Here Comes the Sun: A Playlist for Your Seasonal Affective Disorder

February 9, 2013

Are you suffering from the winter blues?  WBER DJ Kelsey has provided this playlist to help fight those blues!

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Sun is Shining/ Bob Marley

It’s pretty tough to have the blues when listening to this music, with these lyrics:
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here i am
Want you to know, y’all, where i stand

We’ll lift our heads and give jah praises (repeat)
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
To the rescue, here i am
Want you to know just if you can
Where i stand, no, no, no, no, where i stand
Sun is shining, sun is shining

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Good Day Sunshine/ Beatles

“Good Day Sunshine,” as its title portends, radiates optimism and good vibes, even by the high standards the Beatles themselves set in those categories throughout their career. How many days like that in “Good Day Sunshine” do most people experience in their everyday lives? Well, they’re not everyday occurrences, if people are honest with themselves. But on those occasions when they do arrive — one of the first fine days of spring, just after you’ve fallen in love or started a vacation — “Good Day Sunshine” is an appropriate soundtrack. Principal composer Paul McCartney was to agree that the good-time mid-’60s hits of the Lovin’ Spoonful, such as “Daydream,” were an influence upon “Good Day Sunshine,” although “Good Day Sunshine” isn’t as folk-rock-based as the Lovin’ Spoonful’s records were. The track’s corn-eared hook is its frequent chorus, when the Beatles come together for some of their most uplifting harmonies.-allmusic.com

Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes

Rise to the Sun/ Alabama Shakes

Pitched somewhere between the retro-purist vibe of Sharon Jones and the nervy revivalism of Jack White, Alabama Shakes possesses a curious character: they’re rooted in the past but it’s clear they’ve learned their moves musicians removed some three or four generations from the source. Instead of playing like refractions from a hall of mirrors, Alabama Shakes’ 2012 debut Boys & Girls emphasizes how American roots music is now grounded in the ’60s notion of blues & soul, all filtered through the prism of ’70s classic rock.-allmusic.com

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In the Sun/ She & Him

It’s hard to be ambivalent about Zooey Deschanel.  She’s a polarizing personality, one whose deadpan movie roles and big Bambi eyes are either charming or too cute for their own good. The same can be said for She & Him, a soft rock duo that features Deschanel doing what she does best as a film star: acting utterly adorable alongside a quiet, talented male character. Her co-star in this case is M. Ward, who produces the band’s second album and frames Deschanel’s voice with a Spector-sized pile of instruments. Those who already take issue with Zooey’s acting will almost surely pick this record apart — it’s too reminiscent of her cutesy turns in movies like (500) Days of Summer to change many minds — but for fans of retro pop (and Deschanel in general), Volume 2 is a gem.-all music.com

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She’s only Happy in the Sun/ Ben Harper

Ben Harper is a musical preacher of sorts, never one to be shy in speaking his mind about social conformity. Diamonds on the Inside marks Harper’s fifth studio effort and this time he’s emotionally in touch with what makes his heart burst. This is a passionate album, no doubt. His signature Weissenborn guitar joins him once more and Harper’s classic groovy funk is heavy; however, Harper adds worldbeat to his musical plank. From the Marley-esque vibe of “With My Own Two Hands” to the African soundscapes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo on “Picture of Jesus,” Harper’s purist presentation is smooth. “When It’s Good” gives a little country blues twang, while “Touch From You Lust” is a sexy haze of writhing riffs.-allmusic.com

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Sun It Rises/ Fleet Foxes

Despite drawing from so many sources, there’s a striking purity to Fleet Foxes’ sound. Robin Pecknold’s voice is warm and sweet, with just enough grit to make phrases like “premonition of my death” sound genuine, and the band’s harmonies sound natural, and stunning, whether they’re on their own or supported by acoustic guitars or the full, plugged-in band. Even when the songs aren’t as brilliant as Fleet Foxes’ highlights, the band still sounds alluring, as on the lush interlude “Heard Them Stirring.” Throughout the album, the band sounds wise beyond its years, so it’s not really that surprising that Fleet Foxes is such a satisfying, self-assured debut.-allmusic.com

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Sunshine of Your Love/ Cream

