KING CRIMSON – Fourth Longplayer ‘ISLANDS’ Came Out 50 Years Ago

2 December 2021

Band: KING CRIMSON
Who: Prog rock legends from London featuring Robert Fripp,
John Wetton (Roxy Music / Uriah Heep), Bill Brufford (Yes / Genesis)
Active: 1968–1974, 1981–1984, 1994–2003,
2008–2009, 2013–present / 13 studio LPs

Anniversary album: ISLANDS – 4th LP
Released: 3 December 2021 – 50 years ago

AllMusic said: “The weakest Crimson studio album from
their first era is only a real disappointment in relation to the
extraordinarily high quality of the group’s earlier efforts.”

Full review here. Score: 2.5/5.

Full album on Spotify…

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KING CRIMSON: All Albums – Facebook

(group pic: cover of their 1973 ‘Red’ LP)

Prog Rock Kings YES Released Their Album ‘FRAGILE’ 50 Years Ago Today

26 November 2021

Band: YES

Who: Legendary British prog-rockers who started in 1968 with
nightingale voice Jon Anderson, and masterly musicians Chris
Squire
(bass), Peter Banks (guitarist), Tony Kaye (keyboardist)
and Bill Bruford (drummer).

Active: 1968–1981, 1983–2004, 2008–present / 22 studio albums
so far, with this year’s The Quest as the most recent one.

Anniversary album: FRAGILE
Released: 26 November 1971 – 50 years ago today

Pitchfork said: “‘Fragile’ introduced Yes’ highest-powered line-up, as
the silver-cape wearing, 12-keyboard-hauling Rick Wakeman replaced
Tony Kaye. But the question is, what was “fragile?” Their egos? The battle
between the perfectly balanced arrangements– as on classic rock radio
staples “Roundabout” and “Long Distance Runaround”, and each virtuoso’s
need to grandstand, vented through five solo interludes (most memorably
Steve Howe’s “Mood for a Day”)? All that firepower could have ruined the
band, yet on Fragile, they put songcraft firmly over indulgence.
” Score: 8/10.

Turn Up The Volume: The Kings of prog-rock symphonies 6th LP.
1974’s Relayer still is my Yes favorite, but Fragile comes in second.

Key single: Roundabout…

Stream full LP here…

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YES: All Albums – HistoryFacebook

BELLE & SEBASTIAN Released Their Lauded 2nd Album ‘IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER’ 25 Years Ago

Back in time

20 November 2021

Band: BELLE & SEBASTIAN
Who: Veteran indie-pop daydreamers from Glasgow
led by singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch
Active: Since 1996 / 10 studio LPs so far

Anniversary album: IF YOU’RE FEELING SINISTER
Released: 18 November 1996 – 25 years ago
It was their 2nd LP coming only 6 months after
their debut Tigermilk.

AllMusic said: “Belle & Sebastian’s second record, If You’re Feeling Sinister,
is, for all intents and purposes, really their first, since their debut in 1996 was
not heard outside of privileged inner circles… ‘Sinister’ plays like a great forgotten
album, couched in ’80s indie, ’90s attitude, and ’60s folk-pop. It’s beautifully out
of time, and even if other Belle & Sebastian albums sound like it, this is where
they achieved a sense of grace.”
Score: 5/5.

Stream album here…

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BELLE & SEBASTIAN: All Albums – Facebook

Lads Rock Nostalgia – FACES Released LP ‘A NOD IS AS GOOD AS A WINK…’ 50 Years Ago Today

17 November 2021

Band: FACES

Who: 60s/70s beat band Small Faces minus founder Steve Marriott who
left to form Humble Pie, but featuring Rod Stewart, who also continued
his booming solo career along the way, and guitarist Ronnie Wood
Active: 1969–1975, 2009–2011 / 4 LPs

Anniversary album: A NOD IS AS GOOD AS A WINK…
Released: 17 November 1971 – 50 years ago today

AllMusic wrote: “The Faces’ third album, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse, finally gave the group their long-awaited hit single in “Stay with Me,” helping send the album into the Billboard Top Ten, which is certainly a testament to both the song and the album, but it’s hard to separate its success from that of Rod Stewart’s sudden solo stardom… There are few records that feel like a never-ending party like A Nod — the slow moments are for slow dancing, and as soon as it’s over, it’s hard not to want to do it all over again. It’s another classic — and when you consider that the band also had Long Player to their credit and had their hands all over Every Picture in 1971, it’s hard to imagine another band or singer having a year more extraordinary as this.” Full review here. Score: 5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Lads rockers playing lads boogie-woogie fueled with
lads riffs-licks-hooks and super deluxe lads icon Rod Stewart in the middle.

Key track: classic single Stay With Me

Full album stream on Spotify…

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FACES: History


Back sleeve

Legendary Songstress JONI MITCHELL Released 8th LP ‘HEJIRA’ 45 Years Ago Today

Back in time

14 November 2021

Artist: JONI MITCHELL
Born as Roberta Joan Anderson
78 years ago in Canada

Active: 1964–2002, 2006–2007, 2013 / 19th studio LPs
with Shine as the most recent one (2007)

Anniversary album: HEJIRA
Released: 14 November 1976 – 45 years ago today

AllMusic wrote: “Hejira is the last in an astonishingly long run of
top-notch studio albums dating back to her debut… by and large,
this release is the most overtly jazz-oriented of her career up to this
point, hip and cool, but never smug or icy. This excellent album is
a rewarding listen.”

