The Beatles, “Two of Us” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Two of Us” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

December 10, 2017

The Beatles’ “Two of Us” was meant to celebrate Paul McCartney’s new romance with Linda Eastman, but it also summarized his partnership with John Lennon.

Lucas Lee Discusses His Topical New Album, Working with Marco Minnemann

Lucas Lee Discusses His Topical New Album, Working with Marco Minnemann

November 17, 2017

Lucas Lee goes in depth with Preston Frazier on ‘Acceptance of Gravitational Collapsing Manifestations,’ his 2017 prog-rock project with Marco Minnemann.

Jackson 5 – Christmas Album (1970): On Second Thought

Jackson 5 – Christmas Album (1970): On Second Thought

December 9, 2017

‘Christmas Album’ finds the Jackson 5 interpreting smartly selected material with an emotional maturity and sincerity far beyond their young ages.

Delfeayo Marsalis – Kalamazoo (2017)

Delfeayo Marsalis – Kalamazoo (2017)

December 6, 2017

Delfeayo Marsalis’s first-ever live album, ‘Kalamazoo,’ proves he’s both an alchemist and entertainer.

Wadada Leo Smith – Najwa (2017)

Wadada Leo Smith – Najwa (2017)

November 29, 2017

Teeming with guitars, Wadada Leo Smith’s ‘Najwa’ is one of those particularly bright moments in a catalog full of them.

Dan Blacksberg – Radiant Others (2017)

Dan Blacksberg – Radiant Others (2017)

November 14, 2017

Dan Blacksberg’s ‘Radiant Others’ is a fresh, nontraditional take on traditional melodies that happens to be Jewish in origin. You don’t need to be an ethnomusicologist to enjoy this one.

Evanescence – Synthesis (2017)

Evanescence – Synthesis (2017)

December 4, 2017

Evanescence’s ‘Synthesis’ offers classical reworkings of some of the band’s most well-known songs – and a new track that brings the whole concept together.

Alan Simon, “You Are the Sunshine” from Excalibur IV (2017): One Track Mind

Alan Simon, “You Are the Sunshine” from Excalibur IV (2017): One Track Mind

December 3, 2017

This has been a great year for progressive rock releases, but overlooking Alan Simon’s ‘Excalibur IV: The Dark Age of the Dragon’ verges on criminal.

Living Colour – Shade (2017)

Living Colour – Shade (2017)

September 11, 2017

Is ‘Shade’ the best ever Living Colour album? Maybe, but that’s such a tall order.

Tomi Malm – Walkin’ on Air (2017)

Tomi Malm – Walkin’ on Air (2017)

November 29, 2017

‘Walkin’ on Air’ is a terrific showcase for Tomi Malm’s soulful AOR songwriting, West Coast-level production and a creme de la creme of players.

The Wood Brothers, “River Takes the Town” from One Drop Of Truth (2018): One Track Mind

The Wood Brothers, “River Takes the Town” from One Drop Of Truth (2018): One Track Mind

November 16, 2017

Right at the time southeastern Texas was beset by a major hurricane in late summer of 2017, the Wood Brothers recorded a song that perfectly captures that catastrophic time in their signature folksy manner.

Marcus Randolph and My Peeples Peeple – Transplant (2017)

Marcus Randolph and My Peeples Peeple – Transplant (2017)

November 6, 2017

Marcus Randolph’s debut album ‘Transplant’ is heartfelt but also very loose, and it’s both of those qualities together make it a fun listen.

Chairmen of the Board – Greatest Hits (1973): Forgotten Series

Chairmen of the Board – Greatest Hits (1973): Forgotten Series

December 6, 2017

Featuring spirited harmonizing and red-hot grooves, Chairmen of the Board’s ‘Greatest Hits’ asserts the heartfelt sounds of a group primed for rediscovery.

The Wood Brothers, “River Takes the Town” from One Drop Of Truth (2018): One Track Mind

The Wood Brothers, “River Takes the Town” from One Drop Of Truth (2018): One Track Mind

November 16, 2017

Right at the time southeastern Texas was beset by a major hurricane in late summer of 2017, the Wood Brothers recorded a song that perfectly captures that catastrophic time in their signature folksy manner.

