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Music Review Section

Music Index

The starting point for an index of all my musical sections.

 

Historic Album Reviews

I am gradually building up my reviews of historic albums from America to U2

 

The Music Years

Albums reviewed by years from 1963 until the present day.

 

The Gig List

A list of concerts and gigs I have attended over the years with reviews when I can remember what they were like.

 

Music Writing

My music writing - both published and unpublished.

 

Here and Now

Details of Eastern Evening News Here and Now columns I was involved in.

 

2009 Album Reviews

Major 2009 albums reviewed and rated.

 

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My Amazon Reviews
Free music - Best of 2009

 

Free music - Best of 2010

My favourite tracks from 2010 compiled as a playlist.

 

 

 

 

 

Record Ratings

Rating music is a difficult science - open to abuse. How for example do I rate albums by artists that I don't like? Perhaps that's why I often shy away from these. Bob Dylan is a perfect example. I appreciate what the man has achieved, appreciate his writing, but really have never been able to come to terms with his voice. On the other hand I love Tom Waits who has arguably got "a much worse voice" than Dylan. And how can you rate an album released a month or so ago and which you have heard just two or three times against a 40 year old album that you have heard hundreds of times? So all I have tried to do here is give an indication. It is quite likely that some of the newer albums will be re-rated in the future as they become part of the music psyche rather than something bright and new. 

It is probably more interesting to compare the individual output of artists. This at least will give you an idea of my favourite works by individual artists and groups. Otherwise you might go slightly mad trying to work out how I can give a new artist a higher mark than say a classic Beatles album. Low marks don't necessarily make bad albums either. Anything over 5 is worth a listen. There is a tendency when you start something like this to concentrate on favourite albums which means plenty of high marks. As I work through these and turn to "lesser albums" the marks will correspondingly drop and a lower level of acceptability will be met. In general terms anything getting a mark of 10 is to me a classic album - relevant to a specific time in my life. Albums that evoke a time and place and albums I would have hated to have seen changed in any way. Anything over eight is verging on a Steward classic.

Click Here to go to reviews of albums by a particular year.

 

Below are listed the ratings.

 

10

 

Once Again - Barclay James Harvest

Hunky Dory - David Bowie

Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - David Bowie

 

9.5

 

Aladdin Sane - David Bowie

Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield

 

9

 

America - America

Barclay James Harvest and Other Short Stories - Barclay James Harvest

Deep Purple in Rock - Deep Purple

The Innocent Age - Dan Fogelberg

The Yard Went On Forever - Richard Harris

Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

Every Picture Tells A Story - Rod Stewart

Grave New World - The Strawbs

Tommy - The Who

After The Goldrush - Neil Young

 

 

8.5

 

Man who Sold the World - David Bowie

Short Stories - Harry Chapin

Elton John - Elton John

Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

Forever Changes - Love

Just an Old Fashioned Love Song - Paul Williams

 

8

 

Silent Letter - America

Barclay James Harvest - Barclay James Harvest

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Close to You - The Carpenters

The Carpenters - The Carpenters

Now and Then - The Carpenters

A Song For You - The Carpenters

Heads and Tales - Harry Chapin

Sniper and Other Love Songs - Harry Chapin

Songs of Leonard Cohen - Leonard Cohen

Judith - Judy Collins

Fin de Siecle - Divine Comedy

Casanova - Divine Comedy

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Emerson, Lake and Palmer

The Webb Sessions - Richard Harris

My Boy - Richard Harris

Slides - Richard Harris

You Shall Go To The Ball - John Howard

Between the Lines - Janis Ian

In the Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson

Fog on the Tyne - Lindisfarne

American Pie - Don McLean

The Aviary - Ana Silvera

Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon and Garfunkel

Bursting at the Seams - The Strawbs

Crime of the Century - Supertramp

Closing Time - Tom Waits

Harvest - Neil Young

10CC - 10CC

 

 

7.5

 

Super Trouper - Abba

Everyone is Everybody Else - Barclay James Harvest

River of Dreams - Barclay James Harvest

Octoberon - Barclay James Harvest

Let It Be - The Beatles

Abbey Road - The Beatles

Odessa - Bee Gees

Space Oddity - David Bowie

Low - David Bowie

America V - A Hundred Highways - Johnny Cash

Portrait Gallery - Harry Chapin

Stones in the Road - Mary Chapin Carpenter

East of Angel Town - Peter Cincotti

Absent Friends - Divine Comedy

Victory of the Comic Muse - Divine Comedy

Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

A Tramp Shining - Richard Harris

The Love Album - Richard Harris

Barefoot with Angels - John Howard

Kid in a Big World - John Howard

Band on the Run - Paul McCartney and Wings

Tapestry - Don McLean

The Trials of Van Occupanther - Midlake

The Courage of Others - Midlake

To Our Children's Children's Children - Moody Blues

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour - Moody Blues

Atom Heart Mother - Pink Floyd

Meddle - Pink Floyd

The Division Bell - Pink Floyd

Love is Here - Starsailor

Zero She Flies - Al Stewart

Breakfast in America - Supertramp

Twilight of the Renegades - Jimmy Webb

Quadrophenia - The Who

Imagination - Brian Wilson

 

