Posts From Sam Sutherland

Elton John’s ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ @50: Raising the Stakes

The musical language that would define his work is all present on this early gem that solidified Elton’s writing partnership with Bernie Taupin

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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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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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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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Paul Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’: An Emotional and Candid Solo Triumph

His only #1 LP, and an Album of the Year Grammy winner, this 1975 release offered definitive proof that he was not going back to the past.

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Elvis Costello & The Attractions ‘Trust’: A Dark Masterwork Turns 40

The album, Costello’s fifth overall, captures the quartet at a potent but troubled peak, its title a loaded, ironic signifier

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Debut: Of Rivers and Cowgirls

The 1969 album’s streamlined band sound offered a direct connection to Young’s emerging power as a live musician, and launched a career-long partnership

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Squeeze’s ‘East Side Story’: A Wily New Wave Classic @ 40

The album’s success underscores how Squeeze’s elan as a lively, kinetic pop-rock outfit was elevated by Difford and Tilbrook’s artistry as storytellers.

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When Classic Rockers Rocked the Classics

Classical themes have found their way into rock since the earliest days of the music. We look at some of the best, from ELO to ELP and beyond.

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Manassas: Stephen Stills’ Finest (Solo) Hour

Stills’ third full-length as leader showcased a collaborative ensemble flexible enough to cover a broad stylistic palette.

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