- NEIL YOUNG: SILVER & GOLD: 2000: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I didn’t care for his previous album Broken Arrow but Silver & old is a throwback album- sounds like it could have come out of Neil in the early 70’s- except the songs aren’t as good as he was writing back then. The title track had been something Neil had been working on for twenty years! There was a four year gap between studio albums which for Neil Young is forever- he is famous for recording quickly and often. Maybe the break was a good idea. Not a masterpiece by any means but a batch of decent songs.
- FAIRPORT CONVENTION: WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAYS: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The first of three albums Fairport Convention would release in the year 1969. It was their second album- their first with Sandy Denny which was a key addition. Fotheringay , Meet On The Ledge, She Moves Through The Fair, a cover of a Joni Mitchell song Eastern Rain and Dylan’s I’ll Keep It With Mine are highlights.
- THE HOLLIES: THE HOLLIES SING DYLAN: 1969: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Graham Nash had left the group to join Crosby and Stills- before they recorded this album of Dylan covers. A competent recording but The Hollies are not the best interpreter of Mr. Dylan. They seem want to make every song cheery.
- MADONNA: THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION: 1990: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I am not a Madonna albums fan- but I do love her singles and this first collection collects 17 singles from the 80s which was far and away her greatest decade. A fun listen a few times each year. One of the best if not the best singles artist in the 80’s.
- MADONNA: GHV2: 2001: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The second greatest hits collection from Madonna- over a decade after the first one. A mixed bag- I love half the songs on here and the other have I can do without. She had clearly slipped. And 18 years later there is really no need for a third greatest hits compilation. I read recently where on her next album she will have some contemporary artists involved in an effort to remain relevant. I don’t see it being a big success but then again she has gone far on average skills and excellent self promotion skills for over thirty years.
- JOHN COLTRANE: A LOVE SUPREME: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: One of the most famous jazz albums ever and one of the greatest albums ever period- and Coltrane’s most famous. Recorded in one session.
- THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS: ALL OF THIS AND NOTHING: 1988: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I saw the Furs a few years ago- and I see they are coming back around soon. This greatest hits album with 14 songs is probably all the average fan would need. They haven’t made a new album in 28 years. Some great songs here-President Gas, All That Money Wants, Love My Way, Pretty In Pink, The Ghost In You, Heaven, Heartbreak Beat.
- THE POLICE: SYNCHRONICITY: 1983: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My favorite 80’s music comes from the first half of the decade and when I think of the landmark albums that were released at the time- for some reason the last one I think of is The Police’s final album Synchronicity. It was their most popular and my favorite album of theirs. The album went to #1 and sold 8 million copies and for a brief period of time The Police were billed as the greatest band in the world- a title that U2 would take. Every Breath You Take-went to #1 and has to be on the short list of the greatest singles from the 80s. King Of Pain went to #3, Synchronicity II went to #16 and Wrapped Around Your Finger #8. Great album from start to finish. I was a big fan of The Police- Sting as a solo artist- hit and miss. Synchronicity has to be on the list for greatest final albums- although I don’t think it was meant to be at the time of release.