Key single: Coyote (performed at The Band‘s last concert in 1978)…

Full album on Spotify…

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JONI MITCHELL: All Albums – Website

TRICKY – Second Album ‘PRE-MILLENIUM TENSION’ Released 25 Years Ago

Back in time

11 November 2021

Artist: TRICKY (UK)
Born: Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, 53 years ago

Who: Former Massive Attack member with
a wayward and intriguing vision on trip-hop
Active: Since 1985 / 14 solo LPs so far

Anniversary Album: PRE-MILLENIUM TENSION
Released: 11 November 1996 – 25 years ago today

AllMusic said: “Maxinquaye was an unexpected hit in England, launching a wave
of similar-sounding artists, who incorporated Tricky’s innovations into safer pop
territory. Tricky responded by traveling to Jamaica to record Pre-Millennium Tension,
a nervy, claustrophobic record that thrives in its own paranoia. Pre-Millennium Tension
is as much Tricky reaching back to his hardcore rap roots as it is a sonic exploration. As
such, it stands as a transition record for Tricky, but its overall effect is only slightly less
powerful than Maxinquaye or Nearly God.”
Score: 4/5.

Turn Up the Volume: Tricky only walks one musical way,
his own, leading to tantalizing trip-hop tension.

Singles: Bad Dreams / Christiansands

– BAD DREAMS –

– CHRISTIANSANDS –

Stream album on Spotify…

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TRICKY: Facebook

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS Released Self-Titled Debut LP 45 Years Ago Today

Back in time

10 November 2021

Band: TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS (Florida, US)
Active: 1967-2017 / 13th studio LPs

Tom Petty passed away on 2 October 2017 following an
accidental drug overdose. He was only 66. Rest in peace.

Anniversary album: Self-titled debut LP
Released: 10 November 1976 – 45 years ago today

AllMusic says: “At the time Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ debut was
released in 1976, they were fresh enough to almost be considered punk.
They weren’t as reckless or visionary as the Ramones, but they shared a
similar love for pure ’60s rock and, for the Heartbreakers, that meant
embracing the Byrds as much as the Stones. And that’s pretty much what
this album is — tuneful jangle balanced by a tough garage swagger.”

Full review here. Score: 4.5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Tom Petty was a pure all-around Americana
rocker at heart. Single Anything That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll is an
absolute classic in my book.

Full album on Spotify…

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TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: All Albums

LED ZEPPELIN – Their Fourth Longplayer Came Out 50 Years Ago Today

Back in time

8 November 2021

Band: LED ZEPPELIN
Active: 1968-1980 / 8 studio albums

Anniversary album: Untitled but labeled as LED ZEPPELIN IV
Released: 8 November 1971 – 50 years ago today

BBC Music said: “Recorded at Headley Grange in Hampshire, Island Studios in London and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, Led Zeppelin IV is the album that put Led Zeppelin into homes around the world, acting as a successful marriage of the hard rock from their second album with the folkier meanderings of their third. It is an album that demonstrates their subtlety and restraint as much as their stadium-filling grandstanding and it confirmed their superstar rock status… With immaculate playing, a mystically obscure sleeve, and a remarkable range of tunes, Led Zeppelin IV, is still, for many, the best example of the group’s craft. Robert Plant thinks so himself. He has been quoted saying, simply: “the Fourth Album, that’s it.”

Turn Up The Volume: The band’s stairway to heaven album. A 5-star classic.

Singles: Black Dog / Rock ‘N Roll / Stairway To Heaven

– BLACK DOG –

– ROCK ‘N ROLL –

– STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN –

Full album…

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LED ZEPPELIN: All Albums

LEONARD COHEN Passed Away 5 Years Ago Today

Three top tracks from the past, from top artists from the past

7 November 2021

The genial singer-songwriter was born in Westmount, Montreal on 21 September 1934.
He passed away in Los Angeles, Californië on, 7 November 2016, today 5 years ago.
He was 82.

Cohen started his brilliant artistic career as a writer – poetry and novels – in 1954,
but disappointed after years without any success he decided to start writing music.

His debut album Songs Of Leonard Cohen came out in 1967. His 15th and final LP Thanks For The Dance was released posthumously, in 2019, 3 years after his death.

1-2-3 top tracks to remember the unforgettable luminary
(hard job to pick just three, as he wrote countless top songs)…

– TOWER OF SONG –
(Notable live version)

– LOVER LOVER LOVER –

– HALLELUJAH

R.I.P. legend.

I’ll have Cohen on my
earphones all day long…

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LEONARD COHEN: All Albums

JACKSON BROWNE – ‘THE PRETENDER’ 45 Years Ago

Back in time

6 November 2021

Artist: JACKSON BROWNE
Who: Legendary, 73-year old, singer-songwriter from L.A.
Started his career in 1966 / 15 studio albums including his
most recent one Downhill From Everywhere, released last July.

Anniversary album: THE PRETENDER – 4th LP
Released: 6 November 1976 – 45 years ago
The record came out a few months after his wife took her
own life and left Browne behind with their 2-yer old son.

AllMusic said: “Browne took a step back from the precipice so well defined
on his first three albums, but doing so didn’t seem to make him feel any better.
The man who had delved so deeply into life’s abyss on his earlier albums was
in search of escape this time around.”
Score: 3.5/5.

Key single

Full album…

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JACKSON BROWNE: Facebook