My Music Listening Journal 2021: Day 2: Saturday January 2, 2021.
- THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: ROCK: Velvet Underground’s third album- John Cale had departed. The album was a shift from their first two albums especially from the loud second album White Light/ White Heat. It has been said that only 1000 people originally bought The Velvet Underground albums but everyone who did started a band. I can remember in the late 70’s they seemed to me to be more a legend than a band. I had heard all about them but their albums were impossible to find. Mount Rushmore of the self-titled VU- “Pale Blue Eyes”, “Jesus”, “What Goes On” and “Beginning To See The Light.” The nearly 9 minute “The Murder Mystery” is difficult to set through-one of the new Velvet Underground songs I don’t care for.
- JOHN COLTRANE: A LOVE SUPREME: 1965: 5 + STARS OUT OF 5: VINYL: JAZZ: One of the landmark albums in jazz and one of the greatest albums of all time. The typical Coltrane album back in the 60’s sold 30,000 copies by 1970 A Love Supreme had topped 500,000. Rolling Stone ranked it at #47 in their 500 Greatest Albums Ever list.
- JAMES TAYLOR: JT: 1977: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: POP: James Taylor at the peak of his popularity. Two hit singles off this a cover “Handy Man” #4 and “Your Smiling Face” #20. This is Taylor’s best selling album at 3.5 million copies. The album was nominated for a Grammy for Album of The Year but that was also the year of Rumours so- we know who won that. Mount Rushmore in addition to the hit singles- “Bartender Blues” and “Secret O’ Life.” Produced by Peter Asher- of Peter and Gordon fame- and brother of Beatle Paul’s 1960’s girlfriend Jane. He has a fine radio show on The Beatles Channel- and a book out about The Beatles that is worth reading. Of course James Taylor has Beatles connections also- he was first signed to Apple Records.
- AL STEWART: YEAR OF THE CAT: 1976: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: Rock: This was Al Stewart’s breakout album- with the help of the Top 5 single “Year Of The Cat.” I’ve always liked Stewart- who writes a lot about history- not your typical subject in rock songs. The lead off track is about explorer Lord Grenville. Stewart is still around he was nearby doing an anniversary tour for Year Of The Cat a few years ago, I wish I had went. Mount Rushmore- “Year Of The Cat”, “On The Border”, “Lord Grenville” and “Flying Sorcery”.. Al Stewart knew Yoko Ono before John Lennon did, and in the shared a flat with a young Paul Simon in London. The album was produced by Alan Parsons- who was an engineer on The Beatles Abbey Road album.
- SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: 1970: 5+ STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL: FOLK ROCK. Simon and Garfunkel’s brilliant final album. I haven’t thought much on it but could it be the best- last album ever? Has to be a contender. I know this coming from me this is blasphemy but it is a better album than Let It Be. Paul has been kicking himself for decades for giving the title song to Artie to sing- but it was the right decision. Mount Rushmore- “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “The Boxer”, ‘The Only Living Boy In New York” and “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.” Won the Grammy for Best Album.
- CAT STEVENS: TEASER AND THE FIRECAT: 1971: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: IPOD: FOLK ROCK: 1970’S Tea For The Tillerman seems to get more praise but the follow up is just as good with “Morning Has Broken”, “Peace Train”, “Moonshadow” and “The Wind” Cat Stevens classics. “Tuesday’s Dead” is also outstanding. Of the singer-songwriters to emerge in the late 60’s early 70’s- Cat was one of the best.
- THE BEATLES: WITH THE BEATLES: 1963: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5: IPOD: ROCK AND ROLL: Released on November 22, 1963. The Mount Rushmore- “All My Loving”, “Money”, “All I’ve Got To Go” and “Not A Second Time.”