On Second Thought

In a surprise, Def Leppard rekindled their classic-era sound with covers-focused Yeah!

In a surprise, Def Leppard rekindled their classic-era sound with covers-focused Yeah!

When Def Leppard released a covers album on May 23, 2006, I didn’t expect to like it. This must clearly be a band on the verge of calling it quits, right?

Spirit – The Best of Spirit (1973): On Second Thought

Spirit – The Best of Spirit (1973): On Second Thought

Spirit, featuring Jay Ferguson, Randy California and Ed Cassidy, may have been risk takers – but there’s no denying the band had an ear for melody.

Close as You Get found Gary Moore at the top of his blues game

Close as You Get found Gary Moore at the top of his blues game

‘Close as You Get,’ released this week in May 2007, was your standard-issue Gary Moore blues record. Meaning, it was very, very good.

Paul McCartney’s guileless, but oft-criticized Ram was a handmade gem

Paul McCartney’s guileless, but oft-criticized Ram was a handmade gem

Released this week in May 1971, Paul McCartney’s ‘Ram’ was initially knocked for everything that makes it sound unexpectedly bold today.

Kiss’ unmasked, very heavy Revenge was their last gasp of greatness

Kiss’ unmasked, very heavy Revenge was their last gasp of greatness

Released on May 19, 1992, ‘Revenge’ is the one non-makeup record that belongs in the conversation with Kiss’ best work.

The Black Keys’ Brothers pulled together every strand of their genre-jumping genius

The Black Keys’ Brothers pulled together every strand of their genre-jumping genius

‘Brothers,’ released on May 18, 2010, stands as the Black Keys’ best-ever attempt at hybridizing black music into modern rock.

Levon Helm’s Ramble at the Ryman underscored a sweeping importance

Levon Helm’s Ramble at the Ryman underscored a sweeping importance

‘Ramble at the Ryman,’ released on May 17, 2011, reminded us that Levon Helm was the Band’s loamy voiced, rhythmic center point. And something more.

With McCartney II, Paul McCartney attempted to tap into the new-wave zeitgeist

With McCartney II, Paul McCartney attempted to tap into the new-wave zeitgeist

Paul McCartney’s synthy solo effort ‘McCartney II,’ released on May 16, 1980, didn’t pass for innovation back then – and it doesn’t today, either.

Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky was that rare thing – an instant modern classic rock album

Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky was that rare thing – an instant modern classic rock album

Wilco’s ‘Sky Blue Sky,’ released on May 15, 2007, became my road music, an escape from the everyday nothingness that often drives us insane.

Danny Seraphine and Bill Champlin defend Chicago 17: ‘The biggest album we ever had’

Danny Seraphine and Bill Champlin defend Chicago 17: ‘The biggest album we ever had’

‘Chicago 17,’ released on May 14, 1984, was a multi-million-selling smash. And Danny Seraphine and Bill Champlin aren’t about to apologize for it.