Category: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

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...

Neil Young and Crazy Horse to Release “Americana” on June 5th.

  Details for the new Neil Young and Crazy Horse release have now just become much clearer. The album is going to be titled Americana and is going to be released on June 5th. It’s the first time that Neil Young and Crazy Horse have released an album in nine years, with that being Greendale in 2003.  However, it’s the first full album with all three Crazy Horse members them since Broken Arrow, that was 1996. “The Horse” remains Billy Talbot on bass, Ralph Molina on drums and Frank “Poncho” Sampedro on guitar and organ. Sampedro sat out the Greendale sessions feeling that a one guitar voice was more fitting for the project. Neil explained the newest project in...

Bruce Springsteen “Wrecking Ball”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#651 in the Series) is Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball The Boss is back and he’s an angry man! I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d fully enjoy a new Springsteen album again. Much as I love the man and his music, recent efforts have left me fairly underwhelmed. But come on, it’s Bruce! He’s never going to entirely let me down and both Magic and Working on a Dream certainly have their moments. Some fine songs between them but in terms of putting out an album that was a great listen all the way through, well, I thought it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. Which just shows how much I know…………..this...

Levon Helm “Dirt Farmer”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#632 in the Series) is Levon Helm, Dirt Farmer. (Vanguard Records) Every year since the early 80’s I’ve come up with my own Album of the Year. This won easily as my Album of Year in 2008.  (It was actually released late in late 2007, I know! You’ll understand soon.) We all know Levon Helm as drummer, picker and lead vocalist of The Band.  If you’re a fan of The Band, or just Americana music in general, you must add Dirt Farmer to your collection. It was strange.  I actually had this album for quite some time before I really got into it.  I had it, gave it a quick spin when...

Prince “Controversy”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#629 in the Series) is Prince, Controversy I have wanted to do a piece on one of these early Prince albums for a while now. In fact I started doing Dirty Mind a while ago and decided to do an about-face and present a piece on Controversy instead. We’ll get to Dirty Mind someday as I consider that also one of his best, but today it’s Controversy. Controversy was released in 1981 just a year after the previously mentioned Dirty Mind. Did have some controversial pieces in it? You could say somewhat, but there is nothing totally outrageous here in my opinion. He takes a look at social protest in three tracks,...

Ringo Starr “2012”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#621 in the Series) is Ringo Starr, 2012 I do like this album, don’t get me wrong, but 28 minutes of music Ringo? Really? That’s the best you can do?  Maybe Barbara has been running around the house with her cave woman outfit or something. I’ll tell you what. If that’s all the effort you can come up with, then I’m only going to spend 28 minutes preparing and writing your album review. So if I don’t get to everything I want to say, it’s your fault. When time runs out, that’s it. Ringo has stated that this album is a continuation of his 1973 release titled simply, Ringo. Oh, and for...

David Gilmour “On an Island”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#620 in the Series) is David Gilmour, On an Island I have never been one to think you had to choose between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. They were both part of the prime of cool bands and though it ended not as either wished, I recently saw a documentary that said they were both at peace about it. Gilmour said there were three versions of the band, one with Syd, one after Syd, and one after Roger. If I am forced to choose whose solo career I enjoy more, I choose Gilmour and it is largely due to this record. Waters of course has been much more prodigious, but my favorite...

Bob Marley + The Wailers “Rastaman Vibration”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#616 in the Series) is  Bob Marley and the Wailers, Rastaman Vibration. I don’t know why I chose this one. I don’t know why I choose most of the albums I do. But this is one of those from my ‘yute’ that I played often. Maybe I was just getting into reggae and thought I was cool. I don’t know. Once again, not an artist’s best acclaimed, best selling, nor best known. This is just one that I happened to like. The most well known track is probably “Roots, Rock, Reggae.” Some of the other tracks of note were “Positive Vibration,” “Who the Cap Fit,” and “Crazy Baldhead.” This was released in...

John Fogerty “Centerfield”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#594 in the Series) is John Fogerty, Centerfield This is another one of those albums that may not be looked upon the same way as it did when it was released. I think the overplaying of the title cut may have caused a little “album fatigue” that changes the overall perspective of this album. I’m writing this looking back to what I felt and what it felt like listening to this album back in 1985. In 2012 you might not realize how much of a big deal this album was, but this was a big deal! You have to go back and look at the whole history of John Fogerty and remember...

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