Posts From Sam Sutherland

‘Buffalo Springfield Again’: An Embattled Creation

A volatile mix of talent and dysfunction percolates beneath the surface of the California band’s second and best album, cobbled together amidst rivalries.

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The Byrds’ ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ LP—A Folk Rock Manifesto

With worthwhile covers, solid originals and no filler, the LP sustained a level of quality that invited favorable comparison with their heroes, the Beatles.

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Steely Dan’s Sophisticated ‘Countdown to Ecstasy’

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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Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris’ ‘Trio’: Soaring Sisterhood

Their partnership is among the purest, boasting a celestial vocal blend, rooted in mutual admiration and the sheer joy of making music.

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The Band’s Pioneering ‘Music From Big Pink’

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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‘Dusty in Memphis’: Dusty Springfield’s Pop-Soul Pinnacle

Nearing 30, the British vocal great was intimidated by the soul power at Atlantic Records, her new home. She overcame it and turned out a masterpiece.

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Bob Marley and the Wailers’ ‘Live!’ Album: Reggae Rocks Babylon

The London concert providedvalidation that Marley and his band, the Wailers, had breached the rock market with their potent strain of reggae.

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Dave Edmunds’ ‘Repeat When Necessary’: Where the New Wave Met the Old

The Welsh rocker’s fifth solo album, made with the great Rockpile, captures him at the pinnacle of his influence as an architect of late ’70s new wave.

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‘Wildflowers’: Tom Petty’s Heartbroken Solo Masterpiece

Petty called it his favorite album. Its generous song list only hinted at the virtual torrent of material he was creating during this period.

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‘John Prine’: A Debut for the Ages for a Songwriter’s Songwriter

The album is a quiet masterpiece, a portrait of a young singer-songwriter already fully formed and crafting songs for the ages.

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