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Ramones - Ramones (1976)

Candy and chainsaws It was 1976 and the great stars of the 60's had begun to decline, rock music had become more and more stolid as its members had improved with their instruments, the average length of a song was more than five minutes and an album could hold seven or eight at the most. Furthermore, there were few groups left that remembered...

The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street (1972)

50 years of 'Exile On Main Street', the rock & roll bible Exile On Main Street is the perfect definition of rock & roll, the record that best illustrates a ‘bastard and rebellious style that was born to shock’ and break all the racial and etiquette barriers in society. What better band to represent this music than this group of...

Stevie Wonder - Talking Book (1972)

The maturity of a genius  In 1972 Stevie Wonder was only 22 years old, but he had been making records with Motown for so long that he seemed like a veteran. Talking Book was the fifteenth album of his career and the second he released that same year, but, depending on how you look at it, it could be considered the first, or the second (if...

Ted Nugent - Detroit Muscle (2022)

Celebrating Chuck Berry’s Vision Ted Nugent does not waste a moment pretending to be someone he isn’t and his latest album, Detroit Muscle (29 April 2022; Pavement Music), is further testament to all the things he loves.    The album, Nugent’s first since 2018’s The Music Made Me Do It, consists of 11 tracks, and...

Little Feat - Sailin Shoes (1972)

Your favourite musicians' favourite band Lowell George formed Little Feat in late 1969, after Frank Zappa pulled him away from his Mothers Of Invention for one of these three reasons. First, George had written Willin' and taught it to Zappa, who thought it was such a good song that the guitarist should try his luck on his own. Secondly, in...

Robin Trower - No More Worlds To Conquer (2022)

To The Heavens? It is difficult to guess what Robin Trower is suggesting with the title of his new album No More Worlds To Conquer (29 April, 2022; Provogue/Mascot Label Group), but it is hoped that he is not thinking of his farewell because the music of the 76-year-old British blues guitar maestro is still much-loved and...

Mick Ronson - Heaven And Hull (1994)

The farewell of one of the greats Mick Ronson had risen to success as captain of David Bowie's Spiders from Mars, and his guitar playing on his legendary Les Paul and his wonderful arrangements were key to making the Ziggy Stardust author a star. When Bowie decided to end his Glam phase, Ronson became a star in his own right with the release...

Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder - Get On Board (2022)

Songs Of Hope  The point of departure for Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder’s latest album, Get on Board (22 April 2022; Nonesuch), came over 60 years ago when the pair were in their youth. Specifically, they were separately listening to a record of the same name by harmonica wizard Sonny Terry and his great pal, guitarist Brownie McGhee, and...

Peter Frampton - Frampton (1976)

At the gateway of massive success To listen to this album, Frampton, is to listen to someone who has finally found the formula for success. Peter Frampton had been a child prodigy during the Swingin' London days and had later shared a band with the legendary Steve Marriott in Humble Pie, but the increasingly hard rock turn of those days had...

Jack White - Fear Of The Dawn (2022)

A White Wedding: Something Old, Something New! We might have thought the big news about Jack White this week was the release of his album Fear Of The Dawn (8 April 2022; Third Man Records), but he has topped that by marrying Black Belles’ singer-songwriter Olivia Jean live onstage during his show at Detroit’s Masonic Temple...

Edgar Winter - Brother Johnny (2022)

Winter BlossomWith his stunning presence and often brandishing a Gibson Firebird, Johnny Winter played and sang the blues like no other. The Texan sought fame and fortune all his life but after he achieved an advance (a record at the time) of $600,000 – after he jammed with Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper at the Fillmore East – he began to hate...

Joe Satriani - The Elephants Of Mars (2022)

A Surfer’s Travelogue Joe Satriani takes us on another epic cosmic journey with his 19th album: The Elephants of Mars (8 April, 2022; earMUSIC).      Perhaps Satch’s greatest skill is being able to draw in people who might not otherwise listen to instrumental guitar music. Yes of course he can shred like the...

Merle Haggard - I'm A Lonesome Fugitive (1967)

I'm A Lonesome Fugitive was the song that confirmed Merle Haggard as a major country star, giving him the first of his 38 number one hits on the country charts. Although we are talking about one of the three best songwriters in the history of the genre, the song was not his, but that of the couple formed by Liz and Casey Anderson who had based...

AC/DC - If You Want Blood You've Got It (1978)

I'm a rocker! By 1978 the big rock bands had moved a long way away from the excitement of the original rock & roll, from what some called the "Chuck Berry Fields Forever", and were more concerned with creating epics and long instrumental passages that had little to do with the wild energy of their essence. In the USA and England, punk...

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love (2022)

Frusciante Is Back! Hillel Slovak, Dave Navarro, Jack Irons, Josh Klinghoffer, and others, have all left their indelible mark on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ (RHCP) history but it is widely-accepted that the band’s most legendary lineup is with Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, Flea, and John Frusciante. Yes, almost unbelievably… Mr Frusciante is...

Larry McCray - Blues Without You (2022)

A Man Reborn  Larry McCray made waves with his stunning guitar and baritone voice in the early 1990s with the albums Ambition and Delta Hurricane - and played or toured with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Allman Brothers, Albert King and John Mayall– but then all ‘went quiet.’ It is known he battled prostate cancer and passed through...

Deep Purple - Machine Head (1972)

The third pillar of HeavyDeep Purple had found themselves with In Rock, the first studio album by their most remembered line-up, that of ‘Mark II’; made up of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice; but it was when they definitively set their name in stone, putting themselves on a par with their beloved Led Zeppelin...

John Mellencamp - Strictly A One-Eyed Jack (2022)

A Life Full Of Rain Let’s start with the dark. John Mellencamp’s Strictly a One-Eyed Jack (21 January, 2022; Republic Records) is a thematically bleak record that closes with a song on which the protagonist curses his mother for bringing him into this world.    The protagonist in this case is not Mellencamp, nor his...

The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (1993)

Billy Corgan's ace up his sleeve The Smashing Pumpkins had released their first album, Gish, on 28 May 1991 on a small independent label and had managed to break into Billboard's Top 200 for a week, something almost unheard of for an independent band. But when Nirvana's Nevermind, produced by the same guy who had made theirs, Butch Vig,...