“American Beauty” is the landmark of the Dead’s back catalogue, but despite its soul, harmonies and craftsmanship, it never quite feels enough.
It’s a different beast to “Astral Weeks”, true, but “Moondance” is a joyful and far more accessible offering than Van Morrison’s first landmark album.
Even though it’s not as iconic as “Led Zep II” or “Paranoid”, “In Rock” stands as a monument to what rock was going to become.
Critically mauled on its release, Led Zeppelin III didn’t quite have the Whole Lotta Lovin’ that the audience wanted, but the years have been kind to the band’s attempt to spread their wings.
Low on grunge but full of heartbreak, soul and charm, “After the Goldrush” is a powerful beast that’s easy to understimate at first.
If “Black Sabbath” was a landmark, then this follow-up is a big bastard monolith that towers above it. Tough, fierce and deliciously dark, “Paranoid” is probably Ozzy’s finest hour, and a big scary classic.
Is there such a thing as Hygge Rock? This album, even if it came from troubled times, is surprisingly cosy to listen to.
Even for an old bastard cynic like me, Lennon’s first proper solo album is a brutal but rewarding experience.
Packed with musical talent and a good deal of soul, this solo debut from Stephen Stills has a lot to recommend it, even if it never really catches fire.
They were often dismissed as sentimentalist cheese back in the day, but the years have been kind to Richard and Karen Carpenter. Good thing too.
Showing a different side to The Doors mythology, “Morrison Hotel” is a capable and happy blues album with a few sprightly suprises on board.
Seen by many critics as mainstream, INXS’s 1988 album “Kick” is a smart funk-rock hybrid by a band, and a rock icon, at their glorious prime.
The 2016 edition of “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” is here, and there’s more than a few notable absences.
While arguably not a truly ‘great’ album, this debut from Black Sabbath still has a few choice moments on it, and it’s a landmark in music history too.
They’re mostly known as the band in the “Stairway” case, but as Quarkmonkey learns, Spirit could belt out both a decent tune and the odd bit of creativity.
This is where I start to struggle. This isn’t the first time I’ve alluded to the fact that I can’t…
Ah Eric you smug racist, credit-stealing, overrated cunt… good to see you. Of course, as much as the band’s title wasn’t particularly rocktastic…
Quarkmonkey kicks off the seventies with what could be Creedence Clearwater Revival’s finest hour.
There’s a lot of wizardry to be enjoyed here, and it should be celebrated if only because it’s a Frank Zappa album that I don’t want to punch myself in the head after listening to.
Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, Sinead O’ Connor, Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain… there’s always been a parallel between rock music and mental illness, just as there has been with pretty much any art form worth bothering with.
To say that Skip Spence is no exception is probably underselling it.
It’s one thing looking back from 2016 and the knowledge of the career and legacy that The Stooges had on rock music, but Cale’s production keeps things in order and it’s a much more focused affair because of it.
Of course, Walker had his fair share of sixties successes, both with the Walker Brothers and on his earlier, Jacques-Brel-heavy albums, but “Scott 4”, his first production composed entirely of his own songs, was a notable critical and commercial failure.
There’s a lot more going on here than the usual “fiddle de dum fair maiden came a walking” bollocks that cynical old arseholes such as myself tend to attach to the British folk genre.
For me at least, one of the big paradoxes of Leonard Cohen is that, for all the outward melancholy, there’s something uniquely uplifting about his songs.