Tag Archives: Great Album

November 3: The Jam released All Mod Cons in 1978

“All Mod Cons, released to wide acclaim in 1978, firmly cemented the group’s rise to extraordinary heights. Indeed, for many it was the first essential Jam album and listening to it now its impact has not diminished over time.”
-BBC

When I think about English records I think of  The Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society, The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, The Who’s Quadrophenia and The Jam’s All Mod Cons. To me all those albums are quintessential English.

All of them are fantastic albums.

All Mod Cons:

Released 3 November 1978
Recorded 4 July 1978 to
17 August 1978RAK (Upper London) and Eden Studios
Genre Punk rock, Mod Revival, Power pop
Length 37:28
Label Polydor
Producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
Chris Parry

It’s their third full-length LP. It took it’s title from a British idiom one might find in housing advertisements, is short for “all modern conveniences” and is a pun on the band’s association with the mod revival as well. Of Course it is also Paul Weller’s view on the music business as a ‘con’.

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November 1: Grateful Dead released American Beauty in 1970

american-beauty

“Taking notes on vocal harmonies from friends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Dead used the softer statements of their fourth studio album as a subtle but moving reflection on the turmoil, heaviness, and hope America’s youth was facing as the idealistic ’60s ended. American Beauty was recorded just a few months after its predecessor, both expanding and improving on the bluegrass, folk, and psychedelic country explorations of Workingman’s Dead with some of the band’s most brilliant compositions.”
– Fred Thomas (Allmusic)

It took me a while to get into Grateful Dead, but when they hit me, they hit me hard! This is my second favorite of their albums (my number one is Workingman’s Dead) I should say studio albums, because I really love their early 70s live stuff.

American Beauty is the sixth album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between August and September 1970 and originally released in November 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. The album continued the folk rock and country music explored on Workingman’s Dead and prominently features the lyrics of Robert Hunter.

grateful dead

In 2003, the album was ranked number 258 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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November 1: MTV Unplugged Live in NY by Nirvana was released in 1994

Nirvana unplugged in New York cover

This is not easy listening, it’s uneasy listening!

MTV Unplugged in New York is a live album by the American rock band Nirvana. It features an acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993 for the television series MTV Unplugged. The show was directed by Beth McCarthy and first aired on the cable television network MTV on December 14, 1993. As opposed to traditional practice on the television series, Nirvana played a set list composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets (during which they were joined by two members of the group onstage) and Lead Belly.

Rolling Stone ranked MTV Unplugged in New York at #311 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”

The album start with About a Girl:

Continue reading November 1: MTV Unplugged Live in NY by Nirvana was released in 1994

October 27: Neil Young released Harvest Moon in 1992

Neil_Young_Harvest_Moon

Harvest Moon is the twentieth studio album by Neil Young. Many of the musicians appearing on it also appeared on his 1972 album Harvest, and it is considered by many to be like a “sequel” to Harvest.

But Neil Young did not agree:
“…people see the correlation between the two, and it’s kind of a plus to be able to refer back 20 years and see the same people and do that. But the thrust of the albums is different, even though the subject matter is similar, so I tend to shy away more from comparisons between them…”

Recovering from a case of tinnitus that had come about after the recording of 1990’s Ragged Glory and its subsequent tour (which produced 1991’s Weld and Arc), Young was determined to return to the studio. Returning to Nashville and joining up with compatriots like Ben Keith, Young put down the electric guitar, returning to the acoustic guitar, piano and banjo that had dominated albums such as Harvest, Comes a Time and Old Ways.

The album earned the 1994 Juno Award for album of the year. The 2009 release Dreamin’ Man is a live album of the subsequent 1992 tour and contains live renditions of all Harvest Moon tracks in a different order.

One of Neil Young’s best albums in my book, many classic songs. I think it’s a far angrier album than Harvest and a record  that is a testament to Young’s experience and growth as a songwriter.

The title track to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon encapsulates the mood of the entire album in a single song. The power of nature and music, as well as a feeling of celebrating lifetime love are the focal points here, and Young captures it all in his typically literate, artless style. The melody is positively gorgeous, and it’s one that could have easily framed a heavier song. The fact that Young uses the word “celebrate” underlines his feelings here, and the exquisite arrangement and backing vocals (which include Linda Ronstadt) underline this.
– Matthew Greenwald (allmusic.com)

Neil Young – Harvest Moon (Official video):

Continue reading October 27: Neil Young released Harvest Moon in 1992

October 25: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in 1968

Jimi_Hendrix_-_Electric_Ladyland

“undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else.”
– David Stubbs

“one of the greatest double-albums in rock.”
– John Perry

Electric Ladyland is the third and final album of new material by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 on Reprise Records. It is the only Hendrix studio album professionally produced under his supervision. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks in November 1968.

Released October 25, 1968 (some sources says October 16…worth celebrating anyhow)
Recorded Olympic Studios, London and Record Plant Studios, New York, July and December 1967, January 1968, April–August 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock, hard rock
Length 75:47
Label Reprise, Track, Barclay, Polydor
Producer Jimi Hendrix

All along the watchtower, the best Dylan cover of all time! (live, Isle of Wight):

This is a perfect Hendrix album. It is poppy and funky and original at the same time, and what a great soul singer Hendrix was! I also think it is very inventive, sonically speaking. Jimi Hendrix really searched for “new sounds” on this record, he produced an album that has stood the test of time marvelously.

Continue reading October 25: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in 1968