“Sunshine of Your Love” was Cream’s most famous and popular recording, making #5 in 1968. If Cream, the band, were one of the ultimate intersections between hard rock, pop, and psychedelia, “Sunshine of Your Love” was one of its ultimate examples of such a hybrid. The big hook of “Sunshine of Your Love” is a grinding, instantly memorable hard rock riff, stuttering between two notes before hellishly descending for a few more, then rising in an upward squiggle. That riff continues throughout the verses, only changing in that it sometimes changes keys. Jack Bruce’s lead vocal is charged with operatic angst without becoming overbearing, a difficult balancing act to be sure, but one that he deftly maintains. The verses are broken up by an equally memorable chorus-bridge, a circular three-chord pattern in which the rhythms become tenser, mirroring the lyric’s growing anticipation and waiting for the sunshine of his lover’s love.-allmusic.com

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Brighter Than Sunshine/ Aqualung

Using the nom de rock Aqualung, singer/songwriter Matt Hales merges material from his two U.K. discs on Strange and Beautiful, his appealing U.S. debut. Vocally reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Hales’ musical approach will likely win converts from fans of the aforementioned. The title track, which gained significant attention after it was used in a U.K Volkswagen commercial, is a compelling piano ballad with enough experimental touches to put it in the company of Coldplay and Keane, but there are equally good offerings like “Brighter Than Sunshine” and “Left Behind.” With the former, Hales finds love by surprise (“I didn’t believe in destiny”) with a Beatles’ ballad pace, but it’s not all optimism. Devotion turns to devastation on “Falling Out of Love,” a jazzy number with a heartfelt delivery. On rare occasion, the material feels sluggish (as with “Tongue-Tied”) but by and large, Aqualung’s U.S. entry is a breath of fresh air.-allmusic.com

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Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In/ Fifth Dimension

Easily the most ambitious and successful record by the 5th Dimension, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” was originally the musical centerpiece of the monumentally popular Broadway rock musical Hair. Like the stage play, the lyrics illustrate the possibilities of a generation, coupled with references to universal love and astrological references. Musically, it’s a multi-part, full-blown suite that tested the boundaries of Top 40 radio. The 5th’s version went to number one in the spring of 1969, and it was one of the last gasps of the ’60s-positive legacy that was, unfortunately, to fade away with the horrors of the Charles Manson murders and the Rolling Stones’ Altamont concert just months later. Opening with a beautiful, avant-garde, psychedelic fragment, the song immediately shifts into a combination of soul, pop, and rock, with an added taste of Broadway spice. The chorus is an uplifting, pop/rock movement, culminating in a dizzying choral pattern, not unlike “McArthur Park.” A funky, gospel/rock pattern emerges during the “Let the Sunshine In” section. This is a perfect bedrock for Billy Davis Jr.’s spontaneous gospel wailing, which, incredibly, was laid down in one take. The song is continually used in ’60s documentaries, as well as period films.-allmusic.com

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Bird of the summer/ A Fine Frenzy

What a difference two years can make. Alison Sudol introduced herself as a piano-playing pixie on 2007’s One Cell in the Sea, stuffing her debut album with lilting vocals and fairy tale lyrics. Although that combination spawned several upbeat songs, ballads proved to be Sudol’s bread and butter, and she soon found herself saddled with the unfortunate task of re-creating the album’s intimacy in a live concert setting. Two years after Sea’s release, Sudol returns with a second record, having taken a lesson from the road and fine-tuned her music accordingly. There are still several ballads here, particularly during the album’s latter half, but Sudol knows that faster tunes work better in concert, where both the band and the audience can share in the same catharsis. Accordingly, Bomb in the Birdcage is a lively piece of work, with songs that take flight and arrangements that couch her vocals in tasteful heaps of strings, harmonies, and piano.-allmusic.com

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Movie Soundtrack Playlist

September 5, 2012

Mombasa/ Hans Zimmer

His excellent work on director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 international blockbuster The Dark Knight, was disqualified for Oscar consideration due to too many cooks (composers) in the kitchen, a handicap that doesn’t apply to Nolan’s 2010 follow-up, Inception. Zimmer’s signature move, a four- to eight-chord round that builds from a subtle breeze to an F5 tornado, serves as the foundation for Inception’s dizzying score, and the addition of Smiths/Cribs guitarist Johnny Marr, who appears on eight of the twelve cuts, dutifully expands the layers of Zimmer’s melodies, much like the dream building that occurs onscreen.  It’s beautiful and heroic, unhinged and unspeakably melancholy, and the finest and most fully realized soundtrack this prolific composer has crafted to date. -All Music Guide