7

 

Abba The Album - Abba

Voulez Vous - Abba

The Visitors - Abba

Stardom Road - Marc Almond

Funeral - Arcade Fire

Play Me Backwards - Joan Baez

Time Honoured Ghosts - Barclay James Harvest

Gone to Earth - Barclay James Harvest

XII - Barclay James Harvest

Welcome to the Show - Barclay James Harvest

Caught in the Light - Barclay James Harvest

Nexus - Barclay James Harvest

Skybound - Tom Baxter

Please Please Me - The Beatles

Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

Rubber Soul - The Beatles

Low - David Bowie

Station to Station - David Bowie

50 Words for Snow - Kate Bush

20 Essential Tracks from Box Set - The Byrds

The Very Best of - The Byrds

Ghost on the Canvas - Glenn Campbell

Ticket to Ride - The Carpenters

Verities and Balderdash - Harry Chapin

Chicago Transit Authority - Chicago

Chicago II - Chicago

Pilgrim - Eric Clapton

Phantasmagoria - Curved Air

A Short Album about Love - Divine Comedy

Promenade - Divine Comedy

Five Leaves Left - Nick Drake

Bryter Layter - Nick Drake

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Focus III - Focus

Thick As A Brick - Jethro Tull

As I Was Saying - John Howard

Can You Hear Me Okay? - John Howard

Navigate Home - John Howard

Same Bed Different Dreams - John Howard

In the Room Upstairs - John Howard

Stand Up - Jethro Tull

The Old Magic - Nick Lowe

Flaming Pie - Paul McCartney

Days of Future Passed - Moody Blues

A Question of Balance - Moody Blues

Queen II - Queen

Renaissance - Renaissance

Bookends - Simon and Garfunkel

Love Chronicles - Al Stewart

Hero and Heroine - The Strawbs

Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel - Scott Walker

Land's End - Jimmy Webb

Live and At Large in the UK - Jimmy Webb

Fly From Here - Yes

 

6.5

 

Arrival - Abba

Baby James Harvest - Barclay James Harvest

Berlin (A Concert for the People) - Barclay James Harvest

A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles

Welcome to My DNA - Blackfield

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Earthling - David Bowie

Do You Like Rock Music? - British Sea Power

Horizon - The Carpenters

Songs of Love and Hate - Leonard Cohen

Air Conditioning - Curved Air

The Hazards of Love - The Decemberists

Liberation - Divine Comedy

Regeneration - Divine Comedy

Pink Moon - Nick Drake

Moving Waves - Focus

Glasvegas - Glasvegas

Queen of Denmark - John Grant

Benefit - Jethro Tull

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon

McCartney - Paul McCartney

Memory Almost Full - Paul McCartney

Headquarters - The Monkees

In Search of the Lost Chord - Moody Blues

Freak Out - The Mothers of Invention

The Resistance - Muse

Hergest Ridge - Mike Oldfield

A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd

Wednesday Morning 3 a.m - Simon and Garfunkel

The Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon and Garfunkel

The Enigma of Life - Sirenia

Funny Looking Angels - Smith and Burrows

Working on a Dream - Bruce Springsteen

Silence Is Easy - Starsailor

NY75 - The Strawbs

Crisis? What Crisis - Supertramp

Scott 4 - Scott Walker

Who's Next - The Who

 

 

6

 

Phallus Dei - Amon Duul II

The Crying Light - Antony and the Johnsons

Eyes of the Universe - Barclay James Harvest

Victims of Circumstance - Barclay James Harvest

River of Dreams - Barclay James Harvest

With The Beatles - The Beatles

Beatles for Sale - The Beatles

Help - The Beatles

The White Album - The Beatles

Pin Ups - David Bowie

(Untitled) - The Byrds

A Kind of Hush - The Carpenters

American VI - Johnny Cash

Chicago III - Chicago

Songs From a Room - Leonard Cohen

Old Ideas - Leonard Cohen

Valentyne Suite - Colosseum

A Few Small Repairs - Shawn Colvin

Deja Vu - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Second Album - Curved Air