Yes, “Love Will Find a Way” from Big Generator (1987): YESterdays

Yes, “Love Will Find a Way” from Big Generator (1987): YESterdays

November 28, 2017

Despite its lyrically dippiness, “Love Will Find a Way” gave Yes exactly what they wanted: A hit song.

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

March 8, 2015

This month, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ turned 40 years old. Here are some reasons why it’s good enough to overcome an infamous mixing fiasco.

The Beatles, “Two of Us” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Two of Us” from Let It Be (1970): Deep Beatles

December 10, 2017

The Beatles’ “Two of Us” was meant to celebrate Paul McCartney’s new romance with Linda Eastman, but it also summarized his partnership with John Lennon.

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

October 18, 2015

When Bruce Springsteen issued ‘The River’ in October of 1980, I didn’t like it very much. Time has changed that – and here’s why.

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

October 22, 2015

The Band, then known as Levon and the Hawks, released a few forgotten songs before heading to that basement with Bob Dylan. Here’s one of the best.

Toto, “Gypsy Train” from Kingdom of Desire (1992): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Gypsy Train” from Kingdom of Desire (1992): Toto Tuesdays

December 5, 2017

By opening 1992’s ‘Kingdom of Desire’ like this, Toto served notice to listeners that they were in for something completely different.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

June 7, 2014

Some think Metheny is joking around, that he couldn’t possibly like “all of this noise.”

Chicago, “Bethlehem” from What’s It Gonna Be Santa? (2003): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Bethlehem” from What’s It Gonna Be Santa? (2003): Saturdays in the Park

December 2, 2017

Bill Champlin is said to have always pushed new music on the band. This is once case where Chicago should said no.

Alan Simon, “You Are the Sunshine” from Excalibur IV (2017): One Track Mind

Alan Simon, “You Are the Sunshine” from Excalibur IV (2017): One Track Mind

December 3, 2017

This has been a great year for progressive rock releases, but overlooking Alan Simon’s ‘Excalibur IV: The Dark Age of the Dragon’ verges on criminal.

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

October 8, 2017

Pink Floyd created a signature concert experience during their first performances of ‘The Wall,’ but I was lucky to have been there at all.

Chairmen of the Board – Greatest Hits (1973): Forgotten Series

Chairmen of the Board – Greatest Hits (1973): Forgotten Series

December 6, 2017

Featuring spirited harmonizing and red-hot grooves, Chairmen of the Board’s ‘Greatest Hits’ asserts the heartfelt sounds of a group primed for rediscovery.

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

June 25, 2017

For us, rock and roll was a term applied to music of the 1950s such as Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry – and was strictly to be avoided.

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

April 19, 2017

‘Fight for the Rock’ almost put Savatage’s career in a coffin before we got their best work.

Diverse Discs and Finicky Formats from the Beatles, Police, U2 and Others: Shadows in Stereo

Diverse Discs and Finicky Formats from the Beatles, Police, U2 and Others: Shadows in Stereo

November 30, 2017

Competing formats and differing licensing agreements have caused songs by the Beatles, Police, Black Sabbath and others to get lost in the shuffle.

Kit O’Toole’s Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2017

Kit O’Toole’s Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2017

December 2, 2017

An expanded gift guide highlighting notable new Beatles-related items, with items that appeal to both the most-casual and hard-core enthusiasts.

Kit O’Toole’s Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2017

Kit O’Toole’s Top Beatles Albums, Books, Collectibles and Movies for 2017

December 2, 2017

An expanded gift guide highlighting notable new Beatles-related items, with items that appeal to both the most-casual and hard-core enthusiasts.

The Wild One, Forever: In Appreciation of Tom Petty

The Wild One, Forever: In Appreciation of Tom Petty

October 5, 2017

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers represented what we strive for across so many aspects of our lives: consistency, dependability, and longevity.

Joan Baez, Queen of Folk Songwriting: Gimme Five

Joan Baez, Queen of Folk Songwriting: Gimme Five

December 1, 2017

Few seem to know that Joan Baez is a gifted songwriter in her own right, composing many powerful and poetic tracks over the course of the decades.