Posts From Sam Sutherland

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ ‘Damn the Torpedoes’: Full Speed Ahead

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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‘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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Jackson Browne’s ‘The Pretender’: Dreams and Nightmares

The 1976 album, arriving at a difficult time in his life, projects a more sinister and less forgiving world than Browne’s earlier works.

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The Byrds’ ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo’: Cornerstone of Country-Rock

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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Warren Zevon’s Recovery Through ‘Sentimental Hygiene’

The 1987 album signaled more than a bid for a career reset. Now sober and focused, and with help from R.E.M., he was clearly back on track.

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‘Who’s Next’: Plan B Yields a Career Blockbuster

Born from the ashes of an abandoned project Pete Townshend called ‘Lifehouse,’ the band’s 1971 masterwork triumphed through songcraft and performance.

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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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