Category: Rock + Roll

U2 “Under a Blood Red Sky”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day(#366 in the Series and #31 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is U2, Under a Blood Red Sky U2 long ago entered a stage where they are now quite polarizing. There are quite a few people that want nothing more to do with the Irish band.  My guess is that they’re tired of Bono’s politics. U2, Under a Blood Red Sky was a different time. This album smokes as far as I’m concerned. You may have seen the accompanying video for the album that was recorded at Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado. One of the true great concert venues we have.  I know it looks cool, I’ve never been there so I can’t...

Atlanta Rhythm Section “Champagne Jam”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#364 in the Series) is Atlanta Rhythm Section, Champagne Jam. Earlier we looked at my favorite Atlantic Rhythm Section album Red Tape. Today we’re going to look at their most popular album, Champagne Jam.  It reached #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. They were on a nice little run there. The previous album, A Rock and Roll Alternative peaked at #11. A Rock and Roll Alternative’s success was fueled by the top ten single “So Into You.” Champagne Jam had three songs that received considerable air play. Possibly even four. “Imaginary Lover”,” I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight”,” Champagne Jam” and “Large Time.” Atlanta Rhythm Section got their name...

Santana “Abraxas”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#363 in the Series, and #10 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is Santana, Abraxas Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, David Brown, Michael Shrieve, José “Chepito” Areas and Mike Carabello To me, those six guys were Santana.  Carlos has gone thru more musicians than any band leader I know, to me however, those six cats were Santana at its best.  In fact, I feel this was the only actual Santana band.  After that it was Carlos and whomever he decided to bring in.  How can I back that statement up? Look who wrote the songs on this. Nearly every one contributed in the writing.  The great Gregg Rolie wrote two.  “Chipito” Areas wrote two, Michael...

BoDeans “Joe Dirt Car’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#359 in the Series) is BoDeans, Joe Dirt Car. Today we once again take a look at a live album. As you probably know, we only do this on Saturdays.  This one is from the Waukesha, Wisconsin band the BoDeans. The BoDeans hit the scene in the mid-80s.  They’re still going strong today.  They are led by two front men, guitar vocalists Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas.  After those two, it’s been a complete revolving door.  It didn’t start off that way. They were a pretty stable band from the start to the early-90s.  Bassist Bob Griffin was around for a long time as well. To me, The BoDeans started off strongly. I...

Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#356 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Led Zeppelin. I remember back around 1977 or so. I had a friend named John Popenleur. I hope I’m spelling that correctly. One day he was going on and on about his new turntable and how much he liked it. ‘You have to hear this thing, you have to hear this thing,” he kept saying.  OK, I finally agreed to check it out.  To this day, I remember what he put on to show off its sound.  He tossed the first Led Zeppelin album onto the turntable. He fired it up, loudly!!! I can still hear how cool “Good Times, Bad Times” sounded. It...

Big Country “The Crossing”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#355 in the Series) is Big Country, The Crossing One thing that I had a good knack of doing when I was young was to be able to listen to albums and predict which band would fail or do well.  In my early days I felt I could have made a decent A &R guy. I’d have no chance with today’s music, but back in the day, I had a great ear for what would sell. One that I completely missed on was Big Country!  When I first heard this album I was sure that this was going to be a gigantic act.  Big, big we’re talking!! When this was released we’d already...

Morrissey “Vauxhall And I”

Today’s Cool Album Of the Day (#354 in the Series) is Morrissey, Vauxhall And I Morrissey is, for many, the best singer and lyricist to emerge in the last 30 years. And Vauxhall And I is his greatest album. “How can you tell?” I hear you cry, “They all sound the same!” That’s a pretty common accusation from non-Moz fans and, to be fair, there’s a grain of truth in it. Stylistically, he doesn’t change things too much, he’s found his groove and he’s staying in it. There’s been the occasional foray into experimental territory (almost exclusively confined to extra tracks on his singles) but, by and large, his stuff sounds pretty much the same as it did way...

Clocks “Clocks”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#353 in the Series) is the self-tiled debut from Clocks. If you’ve read some of my previous write-ups you may have read some referring to my summer in Kansas City in 1983. That’s where I saw REM on the Murmur tour and also Split Enz on the Time and Tide tour. You should check out those write-ups, they have some great stories in them. (The REM piece is one of my favorites.) While there I had a friend named Barbara that lived in Paola, Kansas. She kept telling me about this great band called the Clocks that called “somewhat” nearby Wichita home.  She gave me a tape and yeah, I liked what I...

Three Dog Night “Around the World With Three Dog Night”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#352 in the Series, and #29 in the Live, Saturday Night  Series) is Three Dog Night, Around the World With Three Dog Night. Yes, you read the title correctly. Today’s Cool Album is indeed Three Dog Night! I was about 14 when this was released, and I loved it. Around the World With Three Dog Night was a double live album. It was released in 1973.  It was actually their second live album, it followed Captured Live at the Forum from 1969. Forum was a short single album. For some odd reason it has been available for many years while Around the World has been a cut-out for decades.  In fact, I don’t...

Neil Young “Trans”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#348 in the Series) is Neil Young, Trans. Neil Young, Trans.  Love it _____, Hate It_____ You tell me.  I don’t believe that there was ever a more polarizing Neil Young album than Trans. I know people that absolutely love this effort. I know people that can’t stand it. I feel that Neil loved that! What makes people react this way?  Maybe you haven’t heard this album.  What caused the spilt reaction was mainly due to one thing.  That one thing was the vocoder.  What is a vocoder? I guess you could say it was the grandfather to today’s auto-tuner. Trans had nine tunes in all. Five of those nine had Neil’s vocal...

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