Category: Rock + Roll

Black Sabbath “Paranoid”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#292 in the Series) is Black Sabbath, Paranoid. Black Sabbath, Paranoid……  I don’t think I need to say much about this one now do I?  This was one of the very first metal albums that I owned.  I have a feeling that many of us can say that.  Hey, and we turned out alright, didn’t we? I went to a rather conservative catholic high school in suburban Chicago.  We had a bus driver that had hooked up a pair of speakers about half way back towards the ceiling. He looked like George Carlin.  He used to blast the 8-track of this on the way to school about 8:00 in the morning.  How cool was...

Aztec Camera “High Land, Hard Rain”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#564 in the Series) is Aztec Camera, High Land, Hard Rain This was the first record from Roddy Frame. Roddy, then 19, wrote and produced all 13 songs. A few of the songs were even written a few years before that tender age. His work on the acoustic guitar is most impressive. This is evident right from the opening track, that being the very catchy “Oblivious.” It was actually the only popular song on the album, at least State side.  Roddy’s thoughtful lyrics are accompanied by his underappreciated voice.  He’s also backed by a chorus of background singers. His sense of humor is always quite evident live. When I saw him years...

Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane “Rough Mix”

Posted 27 Nov 2011 in 70s, Albums of 1977, Albums of the 70s, Rock + Roll

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#563 in the Series) is Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane, Rough Mix (MCA US, Polydor UK) Ronnie Lane was, along with Steve Marriott, one of the founding members of the seminal rock group The Small Faces.  Pete Townshend is the back-bone of what can easily be considered one of the top four rock bands of all time, The Who.  Together in 1977 while Pete was on a musical vacation between The Who By Number sand what probably should have been their swan song  Who Are You, and Ronnie was making yet another attempt to revitalize his solo career after four mostly critically acclaimed yet publicly ignored solo albums with his appropriately named...

Radiohead “OK Computer”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#558 in the Series) is Radiohead, Ok Computer (Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)) At many points of this record a listener might get the idea the band was trying not to put out a breakthrough record that would make them popular, but the final product in total is one of the records I will bring with me to the moon. There is a lot more guitar and quite a bit more rock on 1997’s, OK Computer, but the production in the end is satisfying for many reasons. Though the lyrics are nearly impossible to decipher, the vocals of Thom Yorke, whether singing or talking are musical. From the notes of the very first...

The Motels “All Four One”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#557 in the Series) is The Motels, All Four One There were a ton of acts that were tossed into the catch-all genre of “New Wave” during the decade of the 80s.  Many of them, quite frankly sucked.  Why, because if you had a little hook, you could play a good day’s worth of new wave with-out needing a whole day’s worth of talent.  What that did however, was allow the bands that had superior talent to really climb above the rest. I’m of course referring to bands like Missing Persons, Split Enz, The Cars, Haircut 100, the Furs etc. They had loads of talent. So did The Motels. Martha Davis was...

The Band “Rock of Ages”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day(#555 in the Series and #58 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is The Band, Rock of Ages. (Capitol) Rock of Ages is the first of four “official” live albums by The Band. Most people regard the expansive box set of The Last Waltz to be The Band’s most impressive live statement, but I think a closer listen to Rock of Ages will give an argument that this is not only The Band’s best live album but perhaps one of the top 10 live albums that has ever been released. I’m usually a purist when it comes to original releases vs. reissues. I felt for years that the original double LP released in...

Budgie “I Were Brittania I’d Waive The Rules”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#550 in the Series is) Budgie, If I were Brittania I’d Waive the Rules. Budgie was a Welsh loud rock band that recorded most of their catalog in the 70’s.  I always liked them because their sound always had a  unique vibe to me.  A little metal here, a little blues rock there, a little prog-rock here, etc.  I always loved bands that you just can not pigeon hole. They had about six definitive albums. It was not the best reviewed, nor the best accepted, but for some reason I was always partial to Brittania. The main reason was one song, one that I always loved. (Whenever I had parties I used...

Sugar “Copper Blue”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#549 in the Series) is Sugar, Copper Blue Bob Mould is getting a lot of press these days. His autobiography, See A Little Light: Tales of Rage and Melody is one of the best of its genre I’ve ever read, and I highly recommend it. Usually I start these books, get my interested piqued for a while, then the minutia of the “road stories” gets old and I’m fighting to keep plundering through. Not so much the case with this one, as it’s a story of a man with a remarkable life that centers around music but also openly and shamelessly describes the demons and drive that have made him successful.  The...

Harry Nilsson “Nilsson Schmilsson”

Posted 08 Nov 2011 in 70s, Albums of 1971, Albums of the 70s, Rock + Roll

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#546 in the Series) is Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson Although he had a wonderfully provocative voice that could go up several ranges, Harry Nilsson always thought of himself as a songwriter first and a singer second having written the song “One” which became hit for Three Dog Night as well as several minor hits for Phil Spector that were recorded by the Ronettes, and “Ten Little Indians” for the later-stage Yardbirds.  The irony of course, was that Harry was at his best, and became famous for interpreting songs written by other artists including the brilliantly performed classic “Everybody’s Talking” that was written by Folk-Rock singer Fred Neil. With the release of Nilsson...

The Beach Boys “Smile”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#541 in the Series) is The Beach Boys, SMiLE Is SMiLE a magnificent work of inspired musical genius or an over-hyped load of half-formed, unfinished nonsense? You decide! Rumour, speculation, lies, half-truths, assumptions, deliberate misleads and red herrings, guesswork………it seems that SMiLE has been, and no doubt shall continue to be, the subject of all of the above and lots more besides. For many people, their opinion of this album (regularly cited as “the greatest lost classic” of all time) depends on not just the music which has crept out over the years, but also upon just whose version of events they choose to believe. And everyone involved with SMiLE seems to have...

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