I’ve not really hidden my distaste of prog rock, and I think, listening to Jethro Tull’s behemoth, I’m beginning to understand why.
There is a lot to be excited about this year. Over the next few posts I’ll be rediscovering “Sticky Fingers”, “Tapestry”, “What’s Going On?” and “Maggot Brain”, among others, and so I really ought to get on it.
Syd Barrett’s post-Floyd debut mixes mischief and sparkle with the melancholy of an artist who was beginning to fall apart.
There’s only so much boomer music you can listen to before you get a bit bored. So here’s a quick peek at the best albums of the 2010s.
Or as it would be better known, Santana’s Greatest Hits. Seriously, bung 2000’s “Smooth” on the end and you’re or…
“McCartney” was eviscerated by critics on its release, and was never popular with fans (apart from “Maybe I’m Amazed”). Still, time has been kind to it, and its gentle modesty shines through.
Following a disappointing first album, James Taylor returned to the studio with a powerful country-rock songwriter work, famous for its title track and soulful anthems like “Fire and Rain”.
Since I started to add posts about the albums that are notably NOT in the 1001 Albums book, my list of exiled albums has grown and grown. But the one that really shocked me was this one. “Paid in Full”, if I may be so bold, is one of the greatest, most influential hip hop albums ever.
The Stooges’ second album isn’t the easiest to get into, and it’s famous for flopping on release, but “Fun House” is fun, exciting, and clearly where Iggy started to go ballistic.
Steve Winwood’s return to Traffic after Blind Faith and solo disappointment mixed jazz with blues-rock and folk, with less than remarkable results.
Cat’s breakthrough fourth album is as gentle as it is bold, filled with beautiful songwriting and mature themes, as well as a good few hits.
Created as their creative bromance came to a natural end, Paul and Art’s final album is epic in scope, exciting and heartwarmingly accessible.
It’s a big beast, and it takes a while to get the hang of, but George Harrison’s debut album can stand proud among the Fab Four’s solo efforts.
Showing there’s more to Rod than the 70’s tartan caricature, “Gasoline Alley” captures an artist in his prime, with this impressive and underrated surprise.
The dark winter of Prog rock is coming, but Soft Machine’s final behemoth album isn’t without its intrigue, even if it is hard work.
While intriguing, if longwinded, in its 2000 expanded release, this album’s original 1970 version is a true live classic.
Fresh from turning down an album collaboration with Jimi Hendrix (surely a crime?), this debut from Ravi Shankar’s classically trained nephew grabs your attention.
Richer and more creative than his debut, Five Leaves Left, Nick Drake’s second album, gives a real sense of what could have been.
“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.