Album Rewinds

Given the test of time and the wisdom of hindsight, how do significant albums from the past sound and play today? Our critics take a second look from a fresh perspective

James Taylor’s ‘Sweet Baby James’: Fire and Rain

It ushered in the singer-songwriter era and has endured as a beacon to listeners and like-minded musicians for half a century.

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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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Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’: The Breakthrough

Wildly theatrical, straddling the worlds of hard rock, pop, prog and Broadway, the album was an eclectic triumph. Now, Queen sounded like a true band.

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Harry Nilsson’s Ambitious ‘Schmilsson’ LP Revisited

Noteworthy for its scope and ambition, the album was justifiably rewarded with worldwide success that took Nilsson to the next level of stardom.

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The Rascals’ ‘Time Peace’: A Greatest Hits LP That Foretold the Future

While the collection could be considered a document detailing the end of an era, it also marked a makeover: Time was marching on for the band.

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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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Dire Straits’ ‘Making Movies’: Mark Knopfler’s Widescreen Ambitions

The album restored the band’s platinum stature with a more expansive style verging on prog rock while retaining retro accents

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The Beatles’ White Album: Facts and Trivia

At the same time they were maturing, they were leaving behind the Beatles. Here are some fascinating details on all 30 tracks on their ’68 masterpiece.

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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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The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Eat a Peach’: Farewell to a Brother

Started before the death of Duane Allman, and completed after he was gone, the album served as a poignant, multifaceted farewell to the guitar great.

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