• GEORGE HARRISON: DARK HORSE: 1974: 2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: George should have just pulled back- got himself together and healthy before recording this one. He was going through one of the worst periods of his life- his wife had left him for Eric Clapton- and while he always says he was cool with that- at the time he really wasn’t. He was looking awful- like The Thin White Beatle- due to brandy and cocaine. The album could have been titled Dark Hoarse- due to his voice being shot from laryngitis. The lyrics are depressing and in cases downright mean. One gem on the album which would have been a great song had he just cooled it and let his voice recover is the title track- Dark Horse.  The album did well  in the US #4 due to the momentum from his first two post- Beatle albums- but it didn’t even chart in the UK. George was really at his low point. If you saw 100 pictures of George that covered his life it would be easy to pick out the ones from this period. He looked like he sounded- awful.

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  • VAN MORRISON: BACK ON TOP: 1999: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Van finishes the 90’s off with one of his best albums of the period. His voice sounds as great as ever. Favorite songs- Precious Time, Philosopher’s Stone, Back On Top, Goin’ Down Geneva and When The Leaves Come Falling Down- a few years ago when former Raiders QB Ken Stabler was dying the songs playing were Sweet Home Alabama and When The Leaves Come Falling Down.

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  • STEVE EARLE: I FEEL ALRIGHT: 1996: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Steve’s first album back after drug addiction and prison- was the low keyed Train A Comin’- recorded with ace bluegrass musicians- this one was a much higher profile album- and back to a bigger sound. Favorites- The title track, Hard Core Troubadour, the Beatlesque  More Than I Can Do,  Now She’s Gone and CCKMP although every song is stellar. Steve was back.

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  • STEVE EARLE: EL CORAZON: 1997: 5  STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Steve making up for the time he lost in the first part of the 90’s- his way of dealing with recovery from drug addition was keeping busy- writing songs, recording albums, producing albums by others and touring. For a period it was an album a year in an era where this was no longer common. Christmas In Washington, Taneytown, Telephone Road, N.Y.C, Here I Am and Fort Worth Blues among the many highlights.

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  • GEORGE JONES AND TAMMY WYNETTE: TOGETHER AGAIN: 1980: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: My wife’s grandmother passed away a couple years ago-and she was a big country music fan [for the most part good country music not the slop that passes for it today} and she just loved Ole George Jones. Last month my wife came back from visiting her months with a box full of vinyl albums for me that her grandmother had owned. She certainly liked the duet albums- a lot of George and Tammy, Conway and Loretta and Porter and Dolly in her collection. This album was the 8th album of George and Tammy together-their marriage had ended in 1975.George was going through some rough times- It is probably a miracle he lived thought this period. It wasn’t his idea to be working with Tammy so soon after their marriage ended- he hated it but the record company wanted it. This album certainly doesn’t have the spark that the earlier George and Tammy albums had.

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  • GEORGE JONES: I AM WHAT I AM: 1980: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: George was at a low point as the 80’s arrived- he hadn’t had a country #1 for 6 years, he was battling alcohol and drug problems- not showing up for concerts “No Show Jones” and then he had the biggest hit of his career- and what come consider the quintessential country song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” which spent and incredible 18 weeks at the top of the country singles charts. George was back and the album with that single is fantastic also. I’m Not Ready Yet went to #2 and another song that sure sounded autobiographical- although he didn’t write it “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me {Her Memory Will} #8.

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  • ROGER MILLER: THE 3rd TIME AROUND: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I recently came across a half dozen Roger Miller 1960’s albums for .94 each- all in perfect condition-  I love Roger Miller I went through all the albums looking for more.. I have the box set that came out 20 or so years ago- have always wanted the individual albums- Some classics on this one- Engine Engine #9, Kansas City Star, Big Harlan Taylor, The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me. Miller was at his peak in the 60’s all the songs on this album he wrote- while he could over songs with the best of them- I like the songs he wrote the best.

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  • ROGER MILLER: THE RETURN OF ROGER MILLER: 1965: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This album features Miller’s signature song- King Of The Road which went #1 country and #4 on the Billboard Pop Hot 100.  Do Wacka- Do was a country hit, You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd. Again as with his 3rd album listed above Miller wrote all the songs. What a great songwriter he was. A very fresh sounding album full of energy.

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  • HERB ALBERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS: GREATEST HITS: 1970: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A dozen instrumental hits- in most cases I know the music but not the titles- Albert is the only artist to ever have a #1 hit instrumental and vocal. I am not a huge fan but got it out of the .94 rack- a nice listen.

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  • ROGER MILLER: THE ONE AND ONLY ROGER MILLER: 1965: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Only 22 minutes long this was a cash in by the record company- releasing material Miller had recorded but not released prior to his hitting it big. Interesting stuff but Miller wasn’t quite there yet when he recorded these songs.

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  • ROGER MILLER: WILD CHILD: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: As with the above- a record company cash in on material Miller had recorded before King Of The Road- he only wrote 4 of the dozen songs on here. Worth having if you are a Miller fan but The One And Only Roger Miller and Wild Child are more curiosities than great Roger Miller albums. The cheap looking cover kind of says it all.

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  • ROGER MILLER: 1970: 1970: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This is Miller as interpreter- he only wrote one of the songs on this album- and it has no Miller big hits on it but is a fine album nevertheless. His Me and Bobby McGee was the first version of the song released- and of course it isn’t Janis’s version but it’s excellent in hits own way. He picked great songs to cover- and while I prefer the Miller originals- this is a very solid album.

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  • GLEN CAMPBELL: BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX: 1967: This album became the first country album to win the Grammy Award for Best Album- for 1968. It certainly wasn’t the best album of that year but it is an outstanding album. Glen was can’t miss in the late 60’s early 70’s- the single By The Time I Get To Phoenix also won him a couple more Grammy’s. The album seems short by today’s standards but not a second is wasted. By The Time I Went To Phoenix was written by the great Jimmy Webb who would also write future Campbell classics- Wichita Lineman and Galveston.


  1. So much good listening! That’s funny about George Jones not wanting to record with Tammy, not funny then, but funny looking back. You lucked out on the Jones and Miller albums. Love both of those guys.

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