- THE WHO: WHO ARE YOU: 1978: ROCK: GRADE: B. VINYL: Scrapping the two day decimal grading system and trying out a letter grade system- A++ will be reserved for an all time great album one of the best ever– down to an F- if I ever listen to an Osmonds album. The Who’s eighth album and last with iconic drummer Keith Moon who died shortly after the albums release was a commercial success but isn’t in any way a Who classic album. Good but not great. They should have called it quits like Zeppelin did after Bonham’s death- both Moon and Bonham were essential to their groups. Punk rock was the real deal at this point in time- The Who album didn’t reflect the times- classic rock. Must Hear Tracks: Who Are You, Guitar And Pen, Music Must Change, Had Enough.
- BILLIE EILISH: WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? POP: GRADE: A: APPLE: Full name Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell. This years sensation. I have only listened to this album a few times and I was hooked on the first listen. With a few more listens the grade I gave it may have to go up a notch. My two favorite new artists of recent times- Eilish and Mitski. Must Hear Tracks: Bad Guy, You Should See Me In A Crown, When The Parties Over, Bury A Friend.
- ELVIS PRESLEY: FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS: 1969:ROCK.POP,SOUL: GRADE: A: IPOD: My favorite Elvis album [not counting the Sun Records compilation} After wasting the 60’s by following the advice of a carny he finishes the decade off with his comeback. The original album had a dozen songs the one I have and listened to has bonus tracks including Suspicious Minds- which would be his final #1 hit single. Must hear tracks: Only The Strong Survive, In The Ghetto, Long Back Limousine, Kentucky Rain.
- RANDY NEWMAN: GOOD OLD BOYS: 1974: ROCK. GRADE A. IPOD: My favorite Newman album although I will say Sail Away is his best. I wonder how this album would be taken if it were released today? Its satire- a concept album which examines slavery and institutional racism and the viewpoints of the American South and even covers a song written by The Kingfish himself Huey Long and also a song about Huey . Must hear tracks: Rednecks, Birmingham, Kingfish, Marie and one of Newman’s all time greatest songs Louisiana 1927.
- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: HUMAN TOUCH: 1992: ROCK: GRADE: C. IPOD. I divide Bruce’s career in half-and March 31, 1992 is the dividing point- there is before that date-when Bruce released two separate albums on the same day- and afterwards. Up until the release of Lucky Town/ Human Touch-he had released eight albums and if I were going to grade them all -the lowest grade I would give any one of them would be an A-. There are a few A++ and A+ in that [my new grade system A++ is an all time great classic } Anyway Human Touch is his worst album. [Lucky Town is much better but still not up to the caliber of the first eight albums} Bruce to me sounds bored and uninspired on this album. Maybe he should have just released one album of the dozen best songs out of the 24 total that he released on March 31, 1992. I also look at that date as the dividing point because at least in my opinion he has been inconsistent since. He was consistently great before but in looking at it he had a pretty long run on greatness. An All-Music review sums this album up pretty well “generic pop” and “his first that at least didn’t aspire to greatness.” Must hear Tracks: Human Touch, 57 Channels.