Born to Die - Lana Del Rey

A Secret History The Best Of - Divine Comedy

Twelve Stops and Home - The Feeling

Join With us - The Feeling

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

Tonight - Franz Ferdinand

This Was - Jethro Tull

A Passion Play - Jethro Tull

Cold Spring Harbour - Billy Joel

Turnstiles - Billy Joel

Double Fantasy - John Lennon

The Collection - John Lennon

Daydream - Lovin Spoonful

Ram - Paul McCartney

Red Rose Speedway - Paul McCartney

On The Threshold of a Dream - Moody Blues

Seventh Sojourn - Moody Blues

Years of Refusal - Morrissey

Absolutely Free - The Mothers of Invention

Ommadawn - Mike Oldfield

Yes - Pet Shop Boys

Animals - Pink Floyd

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd

Ummagumma - Pink Floyd

Soundtrack from the Film More - Pink Floyd

The Final Cut - Pink Floyd

A Momentary Lapse of Reason - Pink Floyd

Gone Again - Patti Smith

Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens

Bedsitter Images - Al Stewart

Gasoline Alley - Rod Stewart

Never A Dull Moment - Rod Stewart

Even in the Quietest Moments - Supertramp

Sweet Baby James - James Taylor

Sheet Music - 10CC

The Original Soundtrack - 10CC

No Line on the Horizon - U2

A Tribute to Cole Porter - Various Artists

Scott - Scott Walker

Scott 2 - Scott Walker

Letters - Jimmy Webb

To Lose My Life - White Lies

Chrome Dreams II - Neil Young

 

 

5.5

 

Abba - Abba

Neon Bible - Arcade Fire

Glassnost - Barclay James Harvest

Diamond Dogs - David Bowie

Young Americans - David Bowie

Made in America - The Carpenters

The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method

Piano Man - Billy Joel

Dingly Dell - Lindisfarne

Tug of War - Paul McCartney

More of the Monkees - The Monkees

Queen - Queen

On the Outside - Starsailor

Famous Last Words - Supertramp

Scott 3 - Scott Walker

And So On - Jimmy Webb

That Lucky Old Sun - Brian Wilson

Fork in the Road - Neil Young

 

5

 

Waterloo - Abba

Holiday - America

Turn of the Tide - Barclay James Harvest

Heroes - David Bowie

The Next Day - David Bowie

Dreams - Neil Diamond

A Nod's As Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse - The Faces

Streetlife Serenade - Billy Joel

A Major Fancy - John Lees

Do You Believe in Magic? - Lovin Spoonful

Bamnan and Silvercorp - Midlake

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd - The Monkees

Deltics - Chris Rea

Great Escape - The Rifles

Liverpool 8 - Ringo Starr

Y Not - Ringo Starr

Orange - Al Stewart

An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down - Rod Stewart

From the Witchwood - The Strawbs

Supertramp - Supertramp

In My Life - Various Artists

Which Bitch - The View

Words and Music - Jimmy Webb

My Generation - The Who

 

4.5

 

Ring Ring - Abba

It's Not Me It's You - Lily Allen

Ring of Changes - Barclay James Harvest

Byrdmaniax - The Byrds

Liverpool - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Octave - Moody Blues

Obscured by Clouds - Pink Floyd

Indelibly Stamped - Supertramp

Neil Young - Neil Young

 

 

4

 

Face to Face - Barclay James Harvest

Ring Them Bells - Joan Baez

Tarkus - Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Reason to Believe - Aled Jones

Watershed - kd Lang

Kisses on the Bottom - Paul McCartney

Wild Life - Paul McCartney and Wings

Shine - Joni Mitchell

This is Hardcore - Pulp

The Gift - Sons and Daughters

Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall - Rufus Wainwright

 

 

3.5

 

Passage - The Carpenters

Those Who Are About To Die We Salute You - Colosseum

Red Light Fever - Hot Leg

11-17-70 - Elton John

Hats Off to the Buskers - The View

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere - Neil Young

 

3

 

Tonight - David Bowie

Pale Green Ghosts - John Grant

Tennis - Chris Rea

Ringo 2012 - Ringo Starr

Pop - The Same Difference

 

2.5

 

2

 

Right Now - Leon Jackson

McCartney II - Paul McCartney

Incantations - Mike Oldfield

 

 

1.5

 

Spirit - Leona Lewis

 

1

 

Revelation - Peter Andre

Standing Stone - Paul McCartney

Circus - Britney Spears