 

Jake’s First Flight/ James Horner

James Cameron’s film Avatar, to judge by its record-breaking commercial take, has managed to communicate with viewers on a basic level. Its story, even its critical defenders concede, is a mishmash of elements borrowed from a half-dozen earlier films, most notably Dances with Wolves, and the score by James Horner might be similarly charged. The segements relating to the Na’vi world, taken by themselves, are a uniquely unappetizing mixture of Debussy and Vaughan Williams; the scenes relating to the Earth’s military invasion are, like so many other battle scenes these days, near-pure Carl Orff . The technological scenes are not too far off from futuristic television scores of the sort that Horner and others have written, with lots of slinky strings and quartal harmonies. The thing is, all this isn’t a flaw, it’s a strong point.- All Music Guide
Theme from Jaws/John Williams
John Williams’ first film score to capture the imagination of the public, and the first hit movie score of the 1970s not to involve a love theme (à la Love Story), Jaws has been on CD for more than a decade, but this is the first release that really does it justice. The centerpiece of the music is the bump-bump-bump-bump theme associated with the movements (usually unseen) of the shark, which became so well known that it was used as an essential part of various comedy sketches in a multitude of media at the time (Williams himself quoted it comically in his scoring for Steven Spielberg’s 1941). It does reappear in numerous forms (many of them veiled) throughout the score, along with a handful of additional memorable musical phrases associated with Williams’ score, many involving the hunt for the shark.-All Music Guide
The moribund tree and the toad/ Javier Navarrete
Composer Javier Navarrete built the entire soundtrack for Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish fable Pan’s Labyrinth around a simple lullaby. Del Toro insisted that Navarrete’s entire score, much of which was omitted during editing, be included, and it’s a testament to the composer’s immersion into the project that nothing here could be construed as filler. Framed inside a waltz, “Long, Long Time Ago” sums up beautifully the imagination that permeates Del Toro’s masterful fairy tale. Navarrete fills each cavernous space with wonder, relying on harp, choirs, and deep strings to mirror a young girl’s descent into fantasy amidst a world intent on tearing itself apart.- All Music Guide
Hypomania/ Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
After winning an Oscar for Best Original Score for The Social Network , Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross re-team for the soundtrack of David Fincer’s American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Reznor’s and Ross’ recorded score clocks in at over three hours, and is released in numerous configurations online and at retail, including as a $300 deluxe, signed, six-LP box set. Other than a strident cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” the score is moody, often restrained, and in its way, as disturbing as the film.-All Music Guide
Come away to the water/ Maroon 5
One of the biggest signs that the team bringing Suzanne Collins’ violent, riveting young adult book series The Hunger Games to the big screen was headed in the right direction was the choice of T-Bone Burnett as the soundtrack’s producer. The Hunger Games‘ story takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America reorganized into 12 districts that serve a decadent, corrupt capital and must sacrifice two children each year to a nationally televised fight to the death. Moody heroine Katniss Everdeen hails from coal-mining District 12, and there’s a strong Appalachian bent to steely laments. – All Music Guide
Kaw-Liga/Fred Rose & Hank Williams

By the time of Moonrise Kingdom’s release, the soundtracks to Wes Anderson films had become not exactly predictable, but certainly familiar to his fans: some British Invasion deep cuts here, some intricate, chamber pop-inspired score music there. Yet Anderson and his musical collaborators had already begun changing things up with the soundtrack to The Fantastic Mr. Fox, a trend that continues here. This may be the most typically filmic music for an Anderson movie yet, which, paradoxically, is Moonrise Kingdom’s biggest surprise. Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man” and “Kaw-Liga” add the necessary rough ‘n’ tumble edges to the fugitive lovers’ adventures.- All Music Guide


Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch on his passing

August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, Oscar-winning composer and arranger and the man behind the scores for such movies as “The Way We Were” and “Sophie’s Choice,” and the composer of Broadway’s “A Chorus Line”  has died at the age of 68. He passed away in Los Angeles after a brief illness, according to the Associated Press. Here is a playlist in his honor.

