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

Elton John’s ‘Madman Across the Water’ Revisited

He was everywhere in 1971 but still hadn’t quite found his way. Then he released the first album that defined his singular gifts.

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On the Menu: Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’

The band had enjoyed steady growth with their first 5 albums. That all changed in 1979 with this blockbuster release which became one of the year’s top sellers

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The Guess Who Go Hard With ‘American Woman’

The Canadian band had been scoring with ballads like “These Eyes” and “Laughing.” Now they wanted to rock. American Woman introduced a new Guess Who.

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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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Jethro Tull’s ‘Thick As a Brick’: Concept LP or Parody of One?

Equal parts ambitious and meticulous, the band’s 1972 best-seller is a smartly produced collage whose appeals remain undimmed.

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Badfinger Straight Up: A Power Pop Masterpiece

They began as proteges of the Beatles, then became power pop heroes. The story behind one of the classic Apple Records albums.

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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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Ritchie Valens: More Than Just ‘La Bamba’

It’s not hyperbole to say that “there can be few artists in the history of popular music who died so young but left such a significant legacy and legend.”

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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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The Rolling Stones’ ‘Honk’ Collection: Review

If you have to whittle the hundreds of songs in the post-ABKCO catalog down to three dozen, you could do worse than to wind up with the track list here.

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