• DONOVAN: BARABAJAGAL: 1969:  4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Donovan is one of those artists who when you hear his name you think the second half of the 1960’s- he was only 24 when the calendar turned a new decade- the 1970s- but as far as his successful singles go- he never had another hit after 1969. He’s still around- having released albums at a regular rate over the years- 6 years ago being his last one.  The last Donovan album to even skim the lower reaches of the charts was in 1976.

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  • MILES DAVIS: FILLES DE KILIMANJARO: 1969:  4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A transitional album for Davis as he was switching in styles from acoustic to more electric. He was over a year from releasing Bitches Brew- one of the most famous jazz-fusion albums ever.

The cover of the 1969 self-titled debut album by the band Morgen.

  • MORGEN: MORGEN: 1969: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Morgen was just a name on a webpage listing good 1969 albums- I had no idea before listening what it was- turns out to be a psychedelic – garage band from Long Island. While an obscure album-and the only album of their career this is a great listen. How did this somehow manage to not get attention at the time? Was it a record company’s failure to promote? Was it the name of the band? Well worth listening too- I will be going back to this in the near future.


  • THE BYRDS: BALLAD OF EASY RIDER: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Byrds ability to produce hit singles had dried up in 1967- although well known songs from their catalog- Ballad Of Easy Rider only made it to #65 and Jesus Was Just Alright #95. It is considered one of the better later-day albums by the band who would make their last album in 1973.


  • THE IMPRESSIONS: THE YOUNG MODS FORGOTTEN STORY: 1969: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: While there was only one pop hit on this album- Choice of Colors #21 and the songs on the album are not among the most remembered of The Impressions- this is an exceptional album- all the songs were written by Curtis Mayfield- I deducted a half point for the fact the album is only a shade over 25 minutes long.

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  • FRANK ZAPPA: HOT RATS: 1969: 4  1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: An rock instrumental- jazz-fusion album- the album is all instrumental with the exception of Willie The Pimp which features the vocals of the legendary Don Van Vliet- aka Captain Beefheart. This album was a change up for Zappa who up to this time had never recording anything like this. The album is on the 1001 albums to hear before you die list. Standout track-the lead off cut Peaches en Regalia.

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  • THE CARPENTERS: CARPENTERS GOLD: 35TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION: 2004:5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS : A double album containing about anything you would ever wish to hear of The Carpenters. They had 20 Top 40 hits in their career- 12 reaching the Top 10 and 3 #1’s Close To You, Ticket To Ride and Please Mr. Postman. Most of their singles success came in the first half of the 70’s- at the time they were riding high- they were considered about as square as it comes but after Karen’s untimely passing there seemed to be a reevaluation- I think a turning point was the tribute album which came out in 1994 where a number of alternative rockers paid their tribute- the likes of Beck, The Cranberries, Sheryl Crow, Matthew Sweet, Cracker etc. Karen Carpenter did have a wonderful voice. They were very good at picking out material to cover- I would have advised them to stay clear of the Hank -Jambalaya {On The Bayou} cover though boy is that awful.


  1. The Carpenters have their own special niche in the music world. Not usually my cup of tea beyond catching in the car on the radio, nonetheless their music always brings a smile and a touch of sadness with it.

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