Posts From Sam Sutherland

‘Running on Empty’: Jackson Browne’s Romance of the Road

The 1977 LP was Browne’s most surprising, least typical album, a game-changer that updated his identity from folk-rock troubadour to rock headliner.

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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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‘Disraeli Gears’: When Cream Rose to the Top

On their second album, the trio honed their virtuosic interplay to a sharper edge and added a more modern sensibility spiked with psychedelia.

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Debut @50

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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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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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ @40

The LP was the band’s long-awaited breakthrough, the Heartbreakers now matching the caliber of their front man’s writing with their focused musicianship.

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Pretenders’ Debut: Chrissie Hynde Takes No Prisoners

Released at the edge of the ’70s punk and new wave assaults, ‘Pretenders’ traded on Chrissie Hynde’s substantial punk bona fides–but there was more to it.

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When ELO, ELP, Tull + More 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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‘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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Elvis Costello: ‘Armed Forces’ @40

The band’s third album was a leap forward in songcraft and sonic ambition, a song cycle weaving the personal and political.

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