- DIONNE WARWICK: A DECADE OF GOLD- THE DIONNE WARWICK STORY: 1971: 2 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: When I put the first album side 1 on it was a major disappointment when the needle hit the album- it was my fault- I thought I was buying a double album of her greatest hits- but I should have looked closer- it is a double album for sure but a double live album. Oops. It only cost $2 though. It would have been a great double studio album- I am not a big fan of live albums- I have a friend who I’ve went used record shopping with a few times and he is always buying the live recordings- I asked him out of curiosity why- his answer was it’s like a greatest hits package. I am a fan of the studio recordings. I probably wouldn’t have bought this even at $2 if I had looked closer and saw it was live. She does a version of The Beatles “Come Together”- I think there are dozens upon dozens of Beatles songs she would have chosen which would have matched her talents better. Just sayin’.
- BOB DYLAN: JOHN WESLEY HARDING: 1967: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Bob’s first album after his ‘motorcycle’ accident. After the rock and roll blues of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde and Dylan sitting out the “Summer of Love”- what were people expecting? To his credit he skipped the psychedelic music of the times and made what today would be called an Americana album. I don’t think this album gets the attention it deserves- a great set of songs- the most famous being “All Along The Watchtower”- which is more famous as a cover by Jimi Hendrix.
- BOB DYLAN: NASHVILLE SKYLINE: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Recorded in Nashville with country music musicians- and The Man In Black and Bobby sing a duet with Bob’s old “Girl From The North Country”- Bobby and John’s voices don’t go well together- Crosby, Stills and Nash or John and Paul they are not. A very short album at 27 minutes 14 seconds. Famous for Dylan’s changing voice- which he claims came about because he quit smoking. “Lay Lady Lay” the most famous song on this album was a hit.
- BUCK OWENS: BUCK OWENS SINGS TOMMY COLLINS: 1963: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: An album of songs written by Tommy Collins who like Buck and Merle came out of Bakersfield- but didn’t have the great success as a performer like Buck and Merle but was highly admired as a songwriter. Merle wrote a song about him called “Leonard.” No hits on this album for Buck but it’s a nice listen anyway- fine songwriting. Buck also did an album of songs by the great country music songwriter Harlan Howard.
- NEIL DIAMOND: ON THE WAY TO THE SKY: 1981: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: There were a couple Top 40 hits on here- “Yesterday’s Songs”, On The Way To The Sky” and “Be Mine Tonight” but they weren’t the blockbuster Neil Diamond kind of hits he had earlier in his career- he was in his easy listening period and the album is unremarkable but competent.