Posts From Sam Sutherland

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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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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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s ‘Deja Vu’: A Volatile Chemistry

By any standard, it was an enormous success. But when CSN added a new member for their second album, it was an alliance that would both define and bedevil them

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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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‘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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