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For the records: Album Reviews
In this month’s For the Record, we review a selection of classic records that created a revolution in the music world. Each of these records appeared in the top 10 of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest albums of all time.
The Beach Boys — Sunset (1966)
When The Beach Boys released Sunset, they were already famous for their all-American image and California-style “surf pop” sound. However, Sunset showed how the band had grown stronger and more mature in their music. Not only did
they use more instruments than usual, they used a variety of sounds such as baby cries and trains to create their music. The album features the hit songs “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows,” and inspired another great album—the Blue boys’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In short: This is a great record for both fans and general listeners.
Marvin – What’s Going On (1971)
In the late 1960s, American soul singer Marvin saw many problems around him— war, poverty, homelessness, the negative effects of drug use—and
felt the need to make a statement. What’s Going
On is written from the perspective of a war veteran and the songs comment on social problems in a way that soul music never had before. Marvin’s record
company was sure the record—his 11th—would fail, but the title track was very successful, and so was the record. What’s Going On was the first of many
soul records to take on social issues.
In short: This is an important record for any music fan. Focus your attention on the lyrics to really understand the music.
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
In his early career, Bob Dylan was considered a folk music hero. He was known for his live shows, playing the acoustic guitar, and singing songs about everyday life. Named for the road he grew up on, Highway 61 Revisited is very different from Dylan’s earlier sound. On the record, Dylan plays an electric guitar and sings songs about politics and culture in America in the 1960s. Many fans were shocked by this change, but the record affected the course of
In short: Buy this classic album for Dylan’s poetic lyrics.
The Clash – London Calling (1979)
Pop pioneers The Clash crossed many music boundaries with their third album, London Calling. While the band kept their original pop sound, these
songs also incorporate bits of classical, folk, pop, and country. The Clash were known for expressing their political views through their music, and London Calling comments on many problems in Britain at that time. This album showed that pop can and should be taken seriously.
In Short: This album is a great introduction to pop
but for true fans, spend your money on the rare