April 8: Elvis Presley released Elvis is Back! in 1960

Elvis is back

 Recorded when Presley was 25, fresh off a two-year military stint and musically fit to burst, Elvis Is Back! might be the King’s greatest noncompilation LP: wildly varied material, revelatory singing, impeccable stereo sound.
~Will Hermes (rollingstone.com)

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March 11: Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was released in 1970

crosby stills nash young deja vu

March 11: Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album) released in 1970

 

One of the most hotly awaited second albums in history — right up there with those by the Beatles and the Band — Déjà Vu lived up to its expectations and rose to number one on the charts.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

Almost Cut My Hair – Live Wembley 1974:

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February 22: David Crosby released If I Could Only Remember My Name in 1971

f-i-could-only-remember-my-name

“My girlfriend had been killed in a car crash and  the only place I could exist was in the studio, Garcia would come every night. The Airplane and the Dead were recording in the same complex… They were all buddies of mine…”
– David Crosby about the recording of his masterpiece (Mojo)

Rolling Stone Magazine put it at number 37 of the “Greatest Stoner Albums” and said:
“Like a super-stoned campfire jam with an A-list of Cali hippie-rockers – including Joni Mitchell and most of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and CSNY – this hazy solo project by the altered-consciousness overachiever sounds like it was pretty much made up on the spot. See the toasted strum-fest “Music Is Love” (with Neil Young on congas!) and “Tamalpais High,” with Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen noodling around wordless Crosby-Nash harmonies. By the time it’s over, you may not remember your name, either.”

I believe a couple of Santana and Quicksilver Messenger Service members also visited.

Photo: BBC/Tricia Yourkevich
Photo: BBC/Tricia Yourkevich

David Crosby – Cowboy Movie (Live, Jan 31, 2014) a very fine version! :

It is an album that grows on you, it feels like a mess at first, but it soon starts to make sense. This is a coherent album with wonderful melodies and harmonies. For me it is the quintessential “Laurel Canyon” album, a true classic.
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January 25: John Phillips released John The Wolfking of L.A. in 1970

“…not exactly a great lead vocalist. Phillips knew this, and, according to his book, Papa John, he purposely buried his voice in the mix. This proved to be a bit of tragedy, because underneath it all, this is an excellent album. Songs such as “April Anne,” “Malibu People,” and “Holland Tunnel” bear out what a fine songwriter he really was, and indeed, these are some of the finest songs of his career. The performances on this record are spectacular. Backed by an all-star group of musicians (most of Elvis Presley’s band, including James Burton, as well as the Wrecking Crew, among others), the record’s decidedly country feel is crafted to the extreme. Mamas co-founder Denny Doherty has always felt that had the Mamas & Papas recorded this album, it would have been one of their finest. There’s no doubt.
– Matthew Greenwald (Allmusic)

John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.) is the first solo recording by the Mamas & the Papas leader John Phillips. All songs were Phillips originals, dealing mostly with recent events in Phillips’ life, including references to his new girlfriend Geneviève Waïte and longtime friend Ann Marshall (“April Anne”). The backing musicians included members of Wrecking Crew. Today the album receives favourable reviews from fans and critics alike. The album was selected as one of ShortList’s 50 Coolest Albums Ever. Continue reading “January 25: John Phillips released John The Wolfking of L.A. in 1970”

January 24: Aretha Franklin released Young, Gifted and Black in 1972

Young, Gifted and Black is the twentieth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on January 24, 1972 by Atlantic Records. The album is Top 10 Gold-certified. The album won Aretha a 1972 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance of the year. It takes its title from the Nina Simone song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” In 2003, the TV network VH1 named it the 76th greatest album of all time.

“…of this stunning era, Young, Gifted and Black certainly ranks highly among her studio efforts, with many arguing that it may be her greatest. And with songs like “Rock Steady,” that may be a valid argument. But there’s much more here than just a few highlights. If you really want to go song by song, you’d be hard-pressed to find any throwaways here — this is quite honestly an album that merits play from beginning to end.”
– Jason Birchmeier (allmusic)  Continue reading “January 24: Aretha Franklin released Young, Gifted and Black in 1972”

January 22: Aretha Franklin released Lady Soul in 1968

…1968’s Lady Soul proved Aretha Franklin, the pop sensation, was no fluke. Her performances were more impassioned than on her debut, and the material just as strong, an inspired blend of covers and originals from the best songwriters in soul and pop music.
~John Bush (allmusic.com)

Chain of Fools – Live 1968:

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