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Yesterday's Jukebox

Tuesday, November 19 2013

The Heavenly Reverberations of the Church’s “Under the Milky Way”

Into 1988's pop music climate came “Under the Milky Way”, a moody, jangly song that didn’t fit in. Its closest contemporaries were R.E.M. and the local “paisley underground” scene of Los Angeles, which included bands like the Bangles and Rain Parade.


Tuesday, September 24 2013

The Best Ever Nirvana Recording ‘In Utero’ Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

In Utero has always been thought of in the context of conflict, so it's only appropriate that Nirvana would mark its 20th anniversary by reviving the debate over what the album was supposed to sound like versus what it turned out to be.


Thursday, February 14 2013

More Cowbell: Looking Back at Blue Öyster Cult’s ‘Career of Evil’

So, sure, young people really don’t get or know the real Blue Öyster Cult it seems. Which is a bit of a shame, as the band delivered a number of solid, consistent albums that rank up there in the metal and hard rock/classic rock pantheon.


Monday, March 12 2012

Can’t Even Be Bothered: Two Great British Indie Rock Albums Turn 20

They are not the best-known or most-celebrated works by their respective bands. But Ride's Going Blank Again and the Charlatans' Between 10th and 11th are seminal touchstones of 1990s British indie rock, "Deluxe Anniversary Editions" or not.


Tuesday, January 24 2012

Circling the Sun Machine: Re-thinking David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’

Bowie's odd magnetism has long been interpreted as a function of his ambiguous sexuality, but could it be that he was transgressing more than just gender norms and heralding the rise of the man/machine?


Tuesday, November 8 2011

The Olivia Tremor Control Reissues ‘Dusk at Cubist Castle’ and ‘Black Foliage’

Overall, there is much to admire and frown upon in equal measure when it comes to Dusk at Cubist Castle and, more especially, Black Foliage.


Monday, October 31 2011

“Getting” Head… The Monkees’ Last Great Album

Forgotten even in it's own time, the Monkees' psychedelic swan song Head is a perfect snapshot of a bizarre and tumultuous musical era.


Monday, August 29 2011

Run Red Run: Funny Song, Serious Message

The Coasters aren't thought of as particularly revolutionary, yet a single they released in 1959 was the first pop record to challenge the racism of post-World War II America.


Thursday, July 14 2011

Suede… Reintroducing the Band

In the '90s, many were bigger, but few were better than Suede at their best, led by the dynamic duo of "glamly androgynous Dickensian whippet" Brett Anderson and "Danger High Voltage" whirlwind guitarist Bernard Butler. Just don't call 'em Britpop.


Thursday, June 23 2011

The Piano Bares Its Teeth: Reversals and Redemption in Nick Cave’s ‘90s Albums

Through a series of reversals -- of sound, of focus, of theme, of our expectations -- Nick Cave, ever the demonic circus hawker, turned his sights onto something different as he emerged from the '90s: Himself.


Wednesday, June 8 2011

In the Lap of the Gods: The First Five Queen Albums

Consummate showmen and masters of the studio environment, in their first five albums the members of British rock group Queen transformed from ambitious contenders into elite practitioners of the genre.


Monday, April 25 2011

The Dismemberment Plan’s “Emergency & I”: A Record of Colossal Possibilities

This is an album that reaches out, grabs you by the throat, and just doesn’t relent. There’s not a misspent note or dishonest emotion.


Thursday, September 2 2010

The Dream Syndicate’s Sophomore Album Stereo Blues

Is Medicine Show a blueprint for all that was wrong with bands signing to major labels 25 years ago or is it a truly great, overlooked gem of an album? Well, the answer is somewhere in the middle.


Wednesday, November 4 2009

Nirvana: Bleach

Starting with Nevermind, Kurt Cobain intentionally simplified his compositions in order to emphasize their pop components. Less song-focused than later Nirvana works, Bleach acts as an interesting showcase of the band’s musical chops.


Thursday, September 24 2009

Various Artists: Factory Records: Communications 1978-92

Factory Records was as influential in design, sound production, and defining what a label could be as it was in music.


Thursday, September 10 2009

The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses: 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition

Imagine if you will: an album re-release that actually gets everything right, making an already-classic album sound even better than before, deepening our understanding as to what made it so iconic.


Tuesday, June 23 2009

Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Legacy Edition)

The secret to creating music that stands the test of time is to create timeless music: Sketches of Spain was, and remains, quite unlike anything else created in the jazz idiom.


Tuesday, May 12 2009

Sinéad O’Connor: I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got

Nearly perfect, and overflowing with determined beauty, one of the best recordings of the 1990s is given its due.


