Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of “St. Thomas,” tears into the chord changes of “Mack the Knife” (here called “Moritat”), introduces “Strode Rode,” is lyrical on “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” and constructs a solo on “Blue Seven” that practically defines his style. Essential music that, as with all of Rollins’ Prestige recordings, has also been reissued as part of a huge “complete” box set; listeners with a tight budget are advised to pick up this single disc and be amazed.
-Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)
Sad, spare, and beautiful, Blue is the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album. Forthright and poetic, Joni Mitchell’s songs are raw nerves, tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity; even tracks like “All I Want,” “My Old Man,” and “Carey” — the brightest, most hopeful moments on the record — are darkened by bittersweet moments of sorrow and loneliness. At the same time that songs like “Little Green” (about a child given up for adoption) and the title cut (a hymn to salvation supposedly penned for James Taylor) raise the stakes of confessional folk-pop to new levels of honesty and openness, Mitchell’s music moves beyond the constraints of acoustic folk into more intricate and diverse territory, setting the stage for the experimentation of her later work. Unrivaled in its intensity and insight, Blue remains a watershed.
-Jason Ankeny (allmusic.com)
Blue is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Exploring the various facets of relationships from infatuation on “A Case of You” to insecurity on “This Flight Tonight“, the songs feature simple accompaniments on piano, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and number 15 on the Blllboard 200.
“Suddenly, Elvis had to be taken seriously because, suddenly, Elvis was taking the music seriously again. He was expressing his soul, which was plenty deep.”
In The Ghetto:
From Elvis in Memphis is the ninth studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor. The recording took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis in January and February 1969 under the direction of producer Chips Moman and with the backing of the house band, informally known as “The Memphis Boys”. A direct consequence of the success of Presley’s 1968 Christmas television special and its soundtrack, the recording marked the definite return of Presley to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his movie contract with Paramount Pictures.
In the end, however, Bob Marley leaves us with a stark testament: “Redemption Song,” which he sings solo, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. As the artist performs this folk ballad (with its aching cry of “Won’t you help to sing, these songs of freedom/’Cause all I ever had, redemption songs,” so reminiscent of the young Bob Dylan), one feels a man reaching out and grappling with the dreadful possibilities of liberation and disaster. Such a tour de force, like much of Uprising, is as moving as it is deeply troubling.
-Chris Morris (rollingstone.com)
Ain’t I rough enough Ain’t I tough enough Ain’t I rich enough In love enough Oooo, ooh please.
Some Girls was released in 8 June 1978 and it was their first full album with Ronnie Wood. It’s a great album, up there with the best albums in their catalogue. They mixed in some new wave sounds, added a bit of disco and kept their soul, blues and country tinged rock’n roll. Released on the height of the punk and disco era, The Stones made this masterpiece of an album. Some Girls is very much a product of it’s time, but when Rolling Stones made a record that gave a nod to these “fads,” they did so with such anger and speed that the young people in 1978 must have been struck with envy. They certainly made an album that has stood the test of time and it’s a definitive Stones album.
The Rolling Stones prove time and again that they still have what it takes.
“Days Like This” was a delight, Van´s best album in years. Perhaps reflecting his romantic hook-up with Irish beauty-queen Michelle Rocca (his companion walking the dogs in the cover photo). Van sounded happier here than he´d been for decade..
-Andy Gill (The Ultimate Music Guide – Van Morrison)