What I did for love/ Marvin Hamlisch

Michael Bennett’s 1975 valentine to “gypsies,” the dancers who are often treated as so much mobile scenery in Broadway musicals, is sometimes considered to have broken new ground with its frank portraits of talented but frustrated performers. The score by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban is a favorite of “theater people” everywhere, but was designed to showcase the abilities of dancers rather than singers. Consequently, only the ballad “What I Did for Love” has had a life outside of the show’s context. – All Music Guide

Through the eyes of love/ Marvin Hamlisch

It is the story of Alexis, a young figure skater, and her rise and fall from super stardom. Tragedy strikes when, following a freak accident, Lexie loses her sight, leaving her to hide away in the privacy of her own despair. She eventually perseveres and begins competing in figure skating again. Its theme song “Through the Eyes of Love.” was made famous by Melissa Manchester and was the Academy Awards 1980 Nominee for Best Original Song.

The Way we Were/ Marvin Hamlisch

Hamlisch had great success with The Way We Were  in 1974, winning two of his three 1974 Academy Awards. He also won four Grammy Awards in 1974, two for The Way We Were.  The soundtrack recording charted for 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold in excess of one million copies.

Nobody does it better/ Marvin Hamlisch

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) is the tenth spy film in the James Bond series. The film was highly acclaimed by critics, being widely considered Roger Moore’s best Bond film. The soundtrack, composed by Marvin Hamlisch, also met with success. He co-wrote  “Nobody Does It Better” for the James Bond film with his then-girlfriend Carol BayerSager. He also wrote the orchestral/disco score for the film, which was re-recorded for the album. The song went on to be nominated for an Oscar in 1977.

Solace/ Scott Joplin, comp; Marvin Hamlisch, arr.

The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936 that involves a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The film is noted for its musical score—particularly its main melody, “The Entertainer”, a ragtime composition by Scott Joplin, which was lightly adapted for the movie by Marvin Hamlisch (and became a top-ten chart single for Hamlisch, when released as a single from the film’s soundtrack). The film’s success encouraged a surge of popularity and critical acclaim for Joplin’s work.

 


New Music Playlist

July 25, 2012

Lots of great new recorded music available in the Arts Division this summer! Here’s a sampling:

Sixteen Saltines/Jack White

Jack White leaves such an indelible stamp on any project he touches that a solo album from him almost seems unnecessary: nobody has ever told him what to do. He’s a rock & roll auteur, bending other artists to fit his will, leading bands even when he’s purportedly no more than a drummer, always enjoying dictating the fashion by placing restrictions on himself. And so it is on Blunderbuss, his first official solo album, arriving five years after the White Stripes’ last but seeming much sooner given White’s constant flurry of activity with the Raconteurs, Dead Weather, Third Man Records, and countless productions. -All Music Guide

Bloody Mary (nerve endings)/ Silversun Pickups

Building upon Silversun Pickup’s Swoon’s layered melodicism and once again showcasing lead singer/songwriter Brian Aubert’s  knack for evocative, introspective lyrics and fiery, multi-dubbed guitar parts, Neck of the Woods is an even more infectious and nuanced affair. In that sense, not much has really changed for the band since 2009.  Slow-burning lead single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings),” with its atmospheric soundscape backdrop via keyboardist Joe Lester, and the driving, grungy “Mean Spirits” are, as with all of the cuts on Neck of the Woods, perfect pop songs that still make room for Aubert’s raging and cinematic guitar parts. – All Music Guide

No Reflection/ Marilyn Manson

The eighth-studio album from alt-rock firebrand Marilyn Manson, Born Villain is the follow-up to the band’s 2009 effort The High End of Low. Described as having a heavier sound than its predecessor, this is also purported to be a concept album of sorts, in the vein of similar works by longtime Manson influence David Bowie. As Manson parted ways with Interscope Records in 2009, he was set to release Born Villain via his own imprint Hell, as well as his new parent label, Cooking Vinyl. A promotional film in support of the album directed by actor Shia LaBeouf premiered in Los Angeles in 2011. Included on Born Villain is the lead-off single “No Reflection.” – All Music Guide

We are Young/ Glee: The Music- The Graduation

One of Glee‘s biggest (perhaps only) concessions to the realities of being a high-school student was the graduation of several cast members entering their final year at William McKinley High School at the end of the show’s third season; many shows starring teen characters put off that fateful moment when high school ends for as long as possible. As with many later albums in the Glee series, the cast’s performances are decent but somewhat bland, as are the song choices, although fun.’s “We Are Young” and the New Radicals’  “You Get What You Give” are too quirky to have all their personality removed by Glee’s gloss. – All Music Guide

