Category: Albums of the 70s

Led Zeppelin ‘Presence’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#937 in the Series) is Led Zeppelin, Presence.  If you’ve been with us for a while you’ll notice some common themes that I referred to on a regular basis. One of the more popular ones is my tendency to be a big fan of a band’s album from a tour that I happened to see. I don’t know why this is true, because often those aren’t anywhere near the band’s best piece of work, but for some reason those albums consistently have always stuck with me longer. One of my early great live rock ‘n roll experiences was seeing Led Zeppelin at the Chicago Stadium on the Presence tour. Back then I...

Billy Joel ’52nd Street’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#931 in the Series) is Billy Joel, 52nd Street While 52nd Street is not Billy Joel’s most popular album, that honor goes to The Stranger with the mega-hits “Just the Way You Are”, “Scenes in an Italian Restaurant”, “Only the Good Die Young”, and the rest, or his most socially aware album, that would certainly be The Nylon Curtain with the brutally honest social commentary of “Allentown”, and “Goodbye Saigon”, and it was by far not the worst, clearly An Innocent Man gets that dubious honor, but it is in some circles, including mine, simply the best. In the interests of full disclosure, my view of this album may be somewhat influenced...

The Allman Brothers Band ‘Idlewild South’

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#924 in the Series) is The Allman Brothers Band, Idlewild South. Idlewild South was the second and last of the two  “true” Allman Brothers Band albums. They’ve had many, many great albums, but the first two are always considered the only “true” Allman Brothers, meaning, Duane and Gregg were both included. I’ve also read more than one review that has called this the best studio album that band ever produced.   As mentioned, this was the last full studio album that included the great Duane Allman. He would lose his life in a motorcycle accident while recording the follow up, Eat a Peach.  Of course it didn’t end there either. Original...

The Outlaws ‘Lady in Waiting’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#921 in the Series) is The Outlaws, Lady In Waiting. Back to my country-rock roots once more.  I was a big fan of the early Outlaws.  I loved the first three albums and then the live release.  Then I fell away.  I remember seeing them on this tour at the Chicago Stadium.  It was Bad Company, The Outlaws and Rockpile. I can’t remember who played first between the Outlaws and Rockpile. I do remember watching an undercover cop bust a guy for selling him something in a little packet in the bathroom.  The things you remember when you’re a teen! This album didn’t have any of their huge hits on it.  But I...

Steve Winwood ‘Steve Winwood’

Today’s Cool Album of the day (#918 in The Series) is the debut self-titled solo release from Steve Winwood. When discussing Steve Winwood’s solo albums the first one that’s usually mentioned Is Back in the High Life. That indeed was a huge album for “Stevie” and deserves all the praise it received. The 1986 release peaked at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and won Grammys for Record of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance along with an engineering award.  “Higher Love” was a #1 single. Arc of a Diver also gets kudos tossed its way. And yes, it’s another good one. As far as hits there was the title cut along with “When You See...

Nina Hagen Band ‘Nina Hagen Band’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#913 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Nina Hagen Band. There’s a great scene in Paul Rachman’s terrific documentary “American Hardcore” that discusses the differences between early punk and early hardcore.  While I don’t remember the specific verbiage, the gist of the thing is that early punks came up playing glam rock and turned to punk later in life, whereas early hardcore kids heard punk rock and picked up instruments; while they couldn’t play worth a damn, the primal energy of punk rock was a universal.  This attitude seems to be widely held, and time hasn’t been kind to “punks that could play”: the classic image of punk rock is fast,...

KISS ‘Destroyer’

Posted 09 Mar 2014 in Albums of 1976, Albums of the 70s

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#912 in the Series) is KISS, Destroyer It is difficult to pinpoint the exact point in time that KISS ceased being a band and morphed into the soul sucking, cross marketing, American Idol appearing, corporate sell-outs that they are today. After all, this is the band that released Alive!, a self proclaimed live album that was cleaned up in post-production with actual guitar licks layered in, and more after-the fact enhancements than an air brushed Playboy centerfold. These were the guys who kicked Ace Frehley out of the band for partying too hard (who among us doesn’t pine for those Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John years), and deceptively tried to disguise Tommy Thayer...

Paul Pena ‘New Train’

Posted 04 Mar 2014 in Albums of 1973, Albums of the 70s

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#910 in the Series)is Paul Pena, New Train New Train is the debut release and the “lost record” from blind blues singer Paul Pena. Recorded in 1973, the album was (for a reason known only to the musical gods) shelved until its first proper release in 2000, and is now considered one of the great unearthed Soul-Blues albums. With a voice that floats somewhere between Lenny Kravitz and Lou Rawls, and a vibe that rolls down The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Croce and Bonnie Raitt train track with a side trip down the Joe Cocker Highway, New Train does not show its age at all, and sounds as if it could have...

The Who ‘Live at Leeds’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#909 in the Series) is The Who, Live at Leeds.  The Who, Live at Leeds. Is this the motherload of all live albums? I do believe this, when you talk about the best live albums of all time, this is in the team picture.  And I’m just referring to the six song, original release of 1970. That’s it, six raw powerful wonderful rock and roll songs. It was The Who during a great period. This was the tour for Tommy.  They had finished their poppy earlier era and had entered into a rock and roll era with the original band that would last for about eight more years. The six songs on the...

Wishbone Ash ‘Wishbone Ash’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#908 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Wishbone Ash. Everyone has a band or two, that, for one reason or another, they consider “their band.” Perhaps you were the first kid on the block to discover them, and then couldn’t wait to tell everyone about them! Or they simply remind you of a special time in your life. For me, Wishbone Ash is one of those bands. Wishbone Ash was the first “real” band I ever saw. They were opening for Alice Cooper at the long since demolished International Amphitheatre in the lovely stockyard area of Chicago’s south side. That show was in the year of 1972. I was 13...

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