Tag: Pop Rock

1991, Music

Into the Great Wide Open (1991) by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Jeff Lynne infestation of Petty’s Full Moon Fever has been allowed to fester and now infects the entire band. I understand this was a big hit, and I grew up with the two biggest songs here too, but this is a particularly polished version of the Heartbreakers, that is relatively unrecognizable to the band …

1991, Music

Woodface (1991) by Crowded House

I can’t figure it out, but I know “Chocolate Cake,” “Fall At Your Feet” and “Weather With You.” I’m confused because I was 9 when this album came out and only “Chocolate Cake” reached the Canadian Top 10. Somebody must have had this album, or a greatest hits record or something, right? Anyway, it’s created …

2001, Music

Room for Squares (2001) by John Mayer

When I first heard “No Such Thing” it made no impression on me. I forgot about it. In fact, I didn’t realize it was John Mayer until this month. When I first heard “Your Body is a Wonderland,” my 20-year-old male self dismissed it as female fan pandering, but I was at least aware of …

1986, Music

Back in the High Life (1986) by Steve Winwood

Traffic are one of those bands I want to love more than I actually do. They’re one of those bands who might have been All Time great had they just had a great songwriter. There are so many moments in their music that I get really excited about, but then the quality of the songs …

1976, Music

A Night on the Town (1976) by Rod Stewart

Atlantic Crossing felt like the beginning of Stewart’s long decline from exciting rock and roll singer to raspy poor man’s Tony Bennett. But A Night on the Town finds him in a bit of a holding pattern. The problems of Atlantic Crossing are still here, as are some of the redeeming qualities of that album’s …

1996, Music

Bringing Down the Horse (1996) by The Wallflowers

I think my brother had this album but I don’t think I ever made it far enough into his CD collection before I got to it. I had, um, zero interest. Once I was interested in the contemporary stuff he owned I certainly wasn’t interested in Dylan’s son. That single was everywhere. I must have …

1986, Music

Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986) by Various Artists

Like everyone else my age, I have seen Top Gun more than a few times. Unlike virtually every other boy my age, I didn’t like it. I think it’s because I recognized it was dumb but more because everything else I knew seemed to love it. And I was already watching old war movies and …

1981, Music

East Side Story (1981) by Squeeze

Can I admit something to you? I thought “Tempted” was from the ’60s. Of course, if I’d really listened to it, I might have noticed it wasn’t. But I became familiar with it when I was young and before I had an ear that could spot time and genre differences. And I guess I just …

1976, Music

Turnstiles (1976) by Billy Joel

I have trouble putting into words how much I hate Billy Joel, especially late ’70s Billy Joel. Basically I don’t like anything about his music, though occasionally there will be something redeeming. And I’m getting to that point where I should be inured to him, where the animus should be wearing off. But it’s not.

1996, Music

To the Faithful Departed (1996) by The Cranberries

I know this is not “the big one” but I was actually surprised how many of the singles from this record which I remembered, dare I say almost fondly. (I guess this means I’m getting old enough to just be happy to hear the music of my teens, even when I didn’t like it at …

1991, Music

Mama Said (1991) by Lenny Kravitz

I get why people like Lenny Kravitz. I think there was probably a time in my life when I could have quite liked Lenny Kravitz. (And maybe, for a while, I sort of did.) And maybe, had I not become the music history obsessive that I am, I would like him to this day. But …

1981, Music

Don’t say No (1981) by Billy Squier

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard “The Stroke” was in an arena. I had no idea what it was and I couldn’t figure out why half the audience (at least) seemed to know the song. Too recent to be “classic rock” when I was growing up and too “rock” (I guess) for those …

2001, Music

Drops of Jupiter (2001) by Train

I know very little about the mainstream rock music of the aughts. For the first four years, I was sequestered in rural Quebec, with very little exposure to radio and access to music video channels only sporadically (and English-language for only one year). After returning to the world for two years, I then spent the …

1986, Music

Parade: Music From the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon (1986) by Prince

I have never seen Under the Cherry Moon, just like I haven’t seen his other movies. But everything I read says that this is a lot better than the movie, so I should be okay.

1976, Music

Takin’ It to the Streets (1976) by The Doobie Brothers

A little while ago I wrote about a 1976 Boz Scaggs album where I wondered publicly if it was the birth of Yacht Rock. And then I thought, “no obviously that would have to be the Doobie Brothers, they were likely first.” Though I have not heard Stampede the first Michael McDonald Doobies album does …

1966, Music

If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966) by The Mama’s and the Papa’s

Oof. Every so often you come across a hit album, be it a critical success or a popular success or both, which has aged really poorly. And the Mama’s and the Papa’s debut album has aged as poorly as their terrible use of the apostrophe in their band name.

1981, Music

Trust (1981) by Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Some critics insist this is the best of the early Attractions albums and among Costello’s very best work. I haven’t listened to any of the other records, recently, however, and so I have a really hard time judging whether or not that opinion is correct.

1980, Music

Humans (1980) by Bruce Cockburn

Cockburn is one of those singer-songwriters I’ve taken my sweet time getting to, especially strange given his nationality. (Or perhaps that’s on purpose on my part.) This is only the second Cockburn album I’ve ever heard despite how prolific he is and despite his citizenship. (He is a bigger deal in my country, I suspect, …

1975, Music

Crack the Sky (1975)

The narrative about American prog in the ’70s that I grew up on is that American musicians heard British prog and got really excited about it but, without the classical education, they really didn’t know how to do it, save to include some jazz. And then some of them figured out that if they just …

1965, Music

Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965) by The Byrds

If I were asked to make a list of the most underrated rock bands of the 1960s, the Byrds might top that list. The average person in the 21st century has no idea how important they were in the evolution of music between 1965 and 1968. So it’s safe to say I’m a fan. But, …

1980, Music

Autoamerican (1980) by Blondie

I didn’t grow up with Blondie like I should have. With their biggest hits accessible enough for mainstream radio, and my dad buying a Greatest Hits record, it’s kind of weird I don’t know them better. But he bought that compilation in my mid teens and they were always too recent to be played on …

1980, Music

Hi Infidelity (1980) by REO Speedwagon

I approached this album with trepidation, mostly because my knowledge of REO Speedwagon consists of two things: their ’80s singles and their supposed career arc from boogie rock band (or something) to pop rock sellouts. (I have no idea how true the latter is, but I read it ant an impressionable age.) I think I …

1980, Music

Double Fantasy (1980) by John Lennon, Yoko Ono

The dirty little secret about this record – if it’s even a secret – is that it was a failure when it first came out: it got bad reviews and it didn’t sell very well. People can write all they want about how it was John Lennon’s return after being a dad, or what have …