One of her most overlooked ’60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material, despite the title. None of these cuts were significant hits, and none were Aretha originals; she displayed her characteristically eclectic taste in the choice of cover material, handling compositions by Percy Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and, at the most pop-oriented end of her spectrum, John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Bob Lind’s “Elusive Butterfly.”
Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, though, as is the musicianship; besides contributions from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, session players include respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, David Newman, and Joe Zawinul.
– Richie Unterberger (allmusic) Continue reading “January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969”→
“Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail.”
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
One of the best live albums in recording history was taped on this date in 1968, hell, it’s one of the best albums period. Today it is it’s 48-year anniversary.
Led Zeppelin is the eponymous debut studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group’s four members, the album was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and established their fusion style of blues rock.
Although the album was not critically well-received when first released, it was commercially successful, and critics have since come to view it in a more favourable light. In 2003, Led Zeppelin was ranked at #29 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and keeping that position after the list was updated in 2012. In 2004, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Continue reading “January 12: Led Zeppelin released Led Zeppelin (debut album) in 1969”→
“The preacher asked her and she said, ‘I do’
The preacher asked me and she said, ‘Yes, he does too’
The preacher said, ‘I pronounce you 99 to life
Son, she’s no lady, she’s your wife.’ “
– Lyle Lovett (She’s No Lady)
“Writes like Guy Clark, only plainer, sings like Jesse Winchester only countrier.”
– Robert Christgau
“While Lyle Lovett’s self-titled debut album made it clear he was one the most gifted and idiosyncratic talents to emerge in country music in the 1980s, his follow-up, 1987’s Pontiac, took the strengths of his first disc and refined them, and the result was a set whose sound and feel more accurately reflected Lovett’s musical personality.”
– Mark Deming (allmusic)
This classic country album was Lyle Lovett’s second album, and to me it’s his best still. The Texas singer-songwriter uses the same elements that made his 1986 debut such a delight, dry humour, observational storytelling told in a personal and devastating way. Relationship stories as dark and as funny as they sometimes are…and with great singing and music.
Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris visits on this first of many masterpieces from Lyle Lovett.
Pontiac (official video):
The release date is uncertain, some sites said it was released in 1987, but most reviews started coming out mid January 1988. Anyway that’s not the important part, what’s important is to celebrate a very fine album no matter if it was released December 1987 or January 1988.
Howlin’ Wolf is the third studio album from Chicago blues singer/guitarist/harmonicist Howlin’ Wolf. It is a collection of six singles previously released by the Chess label from 1960 through 1962. This was a common practise at the time.
Because of the illustration on its sleeve, shot by Don Bronstein, staff photgrapher at Playboy magazine and house photographer at Chess Records, the album is often called The Rockin’ Chair Album, a nickname even added to the cover on some reissue pressings of the LP.
Howlin’ Wolf’s second album brings together some of the blues great’s best singles from the late ’50s and early ’60s. Also available as a fine two-fer with his debut, Moanin’ in the Moonlight, the so-called Rockin’ Chair Album represents the cream of Wolf’s Chicago blues work. Those tracks afforded classic status are many, including “Spoonful,” “The Red Rooster,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Back Door Man,” “Shake for Me,” and “Who’s Been Talking?” Also featuring the fine work of Chess house producer and bassist Willie Dixon and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Rockin’ Chair qualifies as one of pinnacles of early electric blues, and is an essential album for any quality blues collection. – Stephen Cook (Allmusic)*
… Lennon presents everything on the surface, and the song titles — “Mother,” “I Found Out,” “Working Class Hero,” “Isolation,” “God,” “My Mummy’s Dead” — illustrate what each song is about, and charts his loss of faith in his parents, country, friends, fans, and idols. It’s an unflinching document of bare-bones despair and pain, but for all its nihilism, it is ultimately life-affirming; it is unique not only in Lennon’s catalog, but in all of popular music. Few albums are ever as harrowing, difficult, and rewarding as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)