David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name

Crosby’s timeless, haunting masterpiece The first time I became aware of this album was after reading a review in Mojo Magazine’s “Forgotten Classics” section, many years ago while in my early twenties. Such is the influence of music journalism I knew I had to hear it. So one Saturday I went off to do a… Read More David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather

Texas guitarist whips up a tornado of his own on second album The career of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the 1980’s could be likened to that of Eric Clapton’s in the 1960’s; that is, both played an important and integral part in popularising a style of music either ignored, unknown or largely forgotten by the… Read More Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather

Janis Joplin – Greatest Hits

Whom the Gods love dies young For someone who had such a short career, there can probably never truly be what could be described as a definitive best of. Box of Pearls, which contains all of her original studio albums, with bonus tracks, is far more authoritative, but perhaps way too exhaustive and comprehensive for… Read More Janis Joplin – Greatest Hits

Brothers Of A Feather – Live At The Roxy

Brothers in arms get back to basics The Black Crowes were never strangers when it came to acoustic performance. So it should come as no surprise that principle members Chris and Rich Robinson decided to embark on a separate tour of their own, playing smaller, more intimate venues while sitting down on chairs and telling… Read More Brothers Of A Feather – Live At The Roxy

Jethro Tull – Aqualung

Monks, mellotrons, and bearded ladies. Who’d have ever thought? Aqualung was the sort of album that could only have come out of Merry Old England. Jethro Tull itself originally began life as a blues-rock band with heavy folk leanings, however by 1970, they began to adopt a far more serious stance both in sound and… Read More Jethro Tull – Aqualung

Billy Thorpe – Tangier

Noble attempt at cementing guitar legend’s posthumous legacy In the ‘60s and ‘70s Billy Thorpe made a name for himself as one of Australia’s most iconic rockers, whose performances at The Sunbury Music Festival more than forty years ago are now the stuff of legend. Thorpe, with his band The Aztecs, were renowned as being… Read More Billy Thorpe – Tangier

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Live Alive

Sort of live, but definitely alive The 1980’s was a pretty strange time to be in if you were a blues guitarist. Since the ‘70s the blues had taken a serious back step since its ‘60s heyday. Even Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, two of England’s finest blues guitarists, had updated their style and sound… Read More Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Live Alive

Jimi Hendrix – Smash Hits

All of Jimi’s pre-1968 A- and B-sides in the one package In the ‘70s, superior compilations of Hendrix’s work were presented (i.e The Essential Vols 1 and 2), although Smash Hits was the first, having been released when Jimi was still alive, and contained many non-LP tracks that had been available only as singles. Because… Read More Jimi Hendrix – Smash Hits

Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain

Frilly shirts, high heels, and a Harley. Prince’s star finally rises As the soundtrack to an extremely mediocre movie of the same name, Purple Rain was Prince’s long overdue arrival on the world stage. The man had talent, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t until this long player came along that his career truly took… Read More Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain

Betty Davis – Betty Davis

Punk-Funk at its flamboyant flirty best (BYO Afro) This is one funky album. Before the Black Eyed Peas came along with their “yes to sex” and other puerile lyrical fantasies, there was Betty Davis, who legend has it was as mad as a cut snake, whose own lusty lyrics would make even Beyoncé blush. Betty’s… Read More Betty Davis – Betty Davis

The Style Council – Café Bleu

Paul Weller turns his back on rock for more sophisticated climes Having spent the latter part of the ‘70s and early ‘80s championing the virtues of punk-rock with The Jam, when Paul Weller decided to embark on a completely different journey altogether, one which looked back to the ‘60s for inspiration, it came as an… Read More The Style Council – Café Bleu

Beatles – With The Beatles

The Beatles continue to perfect their craft and pave the way for a new style of pop With each generation that comes along, the original impact The Beatles had on youth culture diminishes exponentially. What The Beatles mean to young people today is perhaps more akin to curiosity than worship. Popular groups nowadays might be… Read More Beatles – With The Beatles

The Outlaws – Outlaws

Classic debut by Country-rockers who play just for you Originally from Tampa, Florida, The Outlaws took some time to build momentum. The band started out in 1967, although it wasn’t until 1975 that they released their self-titled debut. Along with The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws were part… Read More The Outlaws – Outlaws

