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

The Guess Who’s ‘American Woman’ @ 50

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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ZZ Top’s ‘Eliminator’: Hot-Rods, TV Dinners and Sharp-Dressed Men

The music is stellar, and the LP became a massive hit, selling 10 million copies and staying on the Billboard album chart for three years.

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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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Chicago’s Eclectic Debut Album: With Authority

Chicago’s speedy ascent was fueled by a landmark debut that made an immediate splash with critics and listeners, but it was more than a hit record.

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Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Eldorado’: Broader Borders

For their fourth LP, ELO moved past the uncertainties of their early years and took listeners on a journey into the future.

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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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Eric Burdon & the Animals: New Box Set is Hit & Miss

Even when the music falls short on this collection of latter-day Animals, it’s worth hearing Burdon, one of the most noteworthy vocalists of 1960s rock.

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‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’: Their Rockin’ Post-Purple Debut

Unhappy with the direction Deep Purple was taking, the guitarist recruited another band and made a debut album that would lead to a long solo career.

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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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The ‘Truth’ According to Jeff Beck: A Genre-Busting Masterpiece

The former Yardbirds guitarist’s 1968 solo debut signaled a half-dozen highways for the future of rock. Every track on ‘Truth’ is astonishing.

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