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Monday, October 03, 2005

#664 - Chicago II, Chicago

"The contents of Chicago II (1970) underscore the solid foundation of complex jazz changes with heavy electric rock & roll that the band so brazenly forged on the first set. The septet also continued its ability to blend the seemingly divergent musical styles into some of the best and most effective pop music of the era." (allmusic guide)

#663 - The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

"Johnny Cash's longtime status as a national treasure is resoundingly substantiated by The Man Comes Around, his ten zillionth great record in a row. If you haven't seen the video for his gut-wrenching Nine Inch Nails cover, "Hurt," you need to watch it, pronto. Get ready to cry your eyes out." (real music guide)

#662 - Spilt Milk, Jellyfish

"Dreamy vocal harmonies, circus-like swirling organ passages, and crunchy guitars are layered in a manner that evokes the best of the Beatles and the Beach Boys. "Hush," the lead track, particularly recalls the Beach Boys with its luscious vocal harmonies, as does the pure pop of "The Ghost at Number One."" (allmusic guide) (Blogger's note: The first time I ever heard Jellyfish was on the countdown. I was horrified to have missed them all these years.)

#661 - Under The Big Black Sun, X

"X's first album issued on a major label, 1982's Under the Big Black Sun, is arguably their finest record. All 11 songs are exceptional, from both a performance and compositional point of view. Ray Manzarek's production is more akin to hard rock bands than their earlier punk works, but the songs still pack quite a punch...(this) is one of the quintessential rock records from the '80s." (allmusic guide)

#660 - 1984, Van Halen

"Their last record with David Lee Roth (read: last good record), 1984 brought the band an unholy amount of success. From the endlessly played "Jump" to the numbers-perfect rockers "Panama" and especially "Hot For Teacher," 1984 found Van Halen in top form. It's a shame they couldn't get along. As good today as when it came out." (real music guide)

#659 - Transcendental Blues, Steve Earle

"(Steve Earle) rebelled against his common sense and his health in search of true American artistry and did not find the freedom he sought until he hit the bottom of addiction, and he continues to rebel against mainstream American culture and politics with his attitudes and songs; Transcendental Blues is no exception." (allmusic guide)

#658 - Fresh Cream, Cream

"Worth hearing just for the few opening moments of "I Feel Free," Cream's debut is their most pop-oriented. You can pin that on Jack Bruce, whose forest-friendly psychedelic songs amble by with more than a whiff of incense and herbs. Clapton doesn't shine his hardest on this album, but the same can't be said for Ginger Baker, whose "Toad" is tour de caveman force." (real music guide)


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