Changing of the guards /The Gaslight Anthem

Designed as a celebration for Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary, Chimes of Freedom is the mother of all tribute albums: a four-disc salute to Bob Dylan that runs some 76 songs performed by singers from all corners of the globe. From the very start of his career, Dylan saw his songs covered by all manners of artists, ranging from colleagues and peers to longhair rock bands, easy listening outfits, and weirdos like William Shatner, so the absurd abundance of Chimes of Freedom in a way fits into the grand pattern of history: his songs were always up for grabs, they’ve survived terrible misguided covers, they’ve been performed with loving faith, they’ve been reinvented once and again. – All Music Guide

Do to Me/ Trombone Shorty

New Orleans’ Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews knows the music biz inside out. Hounded for years by friends and music business types to jump into the game, he understood the lessons of his lineage elders: too many had been been ripped off and discarded. He took his time, assembling, rehearsing, and touring Orleans Avenue, a band steeped in brass band history, jazz improv, funk, soul, rock, and hip hop. He finally signed to Verve Forecast and released Backatown in April of 2010. Entering at number one on the jazz charts, it stayed there for nine straight weeks, and was in the Top Ten for over six months. For True hits while Backatown is climbing again. Chock-full of cameos — in the manner of modern hip-hop recordings — it is an extension of Backatown but not necessarily in sound. – All Music Guide

High Tide or Low Tide/ Jack John feat. Ben Harper

This is the most overt display of deference onJack Johnson & Friends: The Best of Kokua Festival but it’s hardly the only moment where Johnson is clearly the Big Kahuna. Eddie Vedder stops by, along with many other rockers and guitar strummers of all stripes, and there is a sense of communal good times that’s palpable and often ingratiating, even to those who don’t quite cotton to Johnson’s notion of surf-n-sun good times. Even here, where he is quite clearly the ringleader, Johnson remains an affable but not forceful presence on record: Jackson Brown, Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, even Dave Matthews and Ben Harper, all easily overpower him. – All Music Guide

 

Hypno music/ Danny Elfman

The cult classic supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows has a rich musical history, including the show’s Grammy-nominated “Quentin’s Theme,” part of Robert Cobert’s groundbreaking score, which remains one of the best-selling TV soundtracks. While Tim Burton’s 2012 film adaptation of the series was much more intentionally campy, Danny Elfman’s score remains more or less true to the original’s gothic grandeur while adding his own distinctive touches. Elfman also nods to Cobert’s score with tracks such as “Hypno Music” and “Deadly Handshake,” which boasts a melody that recalls the original Dark Shadows theme song, replete with suspenseful vibraphone and murky, lingering woodwinds. – All Music Guide


Summer of Love Playlist

July 10, 2012

This month we have a “Summer of Love” book and CD display in the Arts Division and thought it would be fun to put together a playlist with the same theme…and as always, all selections are available to check out or place on hold at your Rochester and Monroe County Library. I can just smell the patchouli!

Sugar Magnolia/ Grateful Dead

A companion piece to the luminous Workingman’s Dead, American Beautyis an even stronger document of the Grateful Dead’s return to their musical roots. Sporting a more full-bodied and intricate sound than its predecessor thanks to the addition of subtle electric textures, the record is also more representative of the group as a collective unit, allowing for stunning contributions from Phil Lesh (the poignant opener, “Box of Rain”) and Bob Weir (“Sugar Magnolia”); at the top of his game as well is Jerry Garcia, who delivers the superb “Friend of the Devil,” “Candyman,” and “Ripple.” Climaxing with the perennial “Truckin’,” American Beauty remains the Dead’s studio masterpiece — never again would they be so musically focused or so emotionally direct.-All Music Guide

Somebody to love/ Jefferson Airplane

The second album by Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow was a groundbreaking piece of folk-rock-based psychedelia, and it hit — literally — like a shot heard round the world; where the later efforts from bands like the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and especially,  the Charlatans, were initially not too much more than cult successes, Surrealistic Pillow rode the pop charts for most of 1967, soaring into that rarefied Top Five region occupied by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and so on, to which few American rock acts apart from the Byrds had been able to lay claim since 1964. And decades later the album still comes off as strong as any of those artists’ best work.- All Music Guide

