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

Dave Edmunds’ ‘Repeat When Necessary’: Where the New Wave Met the Old

The Welsh rocker’s fifth solo album, made with the great Rockpile, captures him at the pinnacle of his influence as an architect of late ’70s new wave.

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Paul Simon’s ‘There Goes Rhymin’ Simon’: American Tunes

With classic songs such as “American Tune,” “Kodachrome” and “Loves Me Like a Rock,” Simon’s third solo album sealed his reputation as a major solo artist.

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Black Sabbath’s Debut LP: Where Metal Began

Every defining characteristic of the British band’s self-titled debut would become a hallmark of the oft-maligned heavy metal genre.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Shining Debut

Years of playing and professionalism produced one of the era’s best records, whose sheer musicality shines as brightly today.

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Elton John’s ‘Madman Across the Water’: A Blue Jean Baby

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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Joe Cocker’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’: More Than a Little Help

“We can imagine how exhausted Cocker, Russell and Co. must have been when they got off the road, but from the audience’s point of view, it was worth it.”

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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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