“When did prog rock begin?” is a question that gets trotted out periodically and always invites a storm of opinion, most of it generating more heat than light. A big part of the problem is a lack of shared understanding around the terms. What is prog? Is it different from progressive music? And what constitutes […]

One of the best albums of the 60s was released in January 1968. It garnished folk-rock, psychedelic, country and pop tunes with flourishes of Eastern tonalities, smatterings of jazz and a knowing awareness of what four chaps from Liverpool were doing over in the UK. We are talking about The Notorious Byrd Brothers, behind whose […]

When it comes to choosing albums to write about, I’ve noticed a few trends. One—previously mentioned—is the difficulty in writing about a really special, favourite record. Something about the meaning, the importance, the desire to communicate the specialness; these somehow inhibit my fingers. At the other end of the spectrum are those artists only known […]

Here is the third instalment in the ‘Decade’ themed album cover quizzes. We’ve aced the Eighties, and nuked the Naughties… Now it’s time to swing into the Sixties. Below are fourteen album covers (CD sized) resting on a 12″ LP. All were released between 1960 and 1969. The task is to identify as many as […]

There is a wind-up alien on the cover. The title is Attack Of The Martians. No record label; it was self-produced in 2004. Eccentric Orbit is the name of the band. They come from planet Synth.   This intriguing CD was part of a recent haul, a whim-purchase based on half the quartet playing electric […]

After a breakthrough year in 1967, Aretha Franklin surged into 1968 with Lady Soul, a flat-out classic that hit the shelves in January of that year. Aretha had a way of making a song her own. Didn’t matter who wrote it—male/female, black/white, pop/R&B—made no difference to the Queen of Soul. When Aretha sang a song […]

Last year I bit off more than I could chew. A brave, but ultimately foolhardy attempt was made to cover all the 1967 albums stored in the Vinyl Connection larder. A couple of dozen LPs made it to the fifty-year table; a very modest selection from the potential number of courses. Some sense of failure […]