Category: Rock + Roll

The Smiths “The Queen is Dead”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#694 in the series) is The Smiths, The Queen is Dead.  By the time this album was released The Smiths were slap bang in the middle of one of the greatest creative rolls that any band or artist has EVER managed , four studio albums and nine stand alone singles in little over four years . And yes, you did read that correctly , they released nine singles in this time period that weren’t on any album!  And, just for good measure, the majority of those singles contained brand new , and for the most part ,superb, tracks on the flipside. Can you imagine anyone even coming close to that sort of...

Bangles "All Over The Place"

Posted 06 May 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1984, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#693 in the Series) is The Bangles, All Over The Place I remember when this one was just released. It was too early in the girl-band genre to admit that a 26-year-old male was a fan.  It still had to be a guilty pleasure that you played when no one was around. Heck, I even remember when I bought the first Pretenders album. I looked around the record store to make sure none of my buddies were watching, and that wasn’t even a girl band. The Go-Go’s had much to do with that. Yes, they were a very good band, but they were marketed very much for the young girl record buyer. The...

Ian Anderson “Thick As a Brick 2″ (aka TAAB2)”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#691 in the Series) is Ian Anderson’s, Thick as a Brick2 (aka TAAB2) The question certainly could be fairly posed as to whether I am a suitable person to review this most recent outing from Ian Anderson (notably not Jethro Tull, a point itself worth addressing given the original’s importance to the band’s 44-year history). I say this for a reason. All of the following would be true of me: A fan of the band since 1970, and an out-and-out fanatic since one night in 1972 after viewing their staggering performance of the original in Chicago, an individual who, until cutting back to maybe three in the past six years has seen...

NRBQ “God Bless Us All”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#682 in the Series) is NRBQ, God Bless Us All I have always felt that God Bless Us All was NRBQ at their absolute peak. In fact, if someone wanted to know an album to start their Q catalog, this was the one I’d always suggest. This was the one that I’d always play at parties and would always get the the Q fans  boppin’.  If you weren’t a Q fan when I put this one on, well you would be soon. “Who’s this?” was a question that was asked more than once when I’d put needle to vinyl. Not only did it catch the band at their peak, but it also...

Vanilla Fudge “Vanilla Fudge”

Posted 14 Apr 2012 in Albums of 1967, Albums of the 60s, Rock + Roll

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#678 in the Series) is the debut from Vanilla Fudge. This was another one of those albums that was in my older sister’s record collection as a kid. In fact, one of my sisters saw Vanilla Fudge when they were still playing little bars when they would come thru Chicago.  That must have been pretty darn cool. However, if you saw them touring for this album, you really didn’t know what they would become. This was their debut, and it was all cover tunes. As we’re well aware, releasing an album of complete covers is en vogue now, but it wasn’t at the time. It was even more surprising considering the completely...

Queen “News of the World”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#676 in the Series) is Queen,  News Of The World It’s hard to believe that it’s over twenty years since the passing of quite possibly the best front man ever to grace a stage. Freddie Mercury, the African-born Briton with the enviable vocal range, ability to write hit after hit, and over-the-top stage theatrics, died in 1991, leaving a gaping hole in the music world. Queen (or at least half of them) has limped on, most notably with Paul Rodgers, but it’s painfully obvious that Mercury is irreplaceable. Unfortunately I never got to see him live; I was only ten when he died, but I first got to know the band’s music...

Richard and Linda Thompson “Shoot Out The Lights”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#671 in the Series) is Richard and Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights. I love year-end “best of” write-ups.  I don’t know why, since like we’ve talked about before, music isn’t a competition unless you’re in high school and playing in a “Battle of the Bands” contest.  I guess you could say that all bands are in competition for airplay and sales, but I think you know what I mean. I remember when Shoot Out the Lights was released in 1982. This album was on just about every list I read.  I knew of them, but hadn’t heard much of this record.  The same can be said for their previous band, Fairport Convention.  I knew...

Little Village "Little Village"

Posted 24 Mar 2012 in 90s, Albums of 1992, Albums of the 90s, Rock + Roll

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#661 in the Series) is the only album from Little Village. One album, One tour from a “Cool Musicians Super Group.” Who was Little Village? I think many in this group know, but I’ll fill in the names. This 1992 group included Nick Lowe, Jim Keltner, John Hiatt and Ry Cooder.  How’s that for fire power! They only lasted one album and one tour.  They played the Arie Crown Theater here in Chicago.  If  you look around the internet you can find an audio of the show.  It was a hell of a show since they played almost the full album and each member did a tune or two from their solo...

Bruce Springsteen “Wrecking Ball”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#651 in the Series) is Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball The Boss is back and he’s an angry man! I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d fully enjoy a new Springsteen album again. Much as I love the man and his music, recent efforts have left me fairly underwhelmed. But come on, it’s Bruce! He’s never going to entirely let me down and both Magic and Working on a Dream certainly have their moments. Some fine songs between them but in terms of putting out an album that was a great listen all the way through, well, I thought it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Which just shows how much I know…………..this...

Joe Jackson "Big World”

Posted 29 Feb 2012 in 80s, Albums of 1986, Albums of the 80s, Rock + Roll

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#641 in the Series) is Joe Jackson, Big World One thing that I’ve always noticed is that my favorite albums by an artist are often tied in with a tour that I may have seen. That rings true with Joe Jackson’s Big World. I was lucky enough to have attended one of the shows on this  tour at Popular Creek Theater (RIP) in northwest suburban Chicago. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. A couple interesting notes on this album. For one, it was a digitally recorded album that was done in full song takes in front of a live studio audience. A few hundred people were invited to sit in silence and watch...

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