On the 17th April 1970, Paul McCartney stepped out of the shadow of The Beatles with his first solo album McCartney. It was unlike anything he had done before and as a result received a lot of criticism across the board. At the time, of course, the breakup of The Beatles was still fresh in peoples minds and McCartney received (unfairly) a lot of the blame. But this album set him on a course away from The Beatles and their legacy and in my opinion it is one of the best solo albums to be released by any member of The Beatles.
Released six months after the death of founding member Brian Jones, Let It Bleed saw The Rolling Stones evolve musically and set the foundation for their next four albums with replacement guitarist Mick Taylor. He only features on two of the songs on Let It Bleed but their sound over the next six years would change drastically compared to what came before and it all started with this legendary album.
In 18th installments of my CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES I’m yet to cover a Led Zeppelin album, but that changes now with the incredible Led Zeppelin IV. Released in 1971, their fourth album is my favourite of theirs and features eight incredible songs. Every album after this in my opinion struggled to match the greatness of the songs on this album, aside from perhaps Physical Graffiti. But there’s no doubt when I say this one album contained their best work, their most consistent songs and their most focused and driven playing.
What is there to say about the Sgt. Pepper album that hasn’t already been said? Widely seen as the best album ever recorded, the songs found within contain the kind of musical magic that only comes around once in a lifetime. It’s difficult to think of another studio album that has last such a lasting impression on millions and millions of listeners the world over. What The Beatles did on this album was revolutionise music and it would never be the same again.
I’m a huge fan of The Allman Brothers Band with a few of their albums already having featured in my CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES. But for this installment I turn to their 2000 live album Peakin’ At The Beacon which was the last of their albums to feature Dickey Betts in any form, and the first to feature Derek Trucks. The songs captured on this album are taken from their March 2000 run at the Beacon Theatre in New York and even though those shows are seen favorably by fans of the band, it’s historic nonetheless.
For the 15th instalment of my CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES I turn to Eric Clapton’s incredible 1994 album From The Cradle, an album which saw him return to electric blues with one hell of a bang. Two years earlier Clapton had recorded and released his Unplugged live album which contained a number of high quality acoustic blues performances and From The Cradle certainly expanded on his return to the blues.