Posts From Sam Sutherland

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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Elvis Costello’s ‘Armed Forces’: What’s So Funny?

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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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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‘Slowhand’ Revisited: Eric Clapton’s 1977 Platinum Balancing Act

‘Slowhand’ offers a lucid balance of technical mastery and artistic modesty. It became his best-selling studio album to date upon its release.

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‘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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‘Astral Weeks’: Van Morrison’s Masterpiece

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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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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‘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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‘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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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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