Category: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

Derek and the Dominos “Layla and other Assorted Love Songs”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#756 in the Series) is Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. One of the greatest albums of all time and one of the defining moments in Eric Clapton’s legacy is all you really need to know about this album. “The Layla Album” was released in 1970. It’s interesting to note that while it reached #16 in the US, the album did not chart in the UK.  What were they thinking? The band was made up of Eric Clapton on guitar vocals. Duane Allman on guitar; Carl Randle, bass; Bobby Whitlock, organ and vocals and Jim Gordon, Drums. Duane Allman did not play on three of the most popular songs....

Bonnie Raitt "Nick of Time"

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#753 in the Series) is Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time. In 1988, Bonnie Raitt was one of many performers that would continuously pound out good release after good release but never really popped!  We’ve seen a ton of these acts. “Wow is she good. I’m surprised that she’s not better known.”  There was the odd “Me and the Boys” or “Angel From Montgomery,” but the lady from California still wasn’t a household name.  Heck she might not have been as well-known as her stage star father John Raitt. Don’t get me wrong. She did have a nice following, she just wasn’t a star. Then she met Don Was.  Don was a producer...

Paul Simon “Hearts and Bones”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#750) is Paul Simon, Hearts and Bones. Hearts and Bones could be considered the “Lost Paul Simon Album.”  It wasn’t Simon and Garfunkel. It wasn’t Still Crazy, It wasn’t Graceland.  It was between all those classics and never received it’s proper due.  Well not until now. I myself hadn’t even played this for quite sometime.  Recently I was on facebook and saw a video by Al Di Meola.  In the thread beneath it, there was a comment that mentioned how Di Meola had “the most pick control” of anyone he could think of. Then I thought, “Al Di Meola and pick control, hmmm” .. I could only think of one solo. ...

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...

The Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made the Radio”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#734 in the Series) is The Beach Boys, That’s Why God Made the Radio The first thing that comes to mind when discussing a new Beach Boys album is a not so pleasant retro-flashback to the last record of original material under the Beach Boys brand name that was released almost 16 years ago called Summer in Paradise.  This release gave us the first glimpse of what it would be like if Mike Love hijacked the band, kidnapped Brian Wilson, and attempted to recreate the surf-opera sounds of summer without the genius production and arranging fairy dust provided by the undisputed leader of the band.  The result was expectantly bad, with the...

Bob Dylan “Hard Rain”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#705 in the Series) is Bob Dylan, Hard Rain I was more than a little late in becoming a Bob Dylan fan.  I don’t know why, maybe I was a little too young to understand the meaning and the impact of a good protest song.  That and I remember having to sing “Turn, Turn, Turn” at Church once. That wasn’t really a turn on for a this kid. I still remember the first time that he made an impact on me. PBS was running a special on producer John Hammond Sr.  On this show (which included a very young Bruce Springsteen if I remember correctly) Bob introduced his new song “Hurricane.” No,...

Genesis “Foxtrot”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#700 in the Series) is Genesis, Foxtrot One thing that we do here at Cool Album of the Day is endeavor to bring you something special for our milestone numbered posts. As you’ve just read, this piece represents entry number 700. So today we bring you an album that more than arguably could be considered the best progressive-rock album of all time. It contains a song that could also potentially be considered the best progressive rock song of all time.  You already know the album is Foxtrot, and the song of course that I’m referring to is “Supper’s Ready.” Some  may say that Genesis’ magnum opus should be considered The Lamb lies...

Queen “News of the World”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#676 in the Series) is Queen,  News Of The World It’s hard to believe that it’s over twenty years since the passing of quite possibly the best front man ever to grace a stage. Freddie Mercury, the African-born Briton with the enviable vocal range, ability to write hit after hit, and over-the-top stage theatrics, died in 1991, leaving a gaping hole in the music world. Queen (or at least half of them) has limped on, most notably with Paul Rodgers, but it’s painfully obvious that Mercury is irreplaceable. Unfortunately I never got to see him live; I was only ten when he died, but I first got to know the band’s music...

The Clash “Combat Rock”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#664 in the Series) is The Clash, Combat Rock We music fans love to hear stories about how classic songs were recorded, and how some almost never happened. There’s a great part in the Joe Strummer documentary The Future Is Unwritten where drummer Topper Headon talks about how the Clash single ‘Rock the Casbah’ came into being. It was 1982 and the Clash were coming apart at the seams; torn apart by egos, infighting, drug addiction, and the strain of such a heavy touring schedule. Musically, the band had long since left behind their band-of-the-people persona, and were now filling stadiums. Their last two albums London Calling and Sandinista had seen them...

Keith Richards “Talk is Cheap”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#659 in the Series) is Keith Richards, Talk is Cheap. I think I listen to this album more than any Stones album. Great songs, great arrangements, great musicians, great performances. But talk is indeed cheap. So give a listen to “Struggle,” ” Take It So Hard,” “You Don’t Move Me” and “I Could Have Stood You Up.”  The latter definitely channels one of Keith’s favorites, Chuck Berry. One of the more interesting cuts on the album is “Make No Mistake.” Here Keith has written a song that Al Green would be proud of.  It’s a nice departure with some great duet vocals by Sarah Dash. Word has it that this 1988 recording was during a period...

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