Category ACROSS THE DECADES

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #6

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #7

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #8

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #9

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #10

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 […]

ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD—AUSTRALIA

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 […]

70 FROM ’70—PART 2

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — PART 3

Vinyl Connection’s countdown of 1970 favourites resumes after a home-organising hiatus. Welcome back folks! #30 — #21 30  JOE COCKER — Mad Dogs and Englishmen * The throaty growl of Sheffield born Joe Cocker gave a fresh twist to his rock ’n’ soul stylings, as evidenced by his iconic set at Woodstock. Cocker’s skill was […]

EUROPE ENDLESS

It’s just another elderly musician gone. Happens so regularly that writing rock obituaries would be a full-time job. So why does the death of Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider fill me with sadness? Actually, not sadness… loss. A electronic hole in the musicverse leaving one man standing. Hütter and Schneider, Schneider and Hütter. Now just Ralf. […]

70 FROM ’70 — INTERIM REPORT

My first computer-based list of albums was created on an Apple Classic. Filemaker Pro was the program, as I recall. Back then I insisted on spelling it programme. Queen’s English. The entire collection was housed in a three shelf unit made from a cut down wardrobe. When I took to the robe with a circular […]