Tag: Blues Rock

1975, Music

Atlantic Crossing (1975) by Rod Stewart

When going through Stewart’s solo early solo records I’m always wary that maybe this one will be the one in which he abandons his early sound for the money-chasing of his later career. But the truth is never so straight-forward and so I find myself listening to a record that manages to both sound close …

1965, Music

The “Angry” Young Them (1965)

When I was younger, I was really into British R&B. But the older I get the less essential it seems to me: it’s not the genuine article and so much of it sounds the same. 55-60 years later, do we really care about British interpretations of American music? I mean, it made sense at the …

1975, Music

High Voltage (1975) by AC/DC

Sometimes debut albums show a fully formed band and listening to them its easy to imagine the band going on to be very successful. (That’s especially easy with the benefit of hindsight, of course.) But sometimes debut albums are more confusing, even or especially with hindsight. And such is the case with AC/DC’s true debut, …

1970, Music

Black Sabbath (1970)

There are people who will tell you this is the first heavy metal album of all time. And I understand why they say that, especially with the benefit of hindsight. I respectfully disagree with that particular claim and I think I have pretty valid reasons for doing so, but that doesn’t take away from both …

1999, Music

Mule Variations (1999) by Tom Waits

At this point, anyone who has followed Waits since his left-turn in the early 1980s knows what to expect from a Waits album. Aside from from production choices, most Waits albums of the last 35 years have sounded rather similar to each other, with everything in his own inimitable style, and the only major difference …

1974, Music

Second Helping (1974) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This record is notable for containing Skynyrd’s most famous song (apologies to “Freebird”), perhaps the definitive Southern Rock song, their biggest hit and such a cultural touchstone that Kid Rock managed to have a hit sampling it decades later. (The less said about that last one, the better.) But the presence of “Sweet Home Alabama” …

1964, Music

The Rolling Stones (1964)

If you were British when this came out, and especially if you were a kid in Britain which didn’t have access to London’s blues scene (or any of the other blues scenes, if they existed), this record was likely a revelation to you – dirty, gritty, blues-based music (more blues-based than anything you’d ever heard …

1978, Music

Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

For some reason, so much of my experience of Beefheart is tied up with Safe as Milk and Trout Mask Replica, and how the latter is such a huge departure from a former, that when I hear latter Beefheart records that are closer in spirit to his early work than Trout Mask Replica I’m not …

1973, Music

Vagabonds of the Western World (1973) by Thin Lizzy

I’ve been meaning to listen to Thin Lizzy since I listened to classic rock almost exclusively (i.e. for 20 years). For some reason that has never happened. And now I find myself listening to a different album that their reputed best. I worried that was a recipe for disaster. Good thing Thin Lizzy are pretty …

1973, Music

pronounced ‘lĕh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd (1973)

With their debut album, Lynyrd Skynyrd didn’t invent southern rock, as it had already existed for at least 4 years. But you might say they invented the populist form of southern rock, a louder, more blue collar version that relies more on hard rock and country than on soul or jazz. There are eight songs …

1968, Music

Cheap Thrills (1968) by Big Brother and the Holding Company

In the version of the ’60s I got from ’90s music television, Cheap Thrills is one of the seminal documents of the San Francisco psychedelic scene. But listening to it for the first time all these years later, it’s hard to see why it was such a big deal. I guess it’s considered the best …

1973, Music

We’re An American Band (1973) by Grand Funk Railroad

I don’t know much about Grand Funk Railroad. I’ve heard the title track and a few other hits, but most of what I know of them consists of jokes about them from The Simpsons and other places, so I have kind of always dismissed them without giving it a second thought. And, since it’s been …

1983, Music

Texas Flood (1983) by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I was first becoming a really serious music fan, Stevie Ray Vaughan was just one of the guitar greats. It was just assumed but it was hard to really question it. If you talked to more knowledgeable (inevitably male) music fans about which guitarists to listen to, SRV was always on the list. I …

1973, Music

Approximately Infinite Universe (1973) by Yoko Ono

My first encounter with Yoko Ono as the dominant performer (as opposed to Lennon) was with her Plastic Ono Band. I guess I wasn’t in the right mood for it, as it felt just way too directionless and faux avant garde to my ears at the time. (Some of the stuff they do on that …

1967, Music

Mr. Fantasy (1967) by Traffic

Traffic is one of those bands I’ve come at bass-ackwards, being way too familiar with their jazz rock reunion iteration and not very familiar with the original psychedelic rock band. It’s a stupid way of approaching any band, but particularly one that changed its identity as much as as Traffic did.

1977, Music

Slowhand (1977) by Eric Clapton

At some point during Clapton’s recovery from heroin addiction, his style of music changed rather drastically. He still played the blues but a lot of the fire and rawness of that playing was gone. His solo records from the ’70s (excepting the first one) all have a similar pop blues style, even if the individual …

1977, Music

Street Survivors (1977) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This album is perhaps most famous for its unfortunate album cover, showing the band (nearly) engulfed in flames. Three days after this album was released, 2/7ths of Lynyrd Skynyrd and four other people were killed in a plane crash, including one of their backing vocalists. The album then became their most successful, as is often …

1982, Music

Ice Cream for Crow (1982) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

If you have come at the Captain through his earliest works, this record might feel like not much or a man settling into his mid life. It’s far less radical than his most radical work of the early ’70s, wherein he basically pioneered the intersection of blues and free jazz and other things.