Posts From Sam Sutherland

‘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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‘All Things Must Pass’–George Harrison’s Crowning Solo Set @ 50

Released in 1970 as the Beatles officially split and all four dropped solo albums, Harrison’s mammoth boxed set was a dark horse.

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Dr. John’s ‘Gumbo’: A New Orleans Master’s Thesis

For the sessions, instead of his own new material, he breathed authentic life into lively new versions of hometown classics.

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Traffic’s ‘The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys’: Rock on the Fusion Frontier

What had begun as post-‘Sgt. Pepper’ psychedelia turned toward a darker, more idiosyncratic synthesis of jazz, blues, world music and English folk elements.

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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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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 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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‘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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