Classic Album of the Week

Posted every other Tuesday evening BEFORE the show.

Only Classic Albums from the most recent three months are included on this page.

Older Classic Albums can be found on the original playlist pages, listed in alphabetical order here.

Click on LP covers for more info and reviews.

   

"Demon & Eleven Children" by Blues Creation (1971)
Blues Creation "Demon & Eleven Children"  1971 (Japan)
More review soon.
"Sound Track Recordings from the film Jimi Hendrix" by Jimi Hendrix (rec. 1967-70, rel. 1973)
Jimi Hendrix "Soundtrack Recordings from the Film Jimi Hendrix"  rec. 1967-70, rel. 1973 (USA)
Jimi Hendrix's 75th birthday is this week! He was, and still is, the most important electric guitarist of all time. Since all four of the albums he made while he was alive are already Classic Albums, we move on to my favorite of his posthumous releases: a documentary soundtrack double LP of live recordings produced by Joe Boyd (legendary producer of Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, and Incredible String Band). This LP has never been reissued on CD, mainly because most of the material is available on other albums containing the entire concerts that are excerpted here, including his legendary performances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and Isle Of Wight festivals (as well as a few cuts from Hendrix In The West, another top posthumous release of concert recordings). Which means this is probably the ultimate compilation of his live material, as it includes such gems as "Wild Thing" from Monterey (the song we was playing when he literally set the guitar on fire) and his infamous version of "The Star Spangled Banner" from Woodstock. But my favorites are a psychedelic rave-up version of "Johnny B. Goode" (also found on In The West) and a weird version of "Machine Gun" from Isle of Wight, where the security guards' walky-talkies interfere with Jimi's wireless system, resulting in ghostly cockney voices popping up in the mix (Jimi seems to have fun with it, playing guitar licks in response to their chatter).
"Ragged Glory" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse (1990)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse "Ragged Glory"  1990 (Canada/USA)
Old Neil Young turns 72 this week. With about a dozen Classic Albums already enshrined from his solo career and group work (with Buffalo Springfield and CSNY), I'm only going to be able to find more of his classic records to write about for another century or so (considering he still puts out a handful of new classics every decade: most recently Earth, Psychedelic Pill, Americana and Le Noise have all been winners). But he has also made plenty of duds in his mercurial career. Perhaps the most pivotal of Neil's many revivals was the one that he pulled off starting around 1988, because if came on the heels of four crap records in a row (Everybody's Rockin', Old Ways, Landing On Water and Life - albums even Neil Young fans can barely tolerate; furthermore this run of junk was bookended by Trans and This Note's For You which were two of his most polarizing albums). The lynchpin of Neil's transition from washed-up hippie to "Godfather of Grunge" was Freedom (1989) featuring one of his most memorable hits "Rockin' In The Free World", though serious Neil-heads revere the preceding EP Eldorado (1988) which is the heaviest record he ever made without Crazy Horse. When Neil is on a roll, he always turns to his funkiest band of freaks, those lovably egoless goons Ralph, Billy & Poncho, otherwise known as Crazy Horse. The previous two Neil + Horse records Re-Ac-Tor (1981) and the afforementioned Life (1987) remain their least acclaimed collaborations, while Ragged Glory features epic "oceanic guitar" jams that pretty much rewrote the blueprint for a Crazy Horse record. Though the initial 1969 version of the band also had jams that lasted for more than 10 minutes at a time, that group was a hippie "funky country" outfit, and since 1990 Crazy Horse has come on like a heavy metal jam band with Neil going off on his fuzz guitar like never before. Grunge rockers only wish they could be this grungy! (The album cover is totally 90's man, yet it recalls the fisheye photo from the gatefold of Harvest and features the same old handwritten lettering we've seen on his records since the 70's.)
"Reign In Blood" by Slayer (1986)
Slayer "Reign In Blood"  1986 (USA)
This is the best metal album. Ever. What more can I say that hasn't already been said? Except, Happy Halloween!
"Cosmic Slop" by Funkadelic (1973)
Funkadelic "Cosmic Slop"  1973 (USA)
This week is another high concept pledge drive show. What is the concept? That is correct! Our Classic Album is a great one from Funkadelic's classic Eddie Hazel period that I'm surprised hasn't been inducted already. Highlights include the original version of the title track (one of their most popular concert staples for over 40 years now), the shoulda-been-a-hit weirdo funk of "You Can't Miss WHAT You Can't Measure", and hardcore political blues metal of "March To The Witches Castle" (Black Sabbath as soul music?)
"For Love Or Money" by Highway Robbery (1972)
Highway Robbery "For Love Or Money"  1972 (USA)
This week is a high concept pledge drive show, so the Classic Album is simply the coolest obscure record on the show this week which has not already been a Classic Album. Highway Robbery was a heavy Deetroit rock trio of the seventies that only recorded one album. Most of the album is classy hard rock, sort of an American Led Zeppelin only the guy who looks like Robert Plant is their singing drummer! In fact the shrieky lead singer/drummer seems to be a mark of quality one-off early 70's hard rock: see also Sir Lord Baltimore and White Witch.
"Soon Over Babaluma" by Can (1974)
Can "Soon Over Babaluma"  1974 (Germany)
We lost two great bassists of the seventies this month: we celebrated Walter Becker (Steely Dan) last week, so this week it is Holger Czukay time. Holger was the bassist, oldest member, edit-meister and leader of "The Can", Germnay's greatest jam band and one of the leading lights of "krautrock." Sadly, Holger is now jamming with drummer Jaki and guitarist Michael auf Himmel, with Irmin Schmidt being the last original member of the group still alive (not including their "foreign" vocalists, Ameren Malcolm Mooney and Japanese Damo Suzuki, both of whom are also still alive). This week's classic album is a pivotal release for two reasons: it was their last album where they recorded themselves live onto a two-track recorder (as they had done since their first album), and also the first album as an all-German quartet without a foreign lead singer (Irmin and Michael took over vocal duties, but still mostly sing auf Englisch).
     
Click here for classic albums from more than three months ago.
          

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