Even if you’re old enough to have spent the British Invasion years glued to a radio, you may well be unfamiliar with the pop/rock group the Creation. Little-noticed latter-day reunions with assorted lineups aside, the original band’s career lasted only from 1966 to 1968, during which time they released just one album and a handful… Continue reading Could the Creation Have Been as Big as the Who?
The rap on the Grateful Dead’s eponymous 1967 debut album—which the group mostly recorded in just four days—is that they didn’t yet understand the studio and failed to accurately represent what they could accomplish in concert. There’s some truth in that. Then again, as a bonus disc included with this 50th anniversary reissue makes clear,… Continue reading Revisiting the Dead’s Debut, and More
In the early days of Chip Taylor’s remarkable career, he penned some of the biggest hits of the 1960s, most notably “Wild Thing” (Jimi Hendrix, the Troggs) and “Angel of the Morning” (Merilee Rush). Then, in 1980, after releasing several solo albums, he stopped recording and began a successful 16-year run as a professional gambler.… Continue reading Chip Taylor’s Latest Triumph, and More
Vivian Cook named her debut album The Long Shot after the subject line on the email she sent to producer R. Walt Vincent, asking him whether he wanted to work with her on it. Assuming there’s any justice in the world, it will become clear that a more accurate title for the record would have… Continue reading Vivian Cook’s Dynamite Debut, and More
It happens with surprising frequency: an artist crafts something auspicious or even brilliant, and the record companies say “no thanks.” Decca got a shot at the fledgling Beatles and took a pass. Columbia decided that Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions—which contains his classic “Hallelujah”—wasn’t good enough to release. And then there’s the case of the ironically… Continue reading Big Star’s Big Reissue, and More
Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957–1966. If you think you know country music but haven’t familiarized yourself with Buck Owens’s catalog, it’s time to return to school. Along with Merle Haggard, Owens played a key role in popularizing the back-to-basics Bakersfield (California) Sound, and he influenced a generation of artists, including… Continue reading A Buck Owens Anthology, and Three More New Releases