Category: Singer / Songwriter

Dan Fogelberg “Home Free”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#643 in the Series) is Dan Fogelberg, Home Free Somehow it’s easier to believe its 40 years since the release of Dan Fogelberg’s inaugural album Home Free than to accept it’s also going on five years since the untimely passing of the Illinois’ native. Look “Dan Fogelberg” up in Wikipedia and you’ll read that Home Free met with a “lukewarm” response—but that’s not the way it was that fall in Champaign at a time when a college freshman could walk wide-eyed into the music store heaven known as Record Service and encounter a giant display in support of this album.  Suffice it to say it appeared they were buying and selling...

Don McLean “American Pie”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#626 in the Series) is Don McLean, American Pie Magnum Opus, noun….a great work, especially the chief work of a writer or artist: Proust’s magnum opus is Remembrance of Things Past.  Origin: 1785–95;  < Latin You cannot find a better way to describe Don McLean’s American Pie other than by simply referring to it as his Magnum Opus. Were you around in 1971 when this was a hit? If you were sure you remember exactly how huge this was. The single “American Pie” spent nearly 2 months at the top of the Billboard Top 100 singles chart. That’s incredible considering current at the same period were albums like Carole King’s Tapestry and John...

Suzanne Vega “Solitude Standing”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#606 in the Series) is Suzanne Vega, Solitude Standing. Solitude Standing was singer – songwriter Suzanne Vega’s second release.  It contained the hit song, “Luka.” I always thought that it was a song about spousal abuse. As I did my research on the album, I actually found out that it’s about child abuse. These are Suzanne’s own words… “          A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there      was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn’t know much...

Fred Neil “Fred Neil”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#603 in the Series) is the self-titled release from Fred Neil (Capitol) What about old Harry Nilsson, brilliant wasn’t he? Although he was never one for performing live, he more than made up for it by making some superb music in the studio. He was a wonderful singer and an absolutely top-notch songwriter. It’s one of those strange and ironic quirks of fate then that Harry, probably best known to the public at large as the singer of two fantastic hit singles, didn’t actually write either of them himself. Which brings us neatly enough to the main subject of this piece, Fred Neil. Well, in a minute anyway………. Nilsson’s biggest hit, a...

Neil Young “Tonight’s The Night”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Neil Young, Tonight’s The Night. Happy 65th birthday wishes go out to Neil Young today as we feature his touching album Tonight’s The Night. Neil lost two close friends to drug deaths, only about six months apart.  One was the guitarist of his backing band, Crazy Horse, Danny Whitten.  The other, Bruce Berry, was a long time roadie for Neil.  Bruce was also the brother to Jan, of ‘Jan and Dean’ fame. Much of this album was a direct response to those losses.  Both of those men died shortly before Neil started writing this album.  Bruce Berry is mentioned by name in the title track while Danny Whitten can be heard on...

Warren Zevon “Excitable Boy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#579 in the Series) is Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy. I don’t usually pick an artist’s most popular release. But this one is just too darn good, and too darn cool. Yes, it contains “Werewolves Of London.” That track still sounds good. It was the song that you could say put Warren on the map with the mainstream.  I once heard a great saying by a stand-up comedian. ” You can’t be considered a superstar until my mother knows who you are.”  Let’s say that many mothers knew of Warren because of “Werewolves of London.” Werewolves might have been the most popular track on the album, but it will have to get way...

Corky Siegel “Corky Siegel”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#543 in the Series) is Corky Siegel’s self titled album, Corky Siegel. Corky was better known for his work with picker Jim Schwall in the Chicago based blues act, Siegel-Schwall Band but I was always partial to this solo release. Corky used to do tons of solo shows around Chicago in the late 70’s. That’s when I got to really know most of this material. I’d love to see him do this stuff at good ol’ “Connollys’ on Kedzie. The best known track here is “Half Asleep At The Wheel” other highlights included “Am I Wrong About You,” and “Mornin’ Corn.” Rollo Radford from Siegel-Schwall played on this solo disc as well. This...

Documentary: “LA, From The Byrds to the Eagles” …… “The Corporatization of Rock and the Death of a Dream”

  I had a chance to see this on DVD awhile back. I can’t even remember how I got a copy of it; I don’t believe it was ever released here in the States. I’m not sure if it was ever televised here either.  Maybe BBC American ran it, I don’t know, they produced it. The official title is Hotel California, L.A. From The Byrds to The Eagles. If you’re a fan of the Los Angeles music scene from say…. ’66 thru about ’75, then this is a must watch for you. It looks at the careers of The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Linda Ronstadt, The Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, Poco, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, David Geffen and...

Tom Waits “Closing TIme”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#535 in the Series) is Tom Waits, Closing Time (Asylum) With the recent release of his first proper full length release since 2004, Bad as Me, I got to thinking about my somewhat tortured relationship with the enigmatic troubadour. Appreciating Tom Waits is like drinking a six pack of beer for the first time. Your first taste is kind of bitter where over indulging can cause a violent reaction the likes of which you probably have not experienced since that god awful last episode of “Cheers”. The chances of this first experience being a negative one increase exponentially especially if you’re Tom Waits de-flowering happened to be in the not so gentle arms...

Laura Nyro “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#529 in the Series) is Laura Nyro,  Eli and the Thirteenth Confession Laura Nyro is Randy Newman without the Disney movie soundtracks. Known more for the songs she has written for other people that have gone on to become monster hits than her own releases, her musical output rivals only Carole King as one of the greatest singer song -writers of her generation and a hit-making machine.  A partial list of Laura Nyro penned hits includes “Stoney End” for Barbra Streisand, “Eli’s Coming” for Three Dog Night, “Wedding Bell Blues” for The Fifth Dimension, and the fantastic “And When I Die”, that became a monster hit for Blood Sweat and Tears. The real...

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