- PAUL SIMON: PAUL SIMON: 1972: Paul’s solo debut after the ending of Simon and Garfunkel. I like Simon and Garfunkel but overall without a doubt I prefer Paul Simon’s solo work. The three singles on the album were- Mother And Child Reunion #4, Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard #22 and Duncan #52.Other highlights Peace Like A River, Run That Body Down, Everything Put Together Falls Apart and Congratulations. The Dean of Rock Critics Robert Christgau said of the album back then- , “this is the only thing in the universe to make me positively happy in the first two weeks of February 1972.”
- LED ZEPPELIN: PRESENCE: 1976: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This album seems to be the most unheralded and least talked about Zeppelin album. It is also by far my least favorite. 1-Achillies Last Stand 2-For Your Life 3-Nobody’s Fault But Mine 4-Royal Orleans 5- Candy Store Rock 6- Hots On For Nowhere 7-Tea For One.
- GUY CLARK: DUBLIN BLUES:1995: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Steve Earle last week released an album of covers by one of his songwriting mentors -Guy Clark. Thought I would listen to some from the man himself- a great story songwriter who was writing songs until he died a few years ago. I read once where Guy Clark loved do three things- write songs, make guitars and smoke cigarettes and he spent most of this time doing those three things. The Randell Knife that closes this album is his most famous song.
- LED ZEPPELIN: IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR: 1979: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The final Led Zeppelin- there has always seemed to be mixed feelings on this one- It was the first albums of theirs that I bought-before playing catch up. 1- Fool In The Rain 2-In The Evening 3-All My Love 4-Hot Dog 5-I’m Gonna Crawl 6-Southbound Saurez 7-Carouselambra.
- SEX PISTOLS: NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS HERE’S THE SEX PISTOLS: 1977: I love the smell of punk in the afternoon. The most famous punk album and one of the most important albums of all time. Back in high school while everyone seemed to be listening to Boston and Foreigner- my friends Dan, Dale and I were listening to this. Robert Christgau wrote of the album-
“Get this straight: no matter what the chicmongers want to believe, to call this band dangerous is more than a suave existentialist compliment. They mean no good. It won’t do to pass off Rotten’s hatred and disgust as role-playing—the gusto of the performance is too convincing. Which is why this is such an impressive record. The forbidden ideas from which Rotten makes songs take on undeniable truth value, whether one is sympathetic (‘Holidays in the Sun’ is a hysterically frightening vision of global economics) or filled with loathing (‘Bodies,’ an indictment from which Rotten doesn’t altogether exclude himself, is effectively anti-abortion, anti-woman, and anti-sex). These ideas must be dealt with, and can be expected to affect the way fans think and behave. The chief limitation on their power is the music, which can get heavy occasionally, but the only real question is how many American kids might feel the way Rotten does, and where he and they will go next. I wonder—but I also worry.”
- WILLIE NILE: AMERICAN RIDE: 2013: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Willie Nile is a rare recording artist who seems to get better the older he gets. The past decade and half has been his best years-he has released 8 of his 12 albums in the past 14 years- and he is now 70. This album is my favorite of his- a love letter to his New York City. Yesterday I mentioned Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as a contender for my favorite album of this century- this one would be a contender also. The title track reminds me of The City Of New Orleans.