Category ALBUM FOCUS

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #1

It’s 1970. Although The Beatles have disbanded, no-one is lazing about. Surprisingly, Ringo’s was the first solo LP in the shops, followed by Paul, Ringo again, George, then John (with Yoko) in December. It is the quiet Beatle we are celebrating here. All Things Must Pass, a three record set, came out the day before […]

70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #2

2. SANTANA — Abraxas What keeps a half-century-old LP fresh? Lots of possibilities, but in the case of Santana’s second LP, it is the superbly blended mix of different styles and influences that propels the record like an eternal multi-cultural street festival. Many know the infectious blues-rock interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman” or […]

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 […]

VINYL CHAMPIONSHIP

Well, we’re back home and the vinyl has all been shelved. About a tonne. Sadly, that’s not all required in moving house. There are the CDs too. AND setting up the stereos. Vinyl Connection will continue in due course, but in the meantime, here’s a piece written for Discrepancy Records that I imagine will evoke […]

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 […]

70 FROM ’70 — PART 4

With this, the fourth instalment in the endless 1970 countdown (that began here), we cover entries #40—#31. * 40  SYD BARRETT — The Madcap Laughs He has been named ‘the greatest cult hero in rock history’ and is one of the 60s most studied casualties. After Pink Floyd’s fabulous debut, Barrett became more and more […]

GOODBYE WILD THING

I don’t want to appear uncharitable, but how come it misses Donald, glances off Boris, and takes out Tim Brooke-Taylor? In what universe is that fair? Cambridge graduates Bill Oddie (born 7 July 1941), Graeme Garden (born 18 February 1943) and Tim Brooke-Taylor (born 17 July 1940) first performed to a large audience (larger than […]

TROUBLED TIMES

Back in the early days of Vinyl Connection, I wrote about one of the styles of music that has given me enormous pleasure over the years: Power Pop. Jangly guitars, catchy choruses, some salt in the chocolate. The piece still reads OK, and the playlist is a good test of whether you are likely to become […]

70 FROM ’70 — PART 7

70 HAWKWIND — Hawkwind Transitional sounds from the veteran space-rockers. Of course they weren’t veterans in 1970, more young psychedelic hippies feeling their way from free street-party gigs to the recording studio. Still, any album that opens with an endearing blues-based groove as infectious as “Hurry on Sundown” is all right in my book. After […]