Category: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

Warren Zevon ‘The Wind’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#903 in the Series) is Warren Zevon, The Wind In the final episode of season 2 of the hit Showtime series Californication, down on his self-inflicted luck, writer Hank Moody has just finished a book project and is ready to begin his post-project ritual. “Every time I finish a book, It’s Whiskey, Weed and Warren Zevon, It’s the little things” he says, while ”Keep Me in your Heart” plays delicately in the background. “Keep Me In Your Heart” is the emotional core of The Wind, the last album that Warren Zevon made prior to his death of lung cancer in September of 2003. The album was already in the works in late August...

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...

David Bowie ‘Young Americans’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Win” by David Bowie Plastic soul…on a plastic record. Shifting gears was nothing new for David Bowie who seemingly shedded skin during the 1970s like others took out the trash. So when Bowie booked time in Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios during a two-week break during the Diamond Dogs tour, it should not have come as a surprise to anyone that he would emerge in the guise of a suave and sophisticated soul man, sans costumes, make-up and theatrics. The signs were already there. Bowie had begun to work on an album called People From Bad Homes for his protégé, Ava Cherry And The Astronettes who consisted of his friend Geoffrey...

Neil Young and the Bluenotes .. ‘This Note’s For You’

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “I’m Going” by Neil Young & The Bluenotes After going electronic on Trans, country and western on Old Ways, and then turning himself into a rockabilly cat with The Shocking Pinks, what else could Neil Young have had in store for fans whose patience was beginning to wear thin as the 1980s drew to a close? Soul man! In 1988, Neil Young put together a soulful horn band called The Bluenotes and recorded the album This Note’s For You. The album was seen as a return to form after a string of patchy genre-hopping releases for Geffen Records, and it was also his first release back on the Reprise label. The...

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