Wednesday, April 29 2009

Beastie Boys: Check Your Head

At first the Beastie Boys were brats, then they were bratty; with their third album Check Your Head they dropped an ebullient bomb that is both heartfelt and soulful.


Thursday, April 2 2009

Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, Eighteen Years Later

Over the years, Sony Legacy has re-released countless albums, but rarely has it honored a record whose importance with regards to legacy has been debated since day one as Pearl Jam’s debut.


Wednesday, April 1 2009

Alan Parsons Project Redux

Now that the Alan Parsons Project catalogue has been reissued, it's time for a reappraisal. Will anyone bite?


Sunday, November 23 2008

Various Artists: Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia

You definitely know Motown. You probably know Stax. But it's time to get (re)acquainted with the other big player in the golden age of soul music -- Philly.


Wednesday, November 5 2008

The Jesus and Mary Chain: The Power of Negative Thinking

The forefathers of modern-day noise-rock release practically all of their odds-and-sods, which includes songs that are terrible, funny, exciting, bland, and utterly spectacular in equal measure.


Thursday, October 23 2008

The Moody Blues: Days of Future Passed

The Moody Blues are a band that history should have swept aside, a group forever left in the margins of the Big Book of Rock History, but their sheer gall and audacity made them endure in ways that most people never thought possible.


Wednesday, August 27 2008

To Hell and Back: Black Sabbath’s Dio Years

Ronnie James Dio's original three-year sojourn with Black Sabbath was mercurial, but it completely transformed and re-energized the band.


Thursday, June 19 2008

Grateful Dead: Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings

Ultimately, what I am trying to say is this: The Dead can be appreciated -- indeed, probably must be appreciated -- as a kind of continuing, evolving, shifty performance of “The Grateful Dead”.


Thursday, March 27 2008

The Lemonheads: It’s A Shame About Ray: Collector’s Edition

This 1992 classic, a commercial smash and artistic peak for the Lemonheads, wants another bit part in your life. A walk-on would be fine.


Wednesday, March 12 2008

Various Artists: City of Dreams

This collection spreads piano, blues, street beats, and slippery funk over four discs that are as joyous and imperfect as the Crescent City itself.


Thursday, November 29 2007

Frank Sinatra: A Voice in Time (1939-1952)

Sinatra's reputation was a victim of the changing times, and I don't think it's possible to overstate the effect that this transition has had upon the perception of his music.


Monday, November 19 2007

Various Artists: The Brit Box

Tracing the evolution of UK alt-pop from just after new wave died, through the Britpop explosion, and ending right before Coldplay emerged, this four-disc box set is both an excellent survey and a very well sequenced mix.


Thursday, November 8 2007

Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970

For the first time, the musical and attitudinal highs and lows of the Bay Area scene are on full, accurate, and coherent display. Forty years was a long time to wait.


Wednesday, October 24 2007

Badfinger: Wish You Were Here

The Beatles' favorite pet project left a failing Apple to record a pair of albums with Warner Bros. that haven't been reissued until now. Thankfully, it was worth the wait.


Wednesday, August 22 2007

Foo Fighters: The Colour and the Shape

For anyone who experienced the heyday of Nirvana, it's still surreal that the lanky, string-haired drummer is the guy who'd be on magazine covers and writing #1 rock radio hits 15 years later.


Wednesday, August 15 2007

God Save Self-Indulgence

Resist adult life with the Kinks' backward-looking Village Green Preservation Society.


Thursday, August 9 2007

Genesis: 1976-1982

Genesis is slightly different from typical prog rock. Yes, they had the 20-minute song "cycles" and the classical allusions all up in their lyrics, but they also had a few other things that their proggy peers did not: specifically, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins.


Tuesday, August 7 2007

Laurie Anderson: Big Science

Remastered for the 25th anniversary of its original release, Laurie Anderson's debut remains a uniquely compelling and surprisingly timeless statement on life in the modern world.


Wednesday, July 18 2007

Master P: Ghetto D

You'd be hard pressed to make an argument for Ghetto D as one of the great rap albums of the '90s, or even, really, a very good album at all.


Wednesday, July 11 2007

Pretenders: Learning to Crawl

Their cathartic third proper album was really the last one under the Pretenders banner that could be considered something more than just a vehicle for frontwoman Hynde -- which is remarkable considering the ashes from which the album rose.


Tuesday, July 10 2007

Charles Mingus: Tijuana Moods

This newly remastered version of the Mingus classic still sounds crazy after all these years -- crazy good!


Thursday, June 28 2007

Blondie: Eat to the Beat

Almost half a million YouTube views later, Blondie's Eat to the Beat video receives a long awaited release on DVD with (yet another) remastered CD.


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