On Second Thought

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Issued five years ago today, ‘American VI: Ain’t No Grave’ finds Johnny Cash in the midst of a bracing acceptance of his looming fate.

Blood Sweat and Tears’ Child is Father to the Man remains an early, often-overlooked creative peak

Blood Sweat and Tears’ Child is Father to the Man remains an early, often-overlooked creative peak

Released today in 1968, Blood Sweat and Tears’ debut balances free-form experimentalism within a larger framework of American songcraft.

30 years ago, Roger Daltrey released perhaps the best should’ve-been Who hit

30 years ago, Roger Daltrey released perhaps the best should’ve-been Who hit

Always the perfect foil, Roger Daltrey completely inhabited Pete Townshend’s lyric on 1985’s “After the Fire,” broiling it in searing emotion.

Phil Collins’ Face Value launched his solo career, and reset Genesis

Phil Collins’ Face Value launched his solo career, and reset Genesis

Released on February 9, 1981, ‘Face Value’ is a time capsule of everything that made Phil Collins into Phil Collins, and maybe the best thing he ever did.

Beastie Boys’ ‘Some Old Bullsh*t’ found them at a crossroads

Beastie Boys’ ‘Some Old Bullsh*t’ found them at a crossroads

Twenty years ago, we got a more complete look at the punk-thrash beginnings of the Beastie Boys — and a hint as to what would come next.

With Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison was born anew, if only for a moment

With Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison was born anew, if only for a moment

Roy Orbison’s ‘Mystery Girl,’ released on Feb. 7, 1989, became a celebration, a valedictory, a mash note and a desperately sad farewell — all in one.

The Replacements collapsed in a heap of success with Don’t Tell A Soul

The Replacements collapsed in a heap of success with Don’t Tell A Soul

With ‘Don’t Tell A Soul,’ released on Feb. 1, 1989, the Replacements tried to move on from fashioning art out of chaos. Instead, they imploded.

Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals (1998): On Second Thought

Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals (1998): On Second Thought

Sure, Marilyn Manson has a new record out, and we plan to get to it eventually. But first let’s recognize just how good ‘Mechanical Animals’ was.

John Lennon’s Milk and Honey was unfinished, but still resonant

John Lennon’s Milk and Honey was unfinished, but still resonant

The brutally honest, toss-off attitude on ‘Milk and Honey’ was more in keeping with John Lennon’s solo career than the slick, celebrated ‘Double Fantasy.’

Fantomas – Delirium Cordia (2004): On Second Thought

Fantomas – Delirium Cordia (2004): On Second Thought

The best comparison for Fantomas’ ‘Delirium Cordia,’ released today in 2004, was with a film. It required, and rewarded, a similar amount of attention.