Album Rewinds

Given the test of time and the wisdom of hindsight, how do significant albums from the past sound and play today? Our critics take a second look from a fresh perspective

Van Morrison at His Finest Live

The enhanced original ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now’ and the added three discs and DVD are a treasure trove of live in-concert gems.

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Aerosmith Permanent Vacation: The Rejuvenation

They’d lost their way as the ’80s lumbered along. Then, the Boston rockers remembered just who Aerosmith was. We take a look back at their classic comeback.

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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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Big Brother’s ‘Cheap Thrills’: Behind R. Crumb’s LP Cover

It would be the only rock album for which the cartoonist would do the art. It continues to serve as a psychedelic timestamp of one crazy summer.

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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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The Blues Project’s Determined ‘Projections’

Their second album marked them as a formidable and creative force, incorporating elements of other genres ranging from folk to jazz and tossing it all into a psychedelic blender.

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When Johnny Cash Did Time ‘At Folsom Prison’

Performing for prison inmates was nothing new for the legendary singer, but his record label was nervous about making an album at one. Good thing they did.

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