Category: Stephen Dalrymple

Big Star ‘Third/Sister Lovers’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#800 in the Series) Big Star, Third/Sister Lovers This one goes down as one of the great enigma’s of rock music, an album by a band which had pretty much split up by the time it was recorded, which had no title and which didn’t even have a finalized track listing. For years it was, just like The Beach Boys “SMiLE”, more of a rumour, a myth, than an actual record. Thankfully it was eventually released, in an albeit limited capacity, and fans were finally able to hear what all the fuss was about. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Big time. Big Star were founded in Memphis by  three friends who were deeply...

Doug Dillard & Gene Clark ‘The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#785 in the Series) is Doug Dillard & Gene Clark, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark They may have only recorded together for (roughly) eighteen months but in that short but productive period of time Dillard & Clark made some of the best music you’ll ever hear, two albums and a single which still sound fantastic all these years later. Best of the material though is undoubtedly this superb debut album from October 1968. It’s an album which is a definitive document, and a cornerstone release, of the (then) burgeoning country-rock movement, an album which took the traditional forms of bluegrass, country and folk, gave them a shake, added electric instruments...

Glen Campbell + Jimmy Webb “Reunion: The Songs of Jimmy Webb”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#774 in the Series) is Glen Campbell  & Jimmy Webb, Reunion: The Songs of Jimmy Webb. This album had its beginnings in those wonderful Glen Campbell hits of the late 60’s, five absolute gems released between 1967 and 1970 : “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Galveston’” “Where’s The Playground Susie ?”, “Honey Come Back” and, of course, the ever shining jewel that is “Wichita Lineman.”  All five were written by one of the very best up-and-coming songwriters of the era, Jimmy Webb. Before those recordings both men had careers which were very much on the ascent but when Glen decided to record the first of those songs (Phoenix) as the...

Ry Cooder “Election Special”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#771 in the Series) is Ry Cooder, Election Special (Nonesuch) Ry Cooder’s on a roll! After an extended 18 year break from solo work, during which he was extremely busy on soundtracks and collaborations of course, he made a remarkable return to the fray with Chavez Ravine in 2005, a well-received release which was followed fairly quickly by My Name Is Buddy and then I, Flathead, completing what he dubbed his “Southern California” trilogy. Just last year he was at it again when he released the wonderful Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down, making four great albums in six years, a tremendous work rate in this day and age really. At...

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions “Rattlesnakes”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#752 in the Series) is Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Rattlesnakes Glasgow, Scotland in the early 80’s was full to brimming with raw musical talent and inspiration, with new bands springing up all over the place. The independent label Postcard Records was a small but major player, they had two fantastic bands, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, who recorded seminal singles before moving on to bigger labels where both released superb debut albums. Other acts like Altered Images, The Bluebells  and Friends Again swiftly followed and I can’t fail to mention The Blue Nile whose single “Tinseltown In The Rain” may well be the best ever by a Scots band. All of...

Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#745 in the Series) is Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA At the start of 1984, with a new album imminent, Bruce Springsteen’s longtime fans must have been curious, maybe even anxious, about which direction he was going to take. His last effort, 1982’s superb “Nebraska” had been a bit of a departure, consisting as it did of a fairly sombre, and stark, suite of mainly downbeat songs. Bruce had been given artistic freedom to do his own thing on that release and he delivered a majestic masterpiece which has stood the test of time and remains, for many (myself included), his best album to date. This time around though both fans...

Beachwood Sparks “The Tarnished Gold”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#735 in the Series) is Beachwood Sparks, The Tarnished Gold (Sub Pop)  I have to confess, Beachwood Sparks were a new name to me but it turns out they’ve actually been around before and that this is a bit of a comeback album for them. About ten years ago they released 2 albums and an EP then went their separate ways, now they have returned in fine fine style, with one of the albums of the year so far. Musically we’re firmly in the territory frequented by the likes of The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, the late 60’s/ early 70’s vibe but there’s also a distinct hint of later British bands like...

Chris Robinson Brotherhood “Big Moon Ritual”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#720 in the Series) is Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Moon Ritual A couple of weeks ago, on one of the few sunny days we’ve had so far this year, I was sitting out in the back garden enjoying a beer and browsing online. I came across a phrase I’d never heard before: Cosmic California. Hmmm, I thought, wonder what the hell that can be about. I sipped my beer. I read on……… Like most people who listen to a lot of music, I sometimes get a little jaded. I look at the shelves of CD and vinyl and I think that I can’t be bothered listening to any of it, heard...

Dexys “One Day I’m Going To Soar”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#711 in the Series) is Dexys, One Day I’m Going To Soar Nothing’s changed, not really. Despite all the personnel, stylistic and sartorial revamps over the years, Dexys have remained at heart a Soul band. The first album was fuelled by the passion of Northern Soul, the second infused by emotive Celtic Soul, and in 1985, the band’s masterful “Don’t Stand Me Down” settled into a slightly more sedate groove. That one is a real lost treasure and remains Kevin Rowland’s masterpiece. It was a total flop at the time but has gained in reputation over the years and been re-released at least twice, that I know of. Kevin Rowland is famous...

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band “Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#709 in the Series) is Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy Most music fans will know the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (if they know them at all) as the makers of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, a superb album which has become semi-legendary in certain circles, with good cause. It was an essential purchase when it came out in 1972, a wondrous 3 LP set within which tribute was paid by a younger generation to some of the most revered performers of traditional Country music. The likes of Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs and Roy Acuff were on board for a seminal release on which both sides of...

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