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

Alice Cooper’s #1 Breakthrough: Billion Dollar Babies

Alice Cooper was still a band, not just one guy, and this was the album that took started their transition from novelty act to classic rock legends.

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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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The Band’s 2nd Album: A Rustic Masterpiece

Following up their debut Music From Big Pink, Dylan’s former backup band made a transcendent, self-titled masterpiece in 1969. Here’s the story.

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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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Band on the Run: The LP That Saved McCartney

The recording sessions were plagued with problems, but Paul McCartney and Wings made the best of it. The result: one of his most beloved LPs.

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The Doors’ ‘Soft Parade’ @50: Still Rockin’

The album’s pop leanings notwithstanding, the Doors were still very much a rock and roll band at the time of its release.

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James Taylor’s Seminal ‘Sweet Baby James’

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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Gene Clark’s ‘No Other’: An Underrated Country-Rock Gem

The album by the former Byrds member, over the years, has attracted enough of a cult following to prompt the recent release of a boxed set.

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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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Steve Miller Band’s ‘Welcome to the Vault’ Reviewed

The album’s less-commercial and less-familiar material may prove revelatory to those who know Miller solely or primarily from the hits.

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