• THE CLASH: LONDON CALLING: 1979: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The 40th anniversary of the release of this double album will be in mid-December. In the 40 years since there have been a number of great albums released but I don’t think any album released since is as great as this one.

John Fogerty (album).jpg

  • JOHN FOGERTY: JOHN FOGERTY: 1975: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Who would have thought when this album was released in 1975- that it would be ten years before Fogerty would be heard from again- with a new album? The highlights were are both side openers- “Rockin’ All Over The World” #27 and “Almost Saturday Night” #78. What is odd- if those singles were released in 1970 they would have been top 10 hits I think. The album is kind of structured like an old CCR album- you have your 7 Fogerty originals and 3 covers.

  • PRETTY IN PINK SOUNDTRACK: 1986: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: John Hughes made a lot of entertaining movies in this period of time-this soundtrack’s highlights are Left Of Center-Suzanne Vega/ Joe Jackson, If You Leave- OMD, Pretty In Pink- Psychedelic Furs, Shell-Shock-New Order, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want- The Smiths and Bring On The Dancing Horses- Echo and The Bunnymen.

A drawing of Dylan's face in profile facing a purple stripe with the album's name in white

  • BOB DYLAN: BLOOD ON THE TRACKS: 1975: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Dylan’s best album since Blonde On Blonde in 1966- many consider this his best album/ their favorite Dylan album and it certainly would be on my Mount Rushmore of Dylan albums. When it was first released it got mixed reviews from the rock press now it receives universal praise. Bob’s son Jakob has described the album as ‘my parents talking.”

A profile of Dylan smiling, wearing a hat, coat, and scarves

  • BOB DYLAN: DESIRE: 1976: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another outstanding Dylan album coming a year after Blood On The Tracks- also in 1975 came the release of the heavily bootlegged -the legendary Basement Tapes. “Hurricane” is one of my favorite Dylan songs. The album went to #1 and is one of Dylan’s best selling studio albums. Great album cover too.

Dylan standing, slightly bent at the waist, in front of a stairwell

  • BOB DYLAN: STREET LEGAL: 1978: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The first ‘new Dylan album” I owned. After a Pirate game before jumping on the bus home I ran into National Record Mart in downtown Pittsburgh and quickly picked up this and The Rolling Stones new album “Some Girls.” As I was checking out I saw the bus pull up- my friend Randy was faced with- do I get on without him or miss the bus. I got across the street with seconds to spare. The next bus was at midnight. I wish I had missed the bus- Dizzy Gillespie was giving a free concert that night and I would have gotten to see him. I’ve been listening to this album for 41 years and while I like it- was never wild about it- but in listening to it today it never sounded better to me. Strange.


  • CULTURE CLUB: KISSING TO BE CLEVER: 1982: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Boy George and Culture Club were a sensation in early 1983- “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” #2, “Time” #2 and “I’ll Tumble For Ya” #9 were the highlights of their debut album. The momentum would carry over into their second album with 4 hits including a #1- and then a quick fade away.


  1. “London Calling” still remains the only way out of the punk movement. The cover deliberately plays on the debut album by Elvis – it remains timeless.

  2. Man! This is my favorite block of albums yet! I would give every one of them a 5 and London Calling a 5 1/2. I think you should add a 1/2 star to differentiate the creme of the crop. Like the White album and The Wall…Just a thought.

  3. Wonderful commentary, Hans. I do think that musical taste changes over time. Not necessarily substantially, but it does. Some stuff that I used to think was fabulous now sounds only so-so, and vice versa. The old stuff almost universally compares favorably to most of the new crap that’s out.

    • I didn’t care for disco when it was going on- except for Donna Summer and The Bee Gees but now a lot of it doesn’t sound bad to my ears- some of it still does- the mindless stuff like KC and The Sunshine Band.

    • Hmmm I do think it is improved on- it was the new remaster that I listened to the other day. Maybe that is why it was sounding so good to me

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