940s until 1972, and during this time he could often be found on 6th Avenue, between 52nd and 55th Streets, wearing a cloak and a horned helmet sometimes busking or selling music, but often just standing silently on the sidewalk. He was widely recognized as “the Viking of 6th Avenue” by thousands of passersby and residents who weren’t aware of his musical career. Born Louis Hardin- he was blind since the age of 16. I enjoyed the album- glad a stumbled across this.
- TALKING HEADS: REMAIN IN LIGHT: 1980: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 1980 was still the era where releasing four albums in a four year period didn’t seem out of the ordinary. It was in the 1980’s where I think this would change. Remain In Light would be Talking Heads at the peak of their creativeness. I was shocked to see that Once In A Lifetime- wasn’t a hit- didn’t even make the Top 100- the video for the song is one of the most iconic videos ever made- was all over MTV for years- I also am slightly shocked that in their entire career they only had three hits. Remain In Light is the most critically acclaimed Talking Heads album-universal praise. At the end of the decade Rolling Stone- back then a magazine that covered music- ranked it the 4th best album of the decade. On the 1001 albums to hear list.
- TEENAGE FANCLUB: SONGS FROM NORTHERN BRITAIN: 1997: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: If I ever made a list of my favorite 90’s albums I would have to figure this would be near the top. I think it is an album that I love more than the critics did- Rolling Stone which at this point wasn’t covering music the way they once did- they were drifting into covering celebrity- was Brittney Spears around then? They seemed more interested in that sort of thing-anyway- The Stone gave this albums 2 stars. Nick Hornby shares my sentiment though calling it one of his favorite albums in his book 31 Songs. The three members of the band- wrote four songs each on the album.