Tag: Rock

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

Musicforthemorningafter (2001) by Pete Yorn

It sure is a good thing I didn’t know anything about Pete Yorn and didn’t read any of the reviews about this album before I started listening to it. Because reading some of the breathless critical acclaim this received would have just about guaranteed that I wouldn’t have liked it. Fortunately, I listened first.

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 …

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 …

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 …

1970, Music

Stephen Stills (1970)

Though I became kind of obsessed with Manassas’ debut album and Super Session back in the day, Stills is the last of CSNY for me, in terms of listening to proper solo albums. Some of that is accidental (or technical, depending upon how you feel about Manassas). But some of that is also because, though …

1975, Music

Rock of Westies (1975) by Elton John

Based upon the title, the cover, and the presence of “Island Girl”, I thought this was going to be John’s Caribbean record. (I thought “westies” meant “West Indies”; I didn’t know it was a spoonerism.) So colour me surprised by (most of) the actual content.

1975, Music

Alive! (1975) by KISS

For a long time I refused to even considered this record, due to the admission of overdubbing significant parts of this record after the fact. But, the thing is, everybody did this back then, or nearly everybody. Over time, we’ve learned that many of the great “live” albums featured extensive overdubs. (And some of them …

1970, Music

First Step (1970) by Faces

Full disclosure: I love this band. I have an irrational love of their next two albums, both of which I have listened to way too many times. So even though this record is acknowledged as a bit of a mess I knew I wanted to listen to it anyway and I knew I would like …

1983, Music

Uh-Huh (1983) by John Cougar Mellencamp

A number of times in the last few years I have put on a Mellencamp album with the intention of talking about it on the podcast and come up with some reason not to talk to about, so I’ve never given any of them the full three listens I want to give any record before …

1998, Music

Devil Without a Cause (1998) by Kid Rock

Full disclosure: I don’t like Kid Rock. I don’t like his urban hick persona. I don’t like his public support of The Donald. I don’t like that he owns a craft brewery that makes watery lagers because he didn’t think there were enough watery lagers available in the United States. If I never heard another …

1993, Music

Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993) by Lenny Kravitz

I do not love nostalgia. Even when that nostalgia is for music I like, I have a hard time liking or sometimes even appreciating music that was made in awe of and devotion to another time. Sure, it might sound better than the original because it was recorded better or mixed better or mastered better …

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

Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) by Dennis Wilson

Full disclosure: I did not want to listen to this. I don’t love The Beach Boys and have generally been annoyed by the Brian Wilson-worship that has bubbled to the surface over the last few decades. Of all the likely listeners of this record, one would expect me to be among the least fair.

1997, 2017

OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017 by Radiohead

I don’t normally review reissue editions of albums, whether or not I like them. And I wouldn’t review this either only I am going to record a podcast episode about OK Computer shortly and I was advised to listen to the rarities disk. So here goes…

1976, Music

Night Moves (1976) by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

For much of my life I have had a hatred for “boomer nostalgia” – movies and music that lionize growing up in the ’50s and ’60s as if it was just the bees knees. I am getting to an age where I am finally able to better understand the appeal of such nostalgia – I’m …

2007, Movies

Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (2007, Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner, Parris Patton)

This is a fawning, awkward fluff piece of one of the greatest bands to come out of the British Invasion. I love The Who – there was probably a time in my life when they were my favourite band – but this film feels like the Official Version, something vetted by Daltrey and Townshend so …

1975, Music

Tonight’s the Night (1973, 1975) by Neil Young

Neil Young was a star for the first time in 1973. And yet even though he was star, and he was expected to pump out further “Heart of Gold” style hits, his life was a mess. Whether or not he may acknowledge it now, he had drug issues. And within a rather short span of …

Music

On Artistic Greatness

Greatness means many different things to many different people and certainly conceptions of greatness vary from field to field. Most of our associations with greatness are no doubt based upon feelings rather than rational reflection. If we don’t have a mutually acceptable concept of greatness, then you can hardly agree or disagree with me about …