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

Talking Heads’ ‘Fear of Music’: A Transitional Gem

“The first step in David Byrne’s assumption of power, moving Talking Heads from a band to his band… It was dance music that reflected the time.”

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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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Linda Ronstadt’s ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ Breakthrough

After Ronstadt’s first four albums, followers of country-rock knew there was something special about her. On her fifth, they found out what it was.

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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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Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Shining Debut @50

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

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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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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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Eric Clapton’s Lifesaving ‘Rainbow Concert’ Revisited

It’s widely believed that Pete Townshend’s successful efforts to bring Eric Clapton out of his self-imposed musical exile marked a turning point.

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Dave Mason’s ‘Alone Together’: Colorful Throughout

It’s often remembered for its multi-colored marble vinyl, but the former Traffic member’s solo debut also contained some of his finest songs

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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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