- JIM CROCE: PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORIES HIS GREATEST HITS: 1974: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: I wasn’t all that into music in the summer of 1973 but every time I was in the car and the radio was on I kept hoping they would play “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”- I didn’t know who did the song and I wasn’t aware of his death a few months later when it happened. A pretty solid best of which was released the year after his death. One of my favorite singer-songwriters of the era. I have no idea what he was like but in listening to his music he sounds like he would have been fun to hang around with.
- ANDY WILLIAMS: GREATEST HITS: 1970: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: This suffers only from the era in which it was released- the drawback on vinyl you can only get so much on one side. There are 11 songs on this album -which I recently picked up for $1- and the album itself is in perfect shape. No skips or crackles. I was surprised that I knew most of these songs. Not a Williams fan but growing up I would watch the show now and then if it was on the television. The album was worth the $1 for “Moon River” alone. What exactly is a huckleberry friend? Surprisingly Williams version of “Moon River” was never released as a single.
OTHER MUSIC LISTENING
- JENNY HVAL: THE PRACTICE OF LOVE: 2019: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE: #48 on MOJO’s Best Albums of 2019. I had never heard of her previously. Jenny Hval is a Norwegian singer-songwriter, record producer,musician and novelist. This is her 7th album. From what I have read this album was a radical turn for her- electropop. A lot to take in but I like it on first listen. Will put it on the list to give it more listens.
- JOHNNY CASH: AMERICAN RECORDINGS: 1994: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: IPOD: By the 1990’s Johnny Cash was viewed as a country legend of course but long washed up. Along came producer Rick Ruben and Ruben and Cash go on to produce some of the greatest music of his career until Cash’s death nearly a decade later. The first of the American Recordings is my favorite- but I do like all of them. I can’t think of a greater comeback in music. Not like he had any hit singles during these years- country music for the most part ignored the albums but a great artistic comeback by one of the most iconic musical acts of the century.
- DAVID BOWIE: BLACKSTAR: 2016: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: IPOD: And speaking of great comebacks/ farewells. Bowie was thought by most to have been retired when in 2013 he released The Next Day- an album which sounded a lot like the old classic Bowie. Then on January 8, 2016 this album was released. Two days later he was dead an artist to the end. Where The Next Day was a throwback album- and while at first I found The Next Day more accessible – Blackstar is superior. Four years on it gets better to my ears on each listen. Is there a better farewell album?