Category: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

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...

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...

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...

The Rolling Stones ‘Black and Blue’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Hot Stuff” by The Rolling Stones Today’s Song Of The Day comes from the Rolling Stones’ 1976 album Black And Blue. Next to Goats Head Soup, the album stands as one of the most maligned Rolling Stones releases of the 1970s. That assessment is totally unfair since the album actually is one of the most varied and forward looking records in their catalog, featuring two superb ballads, two terse rockers and several songs that add reggae, soul, funk and disco into the mix. Many of the record’s songs stemmed from studio jams that were recorded while trying out new guitarists to replace Mick Taylor, and guitarists Wayne Perkins and Harvey Mandel...

Bruce Springsteen ‘Born to Run’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen Some of my favorite scenes from The Sopranos are when Tony Soprano is shown driving in his SUV rocking out and singing along to ‘70s tunes, usually by BTO or Journey. Today, I felt a little like Tony Soprano while driving to work, but instead of Journey or BTO, I was listening to one of the greatest albums ever released, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen. A strange and wonderful sensation came over me by the time the title track came on, which will always signal the beginning of Side Two to me even when hearing it on an iPod. “Born To Run” is still...

Brian Wilson ‘Brian Wilson’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Melt Away” by Brian Wilson The fact that Brian Wilson’s eponymously titled album was ever completed was seen as nothing short of a miracle back in 1988 when it appeared in the record racks. After more than a decade of inactivity in which Wilson spent most of his time in bed doing nothing, he came under the around the clock care of Dr. Eugene Landy who got him out of bed, put him on an exercise regimen and got him back into the studio. Brian Wilson was pared with Beach Boy aficionado Andy Paley who produced the sessions, however like Murray Wilson (Brian’s dad) before him, Dr. Landy was a constant...

Talking Heads ‘Naked’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Facts Of Life” by Talking Heads By 1988, Talking Heads were running out of fuel. The band members were somewhat fed up with each other, and were not happy with the conventional pop direction that their previous two albums took them in. For their final album called Naked, the group worked with producer Steve Lillywhite and decamped to France to record with the support of a host of East African, British, Irish and Caribbean musicians. Before leaving for Paris, the band worked up 40 basic improvisational rhythm tracks as a jumping off point in the studio. In Paris, the group would jam on one of the tracks each day and...

Jefferson Airplane ‘Volunteers’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Good Shepherd” by Jefferson Airplane The epiphany of an eight year old… The backdrop of my childhood played out with images of the Viet Nam war and the unrest that culminated in the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention coming over the television screen. While I wasn’t privy to what it all meant, I did know that the world around me was changing and that my older sister and her peers were making it happen. And I also knew that I very badly wanted to be a part of it all. I was eight years old in 1969 visiting my grandmother’s house when up the drive came the coolest MG convertible...

Elton John ‘Caribou’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Grimsby” by Elton John To use the title of one of the songs included on this album, Elton John’s Caribou is indeed a “Stinker.” That said, this beautiful turd of an album, his first to be recorded in the U.S., captures Elton John at his commercial apex and at the height of his creative powers. The fact that it contained two of his most indelible singles, “The Bitch Is Back” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” was just the icing on the cake of a very hectic year. By the release of Caribou in 1974, Elton John’s career was so white-hot he could do no wrong. His previous...

Paul Simon ‘The Rhythm Of The Saints’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Thelma” by Paul Simon It boggles the mind how a song this good could have been left in the can, but that was indeed the fate of the Paul Simon outtake “Thelma,” which was originally intended for his 1990 album The Rhythm Of The Saints. (The song would surface three years later on the Paul Simon 1964 – 1993 box set.) By 1988, Simon had to begin thinking about the near impossible task of creating a follow up record to his 1986 Grammy-winning smash hit album Graceland. But how do you follow up a record as dominant and successful as Graceland? For Simon, it meant fashioning a record along the same...

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