RS #424: Bruce Springsteen, The Rising


Bruce Springsteen, The Rising

Release Date: 2002
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
Blurs Blursteen and The Blur Street Band
Impressions: Another late-career effort by Bruce. This one came out as a direct response to 9/11. I guess someone had to address the subject, so why not the Boss, right? Let's put it on… "Lonesome Day" offers up solid, if standard meat-and-potatoes rock with affecting but vague references to 9/11. The production by Brendan O'Brien is a little better than most late-career AOR offerings, although he likes to toss in little weird noises and … Continue Reading ››

RS #425: Gram Parsons, Grievous Angel


Gram Parsons, Grievous Angel

Release Date: 1974
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
This must be his flag design.
Impressions: I'm not a well-informed on country music. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs in the '70s, so country music was at the time the butt of many easy jokes (think of the "Bob's Country Bunker" scene in The Blues Brothers.) It also didn't help that most of my early exposure to country was from cheeseball TV variety shows like The Mandrell Sisters or Hee Haw and that lots of today's country is completely awful. Despite all … Continue Reading ››

RS #426: Cheap Trick, Live At Budokan


Cheap Trick, Live At Budokan

Release Date: 1979
Previously Owned: Yes
First Time Listen: Yes, but I don't really remember too much.
Cheap Trick, Live At Budokan
Again, the record company puts the pretty ones on the cover, but neglects the, uh, talented ones...
Impressions: Okay. I've already tried to articulate my weird indifference for the hard rock/power pop of Cheap Trick, but maybe a live album of theirs will change things up. Let's fire this one up!... Energy is great from the beginning. "Hello There" is a classic intro, … Continue Reading ››

RS #427: Peter Wolf, Sleepless


Peter Wolf, Sleepless

Release Date: 2002
Previously Owned: No
Nice of them to include a pillow with the album in case it's a snooze.
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Peter Wolf, former J. Geils Band front man ("Angel Is A Centerfold,") and WXRT favorite, has never won me over as a fan. Like John Prine, Warren Zevon, and Boz Scaggs for me, He falls into that regular guy rock/blues singer-songwriter category of interchangable white dudes that get mashed up together in my head. Completely unfair of … Continue Reading ››

RS #428: The Police, Outlandos D’Amour


The Police, Outlandos D'Amour

Release Date: 1978
Previously Owned: Yes
The Police, Outlandos D'Amour
Rare photo of the Police not punching each other
Impressions: The first concert I ever saw (not counting The Four Freshman in a shopping mall) was Amnesty International's Conspiracy Of Hope in 1986. It was one of the last shows The Police played before they broke up (for the first time) and I thought they were amazing. That made me a fairly decent Police fan for the rest of my life, even if they would do something stupid in the future … Continue Reading ››

RS #429: Brian Eno, Another Green World

Eno, Another Green World
Another Eno Album

Brian Eno, Another Green World

Release Date: 1975
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: I'm not sure why they cluster similar albums together on this list. I just reviewed Eno's Here Comes The Warm Jets at #432. Perhaps spreading these albums further apart for variety sake would have been considerate towards idiots like myself who are listening to the entire list in order, I'm just saying. Let's fire this one up… Seems even more experimental than … Continue Reading ››

RS #430: Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Futura. Of course.

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend 

Release Date: 2008 Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Fairly popular band with the kids of now. Let's hit play… Trust-fund angle to the packaging, music, lyrics…even album titles like "Oxford Comma" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa." They describe their mix of sounds as "Upper West Side Soweto." "Mansard Roof" starts off with a galloping beat and some tremelo guitars. At least, singer Ezra Koenig is trying to question his privilege with a chorus of "Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?" He's got a very … Continue Reading ››

RS #431: PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea


PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

Release Date: 2000
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
PJ Harvey, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
Stories from the PJ, Stories from the Harvey
Impressions: I completely missed out on one Polly Jean Harvey, for whatever reason, in the '90s. Maybe I was too busy listening to Korn, or Staind, or Puddle of Mudd or something. Well, that's not true, but let's hear what she's got… Leads off with an Y2K, alt-y guitar rock opener "Big Exit" with a suitably huge … Continue Reading ››

RS #432: Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Jets


Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Jets

Release Date: 1974
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Jets
Here Come The Glam Album Cover
Impressions: I mostly know Brian Eno: Top-Notch Producer who brought out great work with Talking Heads, U2 and his stint with Roxy Music. And Brian Eno: Ambient Music Pioneer. But I dont know much about Brian Eno: Solo Rock Star. Let's put this on… Catchy, rocking guitar on "Needles In The Camel's Eye" almost sounds like Boat or Pavement. In the running for strangest name of … Continue Reading ››

RS #433: George Harrison, All Things Must Pass

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
This album passes.

George Harrison, All Things Must Pass

Release Date: 1970
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Heard good things about this one, lots of people consider it the best post-Beatles solo album any of them ever made. Let's put it on: Beautiful hazy opener, with George's (first names only, please) wonderful guitar lines weaving their magic. "Oh My Lord" is fantastic, builds so beautifully. Nice strings, great lead guitar, heavenly chanting... a very pleasing listen. There's something gentle about George's approach that's very appealing without being mushy. He never … Continue Reading ››