Friday, April 9, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Bob Dylan (4/9/69) 41 Years!

Nashville Skyline wasn’t Bob Dylan’s best album by any stretch, but it did top out at #3 in the U.S. and a surprising #1 on the U.K. charts (find Bob in The Playlist Vault, here). Recorded in Nashville (where else?) with a cadre of local session musicians and released on April 9, 1969, the album includes a duet (a remake of “Girl From The North Country”) with Johnny Cash and reflects the emergence of the country-rock sub-genre and the early shift of pure country music toward the pop mainstream.

Nashville Skyline spun three singles onto the pop charts, with “Lay Lady Lay” the only one to see significant chart action. The other two (“Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” and “I Threw It All Away”) were pretty decent slower country tunes, but Dylan wasn’t a country artist and Nashville Skyline was far from a rock album, so one shouldn’t be surprised that the singles didn’t hit. But that’s the whole point. The album was smack in the middle of the early development of country-rock, and Dylan was on the forefront along with the Byrds, Gram Parsons and Neil Young.

And Bob Dylan’s best? My money’s on Blonde On Blonde, with Highway 61 Revisited at #2 and Blood On The Tracks #3. Your bias can be registered on DrRock.com. Nashville Skyline can be purchased as a CD or mp3 downloads on Amazon or iPod files on iTunes.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

 

Album of the Day: Eagles (10/30/07) 2nd Birthday!

21VEkq2rGmL._SL160_The Eagles were the quintessential 70’s soft-country-rock band, an amalgam of the pure country-rock of Poco and the harmonies and jangle guitar-rock of the Byrds with far greater recording production supporting their obvious talents as performers and songwriters (Eagles playlist here). The Eagles defined the 70s L.A. soft pop-rock sound and opened the way for the 80s light MOR country-pop sound that members Don Henley and Glen Frey exploited with multi-platinum albums. In the 70s the Eagles produced five #1 singles, 14 Top 20 hits overall and six #1 albums (including two of the best selling albums of all time, 1975’s Eagles: Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and 1976’s Hotel California. By the end of 20th century, the Eagles were still going strong, although mostly as a huge selling retro-band, with an audience leaning toward the “classic rock” sounds of the 70s era the Eagles dominated. The band released sporadic reunion and “live” revival albums until Long Road Out Of Eden, their first album of any kind in 13 years and their first studio release in over 20 years, came out two years ago on October 30, 2007. Long Road Out Of Eden is a throw-back collection of songs that mirror their peak years (and initially available only at Wal-Mart Stores, the colossal global discount retailer). In an age where great rock music is limited, even a retro-album like Long Road Out Of Eden is a relief. It’s on my buy list and recommended for any Eagles fan or lover of 70s soft-rock.

Long Road Out Of Eden is now available (not just at Wal-Mart) as download tracks from iTunes (click here) and as a CD from Amazon (click here).

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