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced

A new musical supernova hits London and the world The story of Jimi Hendrix who went from starving nobody to international superstar has been told and retold so many times that it would be superfluous to retell it here. Had he never made it to London when he did, and remained a struggling artist playing… Read More Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced

Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles reinvent themselves and popular culture in the process When the Beatles released their long-awaited follow-up to Revolver, it was almost as if suddenly the band had gone from black and white to full-blown Technicolor, thanks to the cover, one of the most iconic of its time, or any time (and one which would… Read More Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Marshall Tucker Band

Laurel Canyon Utopia makes way for a new form of rustic expression As the hippie movement began to dribble into a puddle of lysergic disillusionment, psychedelic-rock found itself gradually being usurped by music that was more country oriented. The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers were at the forefront of this shift, blending elements of… Read More The Marshall Tucker Band

Kids In The Kitchen – Shine

Kick out the synths and electric drum kits! Throughout the first half of the ‘80s, the popular music scene was awash with an overabundance of pop/rock/indie acts, all vying for their very own moment in the neon spotlight. Bands such as Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Thompson Twins, Culture Club, plus a host of other English… Read More Kids In The Kitchen – Shine

Jimi Hendrix – By Himself – The Home Recordings

An intimate, fascinating glimpse into Jimi’s musical sketchbook As the title suggests, these solo demos were made by Hendrix at his Manhattan apartment sometime in April 1968, in between touring and recording sessions for his third studio album Electric Ladyland. And while the tapes had been widely bootlegged, this was, and remains, their first and… Read More Jimi Hendrix – By Himself – The Home Recordings

The Original Animals – Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted

Old dogs, no new tricks. As the ‘60s morphed into the ‘70s, groups like The Animals, though still celebrated, were considered to be long in the tooth, and clearly the group thought so too, finally disbanding (after several line-up changes) in 1969, for good it seemed. But then something miraculous happened. In 1977, the original… Read More The Original Animals – Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted

Phil Manzanera – Diamond Head

Ex-Roxy Music guitarist steps out on his own Phil Manzanera is a man of intelligent musical expressions, a quiet achiever, and one of the finest psychedelic guitarists of his generation. David Gilmour might get the accolades, but Manzanera is right up there, believe me, with a style just as unique and worthy of any of… Read More Phil Manzanera – Diamond Head

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy

Lennon re-emerges from middle-age retirement Out of all the ex-Beatles, it was John Lennon who seemed to garner the most attention, and for good reason. Lennon was one of the most cultural and political figures the Pop world has ever known. The moment he stated in 1966 that “We’re more popular than Jesus right now”… Read More John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy

Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell And Angels

The grave robbing continues, only to prove that there’s still enough magic left in the can While there are no shortage of 20th Century musicians who managed to break the equivalent of the musical sound barrier within their own chosen field, when it came to the electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix was akin to the speed of light,… Read More Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell And Angels

Blackfeather – At The Mountains Of Madness

Psychedelic blues-rock by underappreciated Oz pioneers When it comes to what is now regarded as the golden era of ‘classic rock’, i.e. the late ’60s and early ‘70’s, the antipodes remains an oft overlooked contributor to that particularly explosive chapter of popular, and less than popular, music. If the likes of Lobby Lloyde and Billy Thorpe had… Read More Blackfeather – At The Mountains Of Madness

Eagles – On The Border

Panache, and plenty of California cool Unlike CSN, The Eagles knew how to compose a song that would immediately appeal to the masses. Country-rock, West-Coast AOR, whatever you want to call it, The Eagles were a class act – predictable, maybe – but in their case at least, quality always outweighed quantity, something which explains… Read More Eagles – On The Border

Jimi Hendrix – By Night – The Blues Album Outtakes

Unofficial collection of curios by the late great guitarist As Alan Douglas sifted through the seemingly endless multi-track tapes in search of potential candidates for his next project, what would become 1994’s Blues album, he uncovered a veritable cache of jams, outtakes and unfinished ideas, most of which had remained in the vaults unheard for… Read More Jimi Hendrix – By Night – The Blues Album Outtakes

John Coltrane – “Live” At The Village Vanguard

Jazz’s spiritual awakening begins in earnest Saxophonist John Coltrane was clearly someone on a journey, a quest even, toward some sort of enlightenment. Yet it was an experience he wanted to share, one not based on orthodox values, religiously speaking, even though religious belief remained at the very core of his convictions, Coltrane wanted to… Read More John Coltrane – “Live” At The Village Vanguard

