Another easy one. [This second trial is so I can try ‘holding’ the comments to give folk in different time zones a chance to answer. If I can somehow remove spoilers, I’ll let the comment through immediately.] So, what links these albums? *** *** *** *** LEVEL: EASY

A new Album Cover Quiz is coming very soon. But first, here is something new. I’ll post some album covers with a connection between them. The task is to discover the theme. Notionally, there are four levels of difficulty: EASY MODERATE HARD DIABOLICAL This debut What’s My Theme? is more a test run than a […]

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 […]

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 […]

3.  MILES DAVIS — BITCHES BREW It shimmers, it growls. It moans and howls. There is glowing radiance and dirty work. With this double album—sometimes mesmerising and occasionally jolting—Miles Davis changed both jazz and popular music. Having done cool, modal and progressive (all that restlessness!), Miles and producer Teo Macero engineered this vast work from […]

4. CROSBY STILLS NASH AND YOUNG — Déjà Vu “Carry on” begins with purposeful strummed acoustic guitar before the voices enter, harmonising like a heavenly hippy chorus. Some slithery electric guitar creeps into the next bridge, instruments fall away for a sublime vocal refrain; here’s a little organ, a two word snap of Steven Stills’ […]

5. NEIL YOUNG — After The Gold Rush How did Neil’s nasal voice and the sparse country-ish feel of much of this album so capture the young man I was? Slumped under uncomfortable headphones in the Record Lounge of the Student Union Building day after day; lost, but listening. Neil’s voice is mixed way forward […]

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 […]