• THE BYRDS: FIFTH DIMENSION: 1966: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Gene Clark had left the band before the recording of this album and he had been the main songwriter in the group. There were no Dylan songs on this album. Eight Miles High is my favorite song ever by the band. 5D, Mr. Spaceman are standouts. While they didn’t cover any Dylan on this one- they did cover a handful of traditional folk songs competently.

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  • STEELY DAN: COUNTDOWN TO ECSTASY: 1973: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Their second album- a critical success and it went to #35 on the album charts but no hit singles. The best known songs on the album is My Old School and Show Biz Kids. On the debut album the vocals were split up between Donald Fagen and David Palmer-but Palmer now thankfully was gone and it was Fagen singing all the songs. On the list of 1001 albums to hear.

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  • STEVE EARLE : GUY: 2019: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Steve’s tribute to Guy Clark- will be seeing him twice next month and I am sure he will be playing songs from this.  He does a great job covering these songs- hopefully it will put the spotlight on Guy Clark’s music and great songwriting.

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  • GAL COSTA: GAL COSTA: 1969: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I had never heard of Gal Costa- until seeing her album on a list of best albums from 1969- so I listened- and while I have no idea what she is singing- I like it. Costa a Brazilian singer-and this is a tropicalia album which was going strong at that time.

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  • PETER GABRIEL: PETER GABRIEL II :SCRATCH: 1980: 4 1/2  STARS OUT OF 5 STARS- On The Air, D.I.Y,  The Mother of Violence, A Wonderful Day In A One Way World are standouts- produced by Robert Fripp. Looking reviews over I seem to like this album more than the critics did at the time.

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  • PETER GABRIEL: PETER GABRIEL III: MELT: 1980: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Gabriel’s strongest solo album to that date- Games Without Frontiers was a hit single in the UK while missing the Top 40 in the US. Biko is one of my favorite Gabriel songs, No Self Control, Family Snapshot, I Don’t Remember and Intruder are other favorites on this album. I bought the first three Peter Gabriel albums on the same day- and played them to death for a few weeks. I can’t remember what turned me on to his music. On the list of 1001 albums to hear.


  • PETE TOWNSHEND: EMPTY GLASS: 1980: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This album marked to me- the sign that my sister had some hope musically. Up to this point there was nothing in my 13 year old sisters record collection that gave me any hope for her. My younger brother had caught on to good music early on- but my sister seemed hopeless. One day I saw this album sitting in her room- and that seemed to be a turning point for her musically. Of course I must admit that I adopted the album and it has been in my collection now for nearly forty years. The songs on side 1 much stronger than on side 2-Rough Boys, I Am An Animal, And I Moved, Let My Love Open The Door, Jools and Jim- the entire first side I love- on side 2-A Little Is Enough and Empty Glass. This was Pete solo material I couldn’t see Roger Daltrey singing some of these lyrics.


  • THE POLICE: OUTLANDOS D’AMOUR: 1978: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: With their debut album- where do you put these guys? They were out of England and the singer went by the name Sting- but this certainly wasn’t punk. Roxanne was a minor hit in the US- and that would have been the first song of theirs I heard. It had a little reggae sound to it. File under New Wave. Can’t Stand Losing You, Roxanne, So Lonely, and Next To You my favorites on this album. At the time of release the album received mixed reviews- but it is now considered one of the best debut albums ever.


  • THE POLICE: REGGATTA DE BLANC: 1979: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I like the debut album more- I think I am in a minority. This isn’t a bad record though. The single Message In A Bottle went to #1 in the UK but only #74 in the US. Walking On The Moon another #1 in the UK it didn’t even chart in the US. What’s with that? Other highlights- This Beds Too Big Without You and Bring On The Night. On the 1001 albums to hear list.


  1. Thanks, Hans. Speaking as a huge Byrds fan, Fifth Dimension is certainly not a great album, but it’s very interesting to see the Byrds break out from their “folk-rock” mold into all kinds of innovative forms: raga rock, jazz rock, country rock, psychedelia, etc. Yes, Eight Miles High was an absolute stunner. Contemporaries of the Byrds were amazed by this “experimental” piece.

    Below is a link to a handy summary of all of my reviews of the Byrds’ albums.

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