The Allman Brothers Band – Live from A&R Studios, New York, 26th August, 1971

Hirsute Southerner’s make their mark on New York The death of guitarist Duane Allman was one of blues-rock’s greatest losses, whose untimely passing cast a serious pall over The Allman Brothers Band. It was an event from which they never seemed to truly recover. Live from A&R Studios, New York, 26th August 1971 was recorded… Read More The Allman Brothers Band – Live from A&R Studios, New York, 26th August, 1971

Bonnie Raitt & Lowell George (with John Hammond) – Ultrasonic Studios 1972

Obscure radio broadcast sheds further light on a bygone age Released on the Iconography label, this CD taken from a live FM broadcast is apparently an official document of sessions organised by Long Island radio station WLIR-FM on 17th October, 1972. With no actual audience in attendance, Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George and John Hammond run through… Read More Bonnie Raitt & Lowell George (with John Hammond) – Ultrasonic Studios 1972

The Who – The Kids Are Alright

The Who reflect on over a decade of music and mayhem Cinematic autobiographies by bands can often be tedious, over-bloated, self-aggrandising affairs, short on fact, and high on celebrity (U2’s 1988 Rattle And Rum being one such example). Yet The Who, while no strangers to cinema, with two ambitious rock-epics already under their belts –… Read More The Who – The Kids Are Alright

Faces – Five Guys Walk Into A Bar…

English pub-rock at its best “Although we spent a lot of time at the pub, we did rehearse as well, and it’s a complete surprise to hear how good we sound after all these years…” So said Ian McLagan when compiling this four CD retrospective, one that includes highlights from each of their albums, as… Read More Faces – Five Guys Walk Into A Bar…

Jimi Hendrix – Isle Of Wight

Thank you very much for showing up, man. Y’all really beautiful and outtasight… It has been a long time hasn’t it. With mounting pressure on Jimi Hendrix to complete his long awaited follow up to 1969’s Electric Ladyland, to embark on a European tour just when his next album was a mere three weeks away… Read More Jimi Hendrix – Isle Of Wight

The Beatles – Live At The Hollywood Bowl

The Fab Four raise fan worship to new heights on historical live recordings In June 1965, The Beatles began a two-week tour of France, Spain, and Italy, where they played fifteen shows in just eight days (eight days a week indeed). It was a tour which, while not exactly disastrous, hadn’t been properly planned much… Read More The Beatles – Live At The Hollywood Bowl

Various Artists – The Best Of ACE Rockabilly

The preservation of long forgotten gems from rock ‘n’ roll’s golden age continues When people think of ‘50’s rock ‘n’ roll, the name Elvis Presley will likely be at the top of their list. But the evolution and revolution of rock can never be credited to just one man alone. Blues, Rhythm & Blues, country,… Read More Various Artists – The Best Of ACE Rockabilly

The MC5 – The Big Bang! Best Of The MC5

Proto-punk combined with free-jazz explorations. Kick out the jams indeed The MC5 released a mere three albums, before imploding in a haze of booze, drugs and dysfunction. Just the way rock ‘n’ roll bands ought to. But in their short existence as one of the 1960’s and early ‘70s most raucous, uncompromising rock groups ever,… Read More The MC5 – The Big Bang! Best Of The MC5

Various Artists – Hollywood Rock ‘n’ Roll

Absorbing insight into a near-forgotten age In the 1970’s and 80’s Ace Records established a reputation for quality releases by artists who may not have been of the same calibre as Carl Perkins or Gene Vincent, but who were worth hearing all the same. Most names on this compilation will be unrecognisable to anyone but… Read More Various Artists – Hollywood Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Beatles – Help!

Their holy fabness take yet another step towards world domination By 1965 The Beatles were practically Pop’s latest aristocracy, who in the eyes of their adoring fans could do no wrong. However John Lennon was fast becoming disillusioned with the music business, and what The Beatles had become in particular, whom he felt were being… Read More The Beatles – Help!

