Tag Archives: 4.5 stars

RS #380: Toots and the Maytals, Funky Kingston


Toots and the Maytals Funky Kingston

Release Date: 1975 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Love a great '70s drawn album cover. By Source, Fair use, Link
Impressions: From the first beat, this classic reggae sound fits like your favorite t-shirt. The sound is like Al Green on the 1 and 3, with the gruff vocals of Toots Hibbert (who to Americans serves as the Kevin Durant to Bob Marley's LeBron James.) R&B, Soul, Rock, Ska, Funk, it's all in … 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 #435: Nirvana, In Utero

Nirvana, In Utero
No joke, was supposed to be called "I Hate Myself and Want To Die"

Nirvana, In Utero

Release Date: 1993
Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions: This disc is supposedly tough listen, but, in the past, I mostly found it to be challenging but still enjoyable. Sometimes I've even enjoyed it more than Nevermind. Let's put it on... Big, unvarnished Steve Albini production makes it seem very present and still fresh. Even at their supposed most "difficult"  like with the screaming, power-chord driven "Scentless Apprentice" Nirvana still can't help but be suprisingly catchy, listenable...even … Continue Reading ››

RS #456: Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear

Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
Who wants to hear some stone cold jams about my painful divorce?

Marvin Gaye, Here, My Dear

Release Date: 1978 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: There's a unique backstory on this album. I know, most on this list have a story too, but this one is one of a kind. Marvin "gave" (half of the royalties) his ex-wife Anna Gordy in a weird divorce agreement. At first, Marvin tried to make a "lazy, bad" album for her, but then he got inspired by his conficting emotions from their distintegrated relationship … Continue Reading ››

RS #469: Fugees – The Score

Fugees, The Score
Lauryn Hill must be like volleyball-player tall.

Fugees, The Score

Release Date: 1996
Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions:  Haven't give this one a spin in a while. Let's go... After the obligatory opening skit, "How Many Mics" kicks off with a nice off-kilter beat and, weird that I didn't remember this, but tons of crazy references (Seal, Crazy Baldheads, Stevie Wonder, Last Tango In Paris, Jefferson Airplane, movies, tv, sports, heck, even the cover is a Godfather theme.)  like almost at a Beastie Boy level. Many of the tracks ("Zealots," "No Woman, No Cry") have a great … Continue Reading ››

RS #471: Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight


Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
What font is that?
Release Date: 1974
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions:  I only know of Richard Thompson vaguely from years of listening to WXRT, but I won't hold that against him. I've never ran into this album. Let's put it on. Holy cow, "When I Get To The Border" is an awesome opener! Doomed optimism. Stellar guitar work. Big, crisp, drum work. Well used accordion. Lyrics like "If you see a box … Continue Reading ››

RS #483: Gang of Four – Entertainment!


Gang of Four, Entertainment!

Release Date: 1979
Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Gang of Four - Entertainment!
Not just "Entertainment!" but other things like "Guitars!" "Politics!" and "Robot Vocals!"
Impressions:  Weird that I never heard of these guys before. Unlike the previous album on this list, it's  completely in my wheel house: no-nonsense, angular, angry-ular punk rock with a touch of dub and funk. "Not Great Man" sounds like, and better than, all of those spiky-punk-pop bands who came out in the 2000s (ie The Futureheads,) but with actually … Continue Reading ››

RS #486: Earth, Wind and Fire – That’s The Way of The World


Earth, Wind and Fire, That's The Way of The World

Release Date: 1975
Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
I guess it's hard to fit nine band members on the front of the LP cover. Sorry, guys to the left!
Impressions:  Not sure why, but I had a feeling this was gonna be a monster. But, I realized for the benefit of the blog, I must manage expectations and approach this album dispassionately. I was so dispassionate that I went on Spotify and listened to the wrong album. As it turned out, I listened to the … Continue Reading ››

#499: B.B. King, Live In Cook County Jail

B.B. King, Live In Cook County Jail
IN, Live IN Cook County Jail...not FROM


B.B. King, Live In Cook County Jail

Release Date: 1971
Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions: Well, well...I'm surprised this made the list. When I was a kid, I used to go from Evanston across the border to the Wilmette Public Library to ransack the music section for records, tapes and CDs. I check out the maximum amount, take them home, and dub them to add to my growing collection of tapes. Now, there wasn't anything too hip there … Continue Reading ››