- NILSSON: GREATEST HITS: 1978: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Deducted half a star because there are better alternatives out there now- this issued in the era of vinyl albums had 12 songs – certainly you will need more Nilsson than this. Nilsson was not only a great singer- and what a voice before he destroyed it- but an outstanding songwriter- his two most famous hits of course were written by others- Everybody’s Talkin’ and Without You.
- THE BEATLES: RUBBER SOUL: 1965: If I were going to introduce someone to the magic of The Beatles -someone who had never heard of The Beatles-this would be the album I would select to get them hooked.
- JOAN ARMATRADING: THE KEY: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Drop The Pilot was a Top 10 hit in the UK one of her biggest hits, Foolish Pride and I Love It When You Call Me Names are standouts. Guitar wiz Adrian Belew is featured on this album. Joan is still out there making albums and doing concerts but I haven’t heard her name in years.
- LOU REED: GROWING UP IN PUBLIC: 1980: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Lou Reed once made the statement that his album are like a chapter in a book. In looking back on his career this is a transitional album – a song of personal songs that would set the tone for his next two albums-which were much better- the exceptional Blue Mask- and Legendary Hearts.
- RAY CHARLES: GENIUS & SOUL: DISC 4: 1999: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Disc 4 of the 5 disc retrospective on Ray Charles, one of the greatest recording artists of the 20th century.
- LYNYRD SKYNYRD: STREET SURVIVORS: 1977: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The album was released three days before the tragic accident that took the life of frontman Ronnie Van Zant and band members Steve and Cassie Gaines. To me this ended Lynyrd Skynyrd. What’s Your Name was a hit- and That Smell- makes me think of carnivals every time I hear it. Other notable songs-You Got That Right and I Know A Little.
- RICHARD AND LINDA THOMPSON: SHOOT OUT OUT THE LIGHTS: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Their 6th and final Richard and Linda Thompson album before they broke up- is an exceptional one. There are critics who say it is Richard’s finest work- he has had a long and artistically successful career – I would rank it up there with the first album they did together “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” At the time none of the Richard and Linda albums even appeared on the charts. The albums songs deal with their failing relationship.