Elvis Presley – The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956

The Hillbilly-Cat finely preserved on early historic recordings In the 1950’s, Elvis Presley seemed to sum up everything that was great about rock ‘n’ roll. Not only did he have the looks, but also the right voice, combined with a charismatic presence whenever he walked on stage. Although Elvis didn’t write his own material, as… Read More Elvis Presley – The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956

Jon Hassell – Power Spot

Music without borders Along with Miles Davis, Jon Hassell has one of the most unique and immediately identifiable trumpet sounds ever, whose distinctive style and approach to the instrument really does prove that sometimes less is more. His almost subatomic, otherworldly arrangements seemed to come from either a science laboratory or outer space. If Rothko… Read More Jon Hassell – Power Spot

Jimi Hendrix – The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

The re-branding of Hendrix’s legacy begins in earnest Throughout the 1970’s, a succession of Jimi Hendrix live albums were released, many of which were of dubious sound quality, and of even more dubious origins. But so long as people were interested in hearing anything by the deceased guitarist, then you could bet your Granny that… Read More Jimi Hendrix – The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session

Battle of the blues between teacher and pupil Recorded at CHCH-TV Studios in Ontario, Canada on 6th December, 1983, In Session documents the time when Stevie Ray Vaughan reunited with one of his greatest blues heroes, Albert King. At first King was reluctant to perform with someone he didn’t know, but when he learned that… Read More Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session

Derek And The Dominos – Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs

Clapton finds inspiration and solace in the face of unrequited love Arguably the most famous album of Clapton’s career, and one that might never have been were it not for Delaney and Bonnie’s rhythm section deserting ship over the issue of wages and conditions. But since they had nowhere to go, each thought to give… Read More Derek And The Dominos – Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs

Roy Buchanan – Live Stock

Blistering set from “The world’s greatest unknown guitarist” Although not entirely forgotten, Roy Buchanan remains an oft ignored figure in the annals of great guitarists. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix might receive the majority of interest and accolades, however Buchanan himself was no less inspired when it came to instrumental acumen.… Read More Roy Buchanan – Live Stock

Cold Chisel – Circus Animals

Pub rockers wear their hearts on their sleeves and unleash a classic in the process On the cover for their fourth studio album we see the group congregated around a lone and disused caravan somewhere in the vast and scorching Australian desert. If it weren’t for the enormous blue horizon behind them, you’d be mistaken… Read More Cold Chisel – Circus Animals

Curtis Knight (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) – Live At George’s Club 20

Raw live tapes highlight Hendrix in his pre-fame prime There is a wealth of information and interest regarding Jimi Hendrix as a solo artist, and rightfully so. The guitarist’s unique approach and vision has rarely been bettered over the decades since his death in 1970. However what many people may not know is that before… Read More Curtis Knight (Featuring Jimi Hendrix) – Live At George’s Club 20

John Lennon – Walls And Bridges

Lennon’s legendary lost weekend summed up on one LP As a songwriter, John Lennon penned some of the most iconic and anthemic tunes of the 20th Century. Songs such as “All You Need Is Love,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” and “Strawberry Fields” remain pristine examples of his genius. Even… Read More John Lennon – Walls And Bridges

Chuck Berry – His Best Vol 1

Roll over Beethoven Ask any teenager today who wrote “Sweet Little Sixteen” and they’ll probably say Justin Bieber. Ask the same question to any random teenager during the late 1950’s and ‘60s, and the answer would have no doubt been considerably different. Chuck Berry was to the 1950’s what Bob Dylan was throughout much of… Read More Chuck Berry – His Best Vol 1

Rod Stewart – Blondes Have More Fun

Rod sells out… well sort of By the late ‘70s, Rod Stewart was becoming ever marginalised by popular music. Punk, disco, and all that electronic warfare known as New Wave, were beginning to take their toll on many an aging rocker, and Stewart, in this respect, was no exception. Yet unlike the majority of rock… Read More Rod Stewart – Blondes Have More Fun

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

Log fire ruminations and mysterious symbols. The myth-making has finally begun Work on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album began in December 1970 at Island Studios, however it wasn’t until the band moved into Headley Grange that the whole process of writing and recording started in earnest. And it was at Headley Grange that the basic tracks… Read More Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

Pink Floyd – The Early Years 1965–1972

Pink Floyd go all out on mammoth box set When it comes to archival releases, this one’s a whopper, a staggering 27 discs covering everything from Pink Floyd’s earliest studio recordings, BBC sessions to film soundtracks, including over twenty unreleased songs and more than seven hours of previously unreleased live footage, plus another five hours… Read More Pink Floyd – The Early Years 1965–1972