Unplugged

JukeBox

Johnny Winter - Second Winter (1969)

Johnny “the Texas Albino” Winter cut his second record for Columbia Records in 1969 titled Second Winter, an 11-song, 3-sided album (2 LPs, the fourth side was left blank) that some consider to be his finest work. It shows the famed bluesman in something of a transitional move towards rock and roll, honky-tonk, and swing, with raging energy and...

Wilko Johnson - Blow Your Mind (2018)

So the man is back with Blow Your Mind, (15 June 2018; Chess/UMC) containing 12 new songs, on an album he never thought he’d live to see.       Ex-Dr Feelgood guitar legend Wilko Johnson returned in 2012 following his ‘terminal’ pancreatic cancer diagnosis by recording Going Back Home with Roger Daltrey, which...

The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)

Anyone who has ever dreamed of making a hit album might look at White Blood Cells (released 3 July, 2001) and wonder how the American duo, known as the White Stripes, did it.       Jack and Meg White spent just one week in a studio in Memphis to produce these 16 songs, which Rolling Stone magazine later placed in...

Dave Matthews Band - Come Tomorrow (2018)

Dave Matthews Band ninth studio release Come Tomorrow (8 June 2018, Bama Rags/RCA) has gone to number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, reportedly making them the first group ever to have seven studio albums in a row hit that top spot. Not bad for this talented band of musicians whose strength is often considered to be in their live...

The Rolling Stones - Beggar's Banquet (1968)

Beggar's Banquet is the beginning of the fundamental period in the Rolling Stones career. Here they return to the roots of blues, country and early rock but this time with a sound of their own, the sound for which they are still remembered. Recorded in magical sessions between March and June of 1968, while the world burned with student...

Johnny Marr - Call The Comet (2018)

Johnny Marr released Call The Comet on June 1, his third and most self-assured solo outing following The Messenger (2013) and Playland (2014).   In many ways, lyrically, it is a reaction to Trump’s election, Brexit and other recent events such as the Manchester bombing, and is reportedly based on him imagining a better...

Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)

Fifty years ago this week Pink Floyd released their 2nd album A Saucerful of Secrets (June 29, 1968). It was the only Floyd album to contain all 5 legendary members, Roger Waters/bass, vocals, David Gilmour/guitar,vocals, Richard Wright/keyboards, vocals, Nick Mason/drums, and Roger “Syd” Barrett/guitar, vocals, and was produced by Norman...

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

At a time when the world had gone crazy with experimentation, the ‘loops’, the tapes played in reverse, psychedelia, and 17-minute songs, Ray Davies decided it was time to get nostalgic, to get lost in the days of our youth and memories of the English countryside on the way to extinction. Here there were no trips, nor LSD, nor long solos or...

Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!

What would Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, - who has produced albums for bands as big as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and Black Keys - get out of producing punk band Parquet Courts’ new record Wide Awake! (Rough Trade, 18 May)?   The answer seems to be a strong candidate for album of the year.     Some...

The Rolling Stones - Some Girls (1978)

By the end of the seventies, the Stones had become - in the eyes of a young, untapped and futureless youth - the maximum example of a dinosaur group. Punk splashed like spit in the face of the great rock and roll bands. Mick Jagger wanted to respond with one of the rawest records of the band, Some girls. Another fundamental fact of the album...

Ry Cooder - The Prodigal Son (2018)

It was always going to be interesting to see where Ry Cooder would head next, following his 2012 explicitly politically-oriented album, Election Special.     At first sight it might seem that Cooder has ‘been reborn’ in true Bob Dylan style, as he references Jesus, wrote and sings the title track, The Prodigal Son,...

Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

The 1960s USA were a tumultuous time of civil rights marches, women’s liberation, anti-war movements against the raging conflict in Vietnam, ‘flower power’ and the ‘summer of love’ in 1967 was when hippies (hair grown to the hips) denounced consumerism, protested the capitalistic system, and turned to “mary jane” (pot) and acid (LSD)...

Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005)

This album might have perhaps been called Chaos and Creation in the Recording Studio if some of the stories behind it are to be believed.   McCartney seemed to be looking for something fresh and new by hiring Nigel Godrich – of Radiohead and Beck fame – to produce his latest record, and he got precisely that when the producer...

Lenny Kravitz - Mama Said (1991)

Lenny Kravitz is something of a chameleon but not in the creative sense like Bowie, but rather in how he likes to camouflage into what he likes. At the start he wanted to be Prince, calling himself Romeo Blue and dressing like the author of Purple Rain, for his record debut he became John Lennon of the Plastic Ono Band, and for his second record he...

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (2018)

Nothing remains in Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino of the band that released the excellent Whatever People Say That's What I'm Not 12 years ago. And that's fine, because 12 years ago Alex Turner was a post teenager who just wanted to be one of the Strokes and is now a star with more than 30 years behind him. His world is no longer the...

The Who - Who's Next (1971)

Who's Next is usually considered to be the best Who record of their career but the circumstances in which it was created were quite difficult. At first, Pete Townshend was planning a new rock opera for the group after the success of Tommy, called Lifehouse, a gigantic project with which the leader of the band wanted to find the connection...

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (1973)

Tubular Bells, the mesmerising masterpiece by Mike Oldfield was released 45 years ago (May 25, 1973), and was indeed ahead of its time and still stands as a monumental opus of progressive rock. In fact the album was meant to be called Opus 1, but was later reconsidered. It was recorded at the Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, an...

Neil Young - Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live (1973-2018)

“The first topless girl we get up here gets one of these boots, ladies and gentlemen” Neil Young says in his introductory words to the concert; something which seems somewhat inappropriate, particularly in the context of today’s #MeToo movement.        But in some mitigation, both the place and the time...

Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison (1968)

Johnny Cash always had in mind to play his 1955 classic Folsom Prison Blues in front of the inmates crammed inside its walls. On January 13, 1968, his dream came true. There couldn’t have been a better audience for his collection of songs about guys who shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, a who murdered his woman after snorting cocaine,...