- THE SMITHEREENS: MEET THE SMITHEREENS: 2007: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: From the first Smithereens album in the early 1980’s it was clear they were fans of The Beatles- here they record the first American Beatles album- Meet The Beatles-was it something that was necessary? No but it’s a fun listen. Only drawback is it clocks in at well under a half hour- as the original did.
- THE SMITHEREENS: B-SIDES THE BEATLES: 2008: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Again Smithereens- record Beatles b-sides- they are faithful to the recordings- this isn’t them talking Beatles songs and going off on their own with them. Not something I’d listen to often but again- like the above a fun listen once in a while.
- HERBIE MANN: MEMPHIS UNDERGROUND: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I think it was in one of my favorite books ever- Hunter Thompson’s: Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail’ ’72” he mentions having this album playing- and cranked up while he was taking a bath and stoned out of his mind. It is a pretty entertaining jazz fusion album. Glad I finally gave it a listen.
- JACKSON 5: DIANA ROSS PRESENTS THE JACKSON 5: 1969: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Miss Ross gets the credit for ‘discovering’ the Jackson 5-where I understand it was actually Gladys Knight- I guess the perks go to the one sleeping with the boss. I Want You Back is a fantastic single- the best the Jackson 5 ever did. It is somewhat annoying to me that at Motown they would it seemed have their different artists covering the same songs. Also the Jackson 5 covering Sly and The Family Stones “Stand’- give me a break.
- KOKO TAYLOR: KOKO TAYLOR: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Queen Of The Blues- I saw her at a Blues Festival once- she came out and sang a few songs- like a lot of the Chicago Blues stars- born down south and moved to Chicago. The great blues songwriter- producer Willie Dixon produced this- he is the person who discovered her. She could belt out a song- strong, powerful voice. Pretty good album-her second.
- THE BEATLES: ANTHOLOGY 2: DISCS 1 AND 2: 1996: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The second anthology covers the period from Help! until February 1968 prior to The Beatles trip to India. Much more satisfying than the first anthology- the outtakes, rarities and live material sound a lot better- of course there was only so much that could be done with some of the recordings on Anthology I. Anthology I had some important recordings historically speaking- 2- sounds better and is more interesting- what I like is the studio outtakes.
- THE BEATLES: ANTHOLOGY 3: DISCS 1 AND 2: 1996: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The final volume in the Anthology series picks up with The Beatles going to India and recording the White Album and ends at the end of the group. A lot of great outtakes. I think this is the best and most interesting of the three. Of course I would like to hear every second of recorded Beatles material- wouldn’t it be great if all of it were somehow released.
- LEO KOTTKE: 6 AND 12 STRING GUITAR: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Kottke’s debut album- 14 songs-37 minutes -no singing just acoustic guitar playing. My wife loves this kind of stuff- when I was listening to it in the other room she within 3 minutes came in and asked who I was listening to. She was liking it. The man can play guitar and its a relaxing album to listen to.