On his last couple of Warner Brothers albums, Gorilla and In the Pocket, James Taylor seemed to be converting himself from the shrinking violet, too-sensitive-to-live "rainy day man" of his early records into a mainstream, easy-listening crooner with a sunny outlook. JT, his debut album for Columbia Records, was something of a defense of this conversion. Returning to the autobiographical, Taylor declared his love for Carly Simon ("There We Are"), but expressed some surprise at his domestic bliss… "Isn't it amazing a man like me can feel this way?" he sang in the opening song, "Your Smiling Face" (a Top 40 hit). At the same time, domesticity could have its temporary depressions ("Another Grey Morning"). The key track was "Secret O' Life," which Taylor revealed as "enjoying the passage of time"…
Janis Joplin's second masterpiece (after Cheap Thrills), Pearl was designed as a showcase for her powerhouse vocals, stripping down the arrangements that had often previously cluttered her music or threatened to drown her out…
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.
The metal of the medal in a medley
Even though it (sort of) copied its layout AHM's successor did not top the charts, but instead it brought Floyd on the brink of greatness, just behind the bend. For some reasons, Meddle doesn't suffer of the same controversy than AHM did, which is rather strange, because it if has much higher and outstanding peaks, it is also much less even, because the lows on this album are simply awful. With that bizarre yet fascinating Hypgnosis artwork of mixing an ear and waterdrops on rippling the surface of calm waters, Meddle has not only a weird unnatural name, but the album was released in early 71 like its predecessor with the name and title on the cover, something that Crimson or Zep were also doing with success.
"…Throughout the record, the music matches the inventiveness of the songs, filled with cutting guitar riffs, liquid organ riffs, crisp pianos, and even woozy brass bands ("Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"). It's the culmination of Dylan's electric rock & roll period – he would never release a studio record that rocked this hard, or had such bizarre imagery, ever again." ~allmusicguide
John Wesley Harding suggested country with its textures and structures, but Nashville Skyline was a full-fledged country album, complete with steel guitars and brief, direct songs.
Thelonious Monk's 1963 Newport Jazz Festival set has been released in whole or part on several different Columbia releases, but this 2002 reissue is the best version yet. One finally gets to hear nothing but Monk on this edition, with the added bonus of a previously unreleased and undocumented appearance from the 1965 festival. The earlier material, with Charlie Rouse, Butch Warren, and Frankie Dunlop, is already very familiar to serious Monk devotees, particularly the inspired addition (due to the suggestion of festival producer George Wein) of clarinetist Pee Wee Russell on two songs.
Bridge Over Troubled Water is the fifth and final studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, released in January 1970 on Columbia Records.