- GUY CLARK: SOMEDAYS THE SONG WRITES YOU: 2009: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: One of the great things about a Guy Clark album is over the years they were consistently the same- high quality songs, not over produced, solid performances. He wasn’t an artist that had an album a year there could be years in between. It wasn’t because he was living in the studio over producing the record- he just took his time with the songs. I read something comparing Guy and his best friend Townes Van Zandt that seemed to sum them up– Guy was a craftsman, Townes a poet.
- BOBBIE GENTRY: THE GIRL FROM CHICKASAW COUNTY: DISC 4: BOBBIE GENTRY/ GLEN CAMPBELL: 1968. 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This is an really good duet album- Bobbie and Glen sounded good together singing. On another issue- did the record company over expose Bobbie Gentry or what? Her debut album Ode To Billie Joe was released on August 21, 1967- from that album to this duet album released September 16, 1968 she had released three solo albums and this debut album. All are good stuff but too much product out there. No wonder her third album released in August 1968 didn’t chart- it was never given a chance. This duet album was a #1 country album and #11 on the pop album chart- with Glen Campbell at the time burning up the charts himself.
- RAY CHARLES : WHAT’D I SAY: 1959: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Ray’s first gold record and his first Top 10 hit with the title track. The 1950’s were not known for albums but this would be one of the ones from that era to own.
- THE BEATLES: WITH THE BEATLES: 1963: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:
- GLEN CAMPBELL: BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Campbell was a big crossover hit from the country to the pop charts. He had a string of great albums and singles during this period of time. I can see it being called country I guess but they sound more like well crafted pop songs to me. By The Time I Get To Phoenix is one of the great songs of the era- and Isaac Hayes even takes it further with his version but the entire album is excellent which surprised me the first time I listened to it. I was expecting a great song or two and filler like a lot of country from the 60’s.
- VAN MORRISON: INTO THE MUSIC: 1979: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: One of my favorite Van albums. My Van Mt. Rushmore how about Astral Weeks/ Moondance/ Veedon Fleece/ Into The Music.
- FRANK SINATRA: STRANGER IN THE NIGHT: 1966: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Sinatra’s Capitol years were pretty flawless- the 50’s and early 60’s- as Sinatra formed his own label- he became inconsistent. This is by no means a bad album but its has its hit and miss moments. Sinatra himself didn’t care for Strangers In The Night- the song- which became one of his signature songs- and I can take it or leave it. Summer Wind a much better single. A weak moment on this his version of “Downtown.’
- JAMES TAYLOR: JT: 1977: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A pretty solid album and this marked the end of his days as a big hit single maker- Handyman #4 and “Your Smiling Face #20–after that he has only had 2 Top 40 hits. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Album but lost out to Fleetwood Mac Rumours. This is his best selling album at 3.5 million copies. Some good album tracks too like Traffic Jam and Bartender’s Blues. I am not a big Taylor fan- but this is a good pop album.
- GLEN CAMPBELL: WICHITA LINEMAN: 1968: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The single “Wichita Lineman” written by Jimmy Webb would rank in my all time Top 10 singles list I believe. On my Ipod I have a playlist which consists of only three songs- three Campbell doing Jimmy Webb- By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Galveston, and Wichita Lineman- I listen to it often. This is in the lines of By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Galveston albums- great late 60’s pop music that somehow were hits on the country charts too.
- THE CARPENTERS: SINGLES: 1969-73: 1973: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: This greatest hits package that went to #1- had a dozen hits on it up to 1973- a month or so ago I listened to a 2 CD package straight through which was much to much to digest at one time with 40 songs . This was a more enjoyable experience.
- STEVE MILLER BAND: FLY LIKE AN EAGLE: 1976: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I have always been fine with hearing Steve Miller on the radio- until a couple weeks ago I had never actually owned a Miller Cd or album or cassette. When I saw this for $1 and it was in excellent shape I had to buy it. It hasn’t turned me into a Steve Miller fanatic but its a good album. This was during his hey-day the mid 70’s Fly Like An Eagle, Take The Money And Run and Rock N Me were all big hits and if I turned on the local classic rock station today and listened all day no doubt I’d hear one of these songs. He should have stayed away from covering Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” on this album though.