Posts From Sam Sutherland

‘Who’s Next’: Plan B Yields a Career Blockbuster

Born from the ashes of an abandoned project Pete Townshend called ‘Lifehouse,’ the band’s 1971 masterwork triumphed through songcraft and performance.

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Dire Straits’ Breakthrough Debut Album @40

“Sultans of Swing” was immediately distinctive in both sound and story. The album proved the band to be one of the most refreshingly creative of its day.

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The Byrds’ ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’ @50

Their most consequential stylistic stroke since their pioneering folk-rock debut three years earlier, it ushered in country-rock and Americana.

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‘Let It Bleed’: The Rolling Stones’ Turbulent Masterpiece

The album captures the band at its creative apogee through a dark masterpiece that mirrors the violent ’60s milieu in which it was created.

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The Flying Burrito Bros.’ Seminal Country-Rock Debut

Gram Parsons had envisioned the Burritos as “his” band, but ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ underscores the partnership between Parsons and Chris Hillman.

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Steely Dan’s ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’ @ 45

If the songcraft displayed on the first album reflected their Brill Building apprenticeship, the new material proved more open-ended—and more sophisticated.

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‘Astral Weeks’: Van Morrison’s Masterpiece @ 50

A “feverish poetic intensity persists” throughout the cycle of songs that comprise Morrison’s 1968 work, even as those songs shift in pace and tone.

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‘Dixie Chicken’: Little Feat’s Secret Southern Sauce

The group drew on Lowell George’s versatile command of blues, country, folk and R&B for its third–and many feel finest–studio album.

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The Band’s Pioneering ‘Music From Big Pink’ @50

The album offered quiet songs of experience bathed in a rustic glow, with no hints of the futurism and none of the kilowatt drama then prevalent elsewhere in rock.

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