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

Bill Withers’ ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’: Soul Preachin’

He’d never even planned for a career in music. Before long, he found himself on stage at one of the most prestigious performance venues in the world.

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Pure Prairie League’s ‘Bustin’ Out’: Persistence Pays Off

Left for dead by their record label, and with musicians using the group as a revolving door, Pure Prairie League nearly packed it in. Then they got lucky.

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Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Out of the Blue’: The Masterpiece from Munich

‘Out of the Blue’ is full of treasures, a sweeping double-LP that Jeff Lynne dubbed “probably the hardest work I have ever done, but the most satisfying.”

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Jackson Browne’s ‘The Pretender’: Dreams and Nightmares

The 1976 album, arriving at a difficult time in his life, projects a more sinister and less forgiving world than Browne’s earlier works.

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Ian Hunter’s ‘You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic’: Dynamic Duo

Teaming with his favored guitar sidekick Mick Ronson, plus members of the E Street Band, the former Mott the Hoople leader created his best solo effort.

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Billy Joel’s ‘The Stranger’: The Breakthrough

The album could be considered a greatest hits, given the fact that several of the songs are still considered essential Joel standards.

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Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Eldorado’: A Mighty Spark

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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The Doors Strange Days: We Want the World…

On their second album, Jim Morrison and the band moved into uncharted territory lyrically and instrumentally. When the music’s over, turn out the lights…

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Blondie’s ‘Parallel Lines’: An International Smash

The LP, which included the smash “Heart of Glass,” would transform the group from boutique act into a worldwide sensation. Our Album Rewind…

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Santana’s ‘Abraxas’: Post-Woodstock Latin Magic

When it came to recording their second album, the band wanted to expend more effort, and make a better-sounding record, than their somewhat rushed debut.

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