beatles - past masters

The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)

In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent.  Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can  go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles.  Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”

alice cooper - killer

Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)

(Yeah, we’re out of sequence but I recently picked this up at the record shop and needed a Beatles break, so even though the As are done here’s a welcome diversion) 

I grew up knowing about Alice Cooper rather than listening to Alice Cooper.  You couldn’t get away from that visage, the Welcome to My Nightmare look that’s been a staple of the man/the band for so many decades now.  But behind the paint and the Grand Guignol theatrics has always lay a band that could rock with the best of them and Killer demonstrates how versatile the entity that was/is Alice Cooper could be. Continue reading “Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”

beatles - abbey road

The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)

There’s a sense of the mythic in that opening bassline, the way it connect the drum.  It’s all sex and slink, a dirt revelation of the youth of 1969, 79…2019.  Abbey Road is the true last gospel of The Beatles, and  the true gospel of The Beatles, the last time the band would truly ever “Come Together,” and it’s little wonder it’s so glorious a send off, despite it being released after Let It Be.   Continue reading “The Beatles: Abbey Road (1969)”

white album

The Beatles: The Beatles (1968)

Does anyone really sit through the entirety of The Beatles (hereafter known as The White Album) and think its a work of genius?  Some of my favorite songs are on here, and you also have “Piggies” and “Honey Pie” which are…less than satisfying.  There’s a bold beauty on display that The Beatles (hereafter known as…The Beatles) reached for a much more experimental and shaggy structure, where everything before was so compact and cohesive.  Although it’s a fair point to sat that the fact The White Album is so shaggy is the cohesive point, so I don’t know. Continue reading “The Beatles: The Beatles (1968)”

allman brothers - brothers and sisters

The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)

My brother and I were recently debating the whole “Southern Rock” thing as we drove through Brooklyn record shopping.  His tastes run along the classic, laid back chill rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker band typify; I run more Little Feat (basically give me anything with Lowell George).  But one band we could both agree on was The Allman Brothers, and when it came to naming an album we both immediately agreed on Brothers and Sisters.  With one foot firmly planted in southern country there’s enough blues and rock to keep anyone happy, even if “Ramblin’ Man” wasn’t on it.  Continue reading “The Allman Brothers: Brothers and Sisters (1973)”