6. VELVET UNDERGROUND — Loaded The idea of a polished, commercial VU record seems an oxymoron. But Loaded is both. It may not have been a chart success at the time, but over the years Loaded has gained status and regard in critical circles; Rolling Stone’s list of the best 500 albums of all time […]

7.  VAN MORRISON — Moondance With albums one has lived with for years, knows inside out, and sings along with, it can be easy to forget just how good the songs are; familiarity can obscure the craft. Then you notice you are singing—or at least humming—the whole damn thing and realise it’s because there isn’t […]

8.  SOFT MACHINE — Third Did my brain in, this one, the first few times I listened. Blasted a hole in my expectations of rock music. Of course, that is largely because Third is not a rock record. It is a progressive jazz-rock experimental break-the-mould throw-down-the-gauntlet challenge to pop-rock ears. Kind of like a prog […]

9.  TRAFFIC — John Barleycorn Must Die As Steve Winwood, a rock veteran at 20 years old, started work on his first solo album, he found himself accumulating members of Traffic to help out. First came drummer Jim Capaldi, then flute and woodwind player Chris Wood. The result was an album embodying both post-WWII angst and […]

10 — BLACK SABBATH — Paranoid   Rolling out of the speakers like sullen thunder, the second Black Sabbath album—also their second in 1970—provides both prototype and benchmark for heavy rock. Part of the wonder and richness of this LP is the contrast. After the opening fusillade of “War Pigs” and “Paranoid” we have the […]

Following the last post (MASK), the flow of suggestions on the theme of masks (or more generally, face coverings) on album covers was rapid and fruitful. (This is what I love about blogging). Thanks to JDB (How could I have overlooked Pink Floyd?), Victim of the Fury (Sorry about the Trower; Rainbow is brilliantly apposite), […]

Yesterday afternoon the Premier of Victoria announced that from this Wednesday at midnight, anyone leaving home for one of the four prescribed reasons (food, medicine, work/education, solo exercise) must wear a mask. All over social media, instructions sprang up on how to make your own protective face covering while shop assistants hid under their counters […]

SUNNY BUT OVERCAST It is a puzzle why some bands get so little attention outside their country of origin. And sometimes precious little inside it. The debut by Sydney’s Sunnyboys is an excellent example of an album that is worthy of greater regard. It would most likely thrill fans of Matthew Sweet’s more driving work […]

Last Sunday I posted photos of my day’s listening on social media. It was an odd experience; noticing how my choices were influenced by an awareness of that sharing. The variety of delivery methods was pure theatre (and fun). Here are the pictures. * Terje Rypdal & The Chasers — Blue [ECM 1987] Excellent album […]

20  VAROUS—Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack & More It is sprawling, patchy, frustrating, and incomplete yet the soundtrack to the film of the event of the decade (the 60s, that is) is essential. Held in August 1969 on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm just outside of the small town of Woodstock, the actual name of […]