I-Feel-like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag/ Country Joe & the Fish

Country Joe & the Fish are well represented on this 19-track compilation that traces their development from a politically-oriented folk/jug band ensemble to a politically oriented rock and soul band. Most of the material comes from 1967, the band’s high-water mark, and the centerpiece is the still-cutting “I-Feel-like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag.”- All Music Guide

Summertime/ Janis Joplin

Cheap Thrills, the major-label debut of Janis Joplin, was one of the most eagerly anticipated, and one of the most successful, albums of 1968.Joplin and her band Big Brother & the Holding Company had earned extensive press notice ever since they played the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, but for a year after that their only recorded work was a poorly produced, self-titled album that they’d done early in their history for Mainstream Records; and it took the band and the best legal minds at Columbia Records seven months to extricate them from their Mainstream contract, so that they could sign with Columbia. Heard today,Cheap Thrills is a musical time capsule and remains a showcase for one of rock’s most distinctive singers.-All Music Guide

California dreamin’/ The Mamas & The Papas

With the lengthy title of Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival,this 1971 release was recorded at the event held at Monterey, CA, between June 16-18 in 1967. Listen to the band cook on “California Dreamin'” and John Phillips belt it out with Mama Cass countering his moves. As credible as any garage rock group churning out “Pushin’ Too Hard” and hoping for stardom, these stars shine perhaps because the performance is somewhat ragged. Who wants a clone of the studio stuff anyway? -All Music Guide

The wind cries Mary/ The Jimi Hendrix Experience

One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era. On Are you Experienced?, Jimi Hendrix synthesized various elements of the cutting edge of 1967 rock into music that sounded both futuristic and rooted in the best traditions of rock, blues, pop, and soul. It wouldn’t have meant much, however, without his excellent material, whether psychedelic frenzy (“Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze”), instrumental freak-out jams (“Third Stone From the Sun”), blues (“Red House,” “Hey Joe”), or tender, poetic compositions (“The Wind Cries Mary”) that demonstrated the breadth of his songwriting talents.- All Music Guide

Suite: Judy blue eyes/ Crosby, Still & Nash

CSN was the trio’s last fully realized album, and also the last recording on which the three principals handled all the vocal parts without the sweetening of additional voices. It has held up remarkably well, both as a memento of its time and as a thoroughly enjoyable musical work. -All Music Guide

 

Groovin’ is easy/ The Electric Flag

A sumptuous, four-CD box set with all the deluxe trimmings celebrating the grandaddy of all outdoor rock concerts. With legendary performances by Otis Redding, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Byrds, and Paul Butterfieldall taken from the mobile-unit multi-track masters (not to mention an album-sized booklet that’ll knock your eyes out), this box evokes a sound and an era the way few (if any) retrospectives of like material ever do. Important music from a turning point in rock’s history.- All Music Guide

I’ll feel a whole lot better/ The Byrds

One of the greatest debuts in the history of rock, Mr. Tambourine Man was nothing less than a significant step in the evolution of rock & roll itself, demonstrating that intelligent lyrical content could be wedded to compelling electric guitar riffs and a solid backbeat. From the first peals of Jim McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker, “Feel a Whole Lot Better” bears all the trademarks of the Byrds’ trailblazing blend of folk and rock, but it also has the distinction of being the first tune written by a member of the band to make a dent in the marketplace. While the group’s first two hits, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “All I Really Want to Do,” had been penned by Bob Dylan, and their biggest single, “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” was adapted from a passage in the book of Ecclesiastes by Pete Seeger, “Feel a Whole Lot Better” was written by Gene Clark, who would prove to be the strongest songwriter in the group during his short tenure with the band. – All Music Guide

Coming into Los Angeles/Arlo Guthrie

It’s almost impossible to regard the soundtrack albums for the Michael Wadleigh documentary Woodstock, simply as music, apart from the event that inspired them or what that event has come to represent. The inclusion of “Coming Into Los Angeles” on the Woodstock (1970) feature film documentary made it one of Arlo Guthrie’s most memorable works. The sheer novelty and anti-authoritarian stance are key components in this 1960s counter-cultural anthem. Deeper still and even more resonant is the bold political and social statement that Guthrie makes in this folk-rocker. – All Music Guide