- GUY CLARK: GUY CLARK: 1978: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: After the first two Guy Clark albums this one is a little disappointing. The root of the disappointment is on a Guy Clark album you want to hear Guy Clark songs on this one four of the ten songs are covers.
- TOWNES VAN ZANDT: OUR MOTHER THE MOUNTAIN: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: After releasing his debut in 1968 he would release two in 1969- this is considered by many as his best studio album. Be Here To Love Me, Kathleen, Tecumseh Valley, Snake Mountain Blues, St. John The Gambler and Our Mother The Mountain my favorites.
- PAUL MCCARTNEY: MCCARTNEY II: 1980: 2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Ten years after his DIY solo debut- he was back in the studio by himself- having dumped Wings. A heavy use of synthesizers mar this album. Coming Up went to #2 on the singles chart but its certainly among the best singles of his career. Favorites-Temporary Secretary and Waterfalls .
- DION: THE BEST OF DION: 2001: 2 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The problem here is 10 songs in less than 27 minutes. Dion had more hits than 10 and a CD holds more than 27 minutes. The album was put out in 2001 not 1967 when there were space limitations on a vinyl album.
- PAUL SIMON: SURPRISE: 2006: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: After what many considered a couple lackluster albums Paul as back with a critical favorite, received a Grammy nomination for Best Album and also a commercial success going to #14 on the album chart. He brought in Brian Eno to help on electronics and Eno co-wrote 3 of the songs.
- PAUL SIMON: SO BEAUTIFUL OR SO WHAT: 2011: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Surprise was a strong comeback- So Beautiful Or So What was even better. Musically his most interesting album since Graceland and maybe his best album since Graceland 25 years earlier. He brought back his old producer Phil Ramone for this one. . I don’t think there is a song on this album that I don’t like.
- MARSHALL CRENSHAW: MARSHALL CRENSHAW: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: 1982: If I listed my 100 favorite albums this would certainly be on it. Crenshaw’s debut- the version I am listening to today is the CD version with the extras on it-including a b-side that wasn’t on the album but I feel is his greatest song- “You’re My Favorite Waste Of Time.”- At least to my ears Crenshaw has never approached this album since- but the standard was set high.
- IRIS DEMENT: INFAMOUS ANGEL: 1992: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The debut album of country singer -songwriter Iris Dement- I can’t recall where I heard about it maybe in a record review – so I went out and bought it and as blown away by her voice and her songwriting. She came back the following year with another album but since then there have been only 4 albums in 25 years which is kind of disappointing. Favorite here- Let The Mystery Be, Our Town, Infamous Angel, These Hills and After You’ve Gone.
- PAUL SIMON: STRANGER TO STRANGER: 2016: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another strong late career album by Simon. The Werewolf, Wristband, The Riverbank, Stranger To Stranger and Proof of Love among my favorites. The last three Simon albums- Surprise, So Beautiful Or So What- and Stranger To Stranger are all excellent what a way to finish a career. He did release one more album that I will get to tomorrow-In The Blue Light- but it is an album of re-recordings of past songs from his catalog. He has supposedly now retired after a farewell tour last year.