Billy Joel - Glass Houses.jpg

  • BILLY JOEL: GLASS HOUSES: 1980: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I like my Joel more on the pop side. This in some ways is his rock album-I think some of the non-hits on here are better than the singles- although I can understand why the singles were hits. “You May Be Right” and “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” sound like roller skating music. My favorite cuts on this are- Sleeping With The Television On, All For Leyna, Sometimes A Fantasy and Don’t Ask Me Why.

The Complete Buddy Holly (Vinyl, LP, Compilation) album cover

  • BUDDY HOLLY: THE COMPLETE BUDDY HOLLY: DISC 1:  WESTERN BOP: LUBBOCK, TEXAS: 1979: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Becoming a Beatles fan in the mid 1970’s opened me up to a lot of other good music. I would read whatever I could on The Beatles and would search for music by the artists they liked/ were influenced by. Looking over records one day at the National Record Mart I came across six album box [in the days before box sets were numerous or popular} The Complete Buddy Holly for $25. I didn’t have much more in my pocket but I knew right away I needed to have this. 40 years later I am still enjoying it. The albums go in order- the first is his first recordings- the 5 stars go for the entire box. The first album is good but feels more like an historical album- Buddy’s first- than it is great. But he would get great quickly.

The Best of Bread.jpg

  • BREAD: THE BEST OF BREAD: 1973: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS:  Soft rock for certain-bordering at times on Wimp Rock-[ Diary, If}  truth be told they were better at the soft rock than when they try to rock and roll a little bit- their faster stuff doesn’t sound very good. They must have been a group right for their times. The 60’s were over and a lot of people wanted mellower sounds to recover by.

Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection

  • RAY CHARLES GENIUS AND SOUL: DISC 5: 1999: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The 5 stars are for the complete box of 5 discs 102 songs. Truth be told Disc 5- like a lot of box sets when you get to the end- not the artist in his prime. It’s still Ray and worth hearing but the quality isn’t what it once was as his career was winding down. The bar had been set pretty high.


Resume: The Best of Richie Havens

  • RICHIE HAVENS: RESUME: THE BEST OF RICHIE HAVENS: 1993: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: He will always be remembered for Woodstock- where I believe he along with Jim Hendrix stole the show- sorry Sha Na Na fans… how cool could Woodstock have really been when you consider they had Sha Na Na there?  Anyway- all the Richie Havens you’d ever want is here. 17 songs- favorites- his version of “Here Comes The Sun”, “Freedom”, High Flyin’ Bird’, “Handsome Johnny.”


  1. I’m really embarrassed to admit this but when “Don’t Ask Me Why” off of Glass Houses came out as a single and when I heard it on the radio…at first I thought it was Paul McCartney. I was only 13 but still.

    • It does have a McCartney-ish sound to it. There are a few times I’ve heard a song out of nowhere and didn’t know who it was- and thought it sounded like Paul.

    • I think Joel is and admirer and student of both Lennon and McCartney. Notice his use of sax like Lennon did and his melodic lines like McCartney. One Lennon biographer wrote that John once exclaimed, while sailing with his son Sean by the waterfront house of Billy Joel: “Billy, I got all your records!”

    • That is a great story! Yes what made it funny I called a radio station and asked for the McCartney song with “parlez vous francais” in the lyrics. They finally set me straight.

    • I’ve read Shout! many years ago and Ray Coleman’s bio on Lennon…I’m not sure I’ve read that one.
      That is a great anecdote.

  2. Bread basically had one guy who did mainly ballads and one bluesy rock guy. But David Gates’ Mother Freedom is a better rock song than any of Griffin’s numerous attempts that I’ve heard.

    • Those ballads were successful. Mother Freedom was on the Best of…. the best ‘rock’ type song they had that I’ve heard…. Diary -has to be a WIMP anthem.

    • I have a two disc anthology- I should maybe go and review their albums on Spotify sometime since I know most of their stuff. Griffin said that he wrote tougher stuff to balance out all of Gates’ wuss pop, but his best songs are also ballads – ‘For All We Know’, which Bread didn’t record but which was a hit for The Carpenters, and ‘Just Like Yesterday’.

    • I have the two disc anthology also- i have been playing some of my vinyl everyday- and pulled that one out- it was out before their career was over- the anthology is better and more complete… I can’t say I dislike these guys- they just needed some more muscle…

    • Really takes a quality dive with the solo stuff at the end of the second disc right? I think I deleted a bunch of the solo stuff from my ITunes so I don’t need to hear it again.

    • Yes it does. One of those packages where you have all you’d ever really want from a group- and even more than you really want.

  3. I was just the right age to love Bread. It really hit the pre-teen and teenaged angst. For grown men I can see where it would sound wimpy. Richie Havens I can take in small doses.

    • On the topic of music but not on Bread, I started watching a new netflix doc last night, directed by Scorcese, on Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review. Now that is an interesting documentary with so many clips and video performances from then.

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