203 Santana – Abraxas

An excellent record, Abraxas would be considered a marketing exec’s worst nightmare. But at the dawn of the 1970s, this unorthodox mix of rock, jazz, salsa, and blues proved quite successful. Wonderful cover and yes , he later became famous for smooth.

202 Paul McCartney – McCartney

McCartney has an endearingly ragged, homemade quality that makes even its filler and there is a lot of filler and ideas but maybe not complete songs.

201 James Taylor – Sweet Baby James

When people use the term “singer/songwriter” (often modified by the word “sensitive”) in praise or in criticism, they’re thinking of James Taylor.  Although this singer songwriter is one of the best selling and most influence, we find some faults in the album and it’s scattered approach that don’t always seem to play to Taylor’s strengths.

200 The Stooges – Fun House

Producer Don Gallucci (of the Kingsmen) took the approach that the Stooges were a powerhouse live band, and their best bet was to recreate the band’s live set with as little fuss as possible. That was the best idea as the Stooges never sounded more wild and raw!  We made it to Episode 200! Thank you!

199 Traffic – John Barleycorn Must Die

John Barleycorn Must Die moved beyond the jamming that had characterized some of Traffic’s earlier work to approach the emerging field of jazz-rock. And that helped the band to achieve its commercial potential; this became Traffic’s first gold album but we aren’t quite sure why.

198 Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman

After a long recover from Tuberculosis in 1968 Cat Stevens gives us Tea for the Tillerman. The story of a young man’s search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn’t yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace.

196 George Harrison – All Things Must Pass

Drawing on his backlog of unused compositions from the late Beatles era, Harrison crafted material that managed the rare feat of conveying spiritual mysticism without sacrificing his gifts for melody and grand, sweeping arrangements. Enhanced by Phil Spector’s lush orchestral production and Harrison’s own superb slide guitar, nearly every song is excellent.  We discuss if it’s  a triple album or a double album with a bonus disc.

195 Rod Stewart – Gasoline Alley

known for its loose and scrappy approach Rod Stewart’s band members break out acoustic guitars and mandolins to play music that was never going to sound overly pretty because of the grit and gruff of Rod.  This is great first attempt for Rod but we all know the album that is going to really shine.

194 Soft Machine – Third

Soft Machine plunged deeper into jazz and contemporary electronic music on this pivotal release, which incited The Village Voice to call it a milestone achievement when it was released. We are surprised by how out there it gets while remaining somewhat accessible.  However Robert Wyatt vocals are terrible.

193 The Who – Live at Leeds

The prove that just because they can make an important artistic statement like Tommy that they are still one of the most uproariously exciting live band.  This was a crucial album to hold over the Mod rocking Who crowd till Who’s Next arrives. If you want to know how to put on a good maximum R’n’B live show this should be your bible.

192 Ananda Shankar – Ananda Shankar

Shankar envisioned a musical form that blended Indian classical music with Western rock and electronic styles. Shankar’s first album was one of the first to successfully explore the crossover of psychedelic rock with Indian music including simplified sitar covers of jumpin jack flash and light my fire . What sounds like a parody to use now was ahead of it’s time.

191 Nick Drake – Bryter Layter

Another Nick Drake album and more great tunes that is heavy on the polish and light on the sales David Hepworth described “At the Chime of a City Clock” as “the perfect soundtrack for the dispensing of a cup of tea in a polysytrene cup, marrying sound and image in a way that made me unsure whether I was watching a commercial or actually in a commercial.”.

190 Grateful Dead – American Beauty

American Beauty eventually spawned the band’s highest charting single — “Truckin’,” the greasy blues-rock tribute to nomadic counterculture — but it also contained some of their most spiritual and open-hearted sentiments ever. While the Dead eventually amassed a following so devoted that following the band from city to city became the center of many people’s lives, the majority of the band’s magic came in the boundless heights it reached in its live sets but rarely managed to capture in the studio setting. American Beauty is a categorical exception to this.

189 Van Morrison – Moondance

Moondance found Morrison abandoning the abstract folk jazz compositions of Astral Weeks in favor of more formally composed songs, which he wrote and produced entirely himself. Its lively rhythm and blues/rock music was the style he would become most known for in his career.

185 Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Paranoid was not only Black Sabbath’s most popular record, it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. This makes us rethink recording a second album so close to the first because this album rules!

184 Crosby Stills Nash and Young – Deja Vu

One of the most hotly awaited second albums in history Déjà Vu lived up to its expectations and rose to number one on the charts. Those achievements are all the more astonishing given the fact that the group barely held together through the estimated 800 hours it took to record Déjà Vu and scarcely functioned as a group for most of that time.

183 John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band

The cliché about singer/songwriters is that they sing confessionals direct from their heart, but John Lennon exploded the myth behind that cliché, as well as many others, on his first official solo record.

182 Stephen Stills – Stephen Stills

Stephan Stills created a number one hit with “Love the One You’re With.” but this album leaves a lot to be desired with the amount of talent that was included on the album including the presence of Hendrix and Clapton on two cuts.

181 Carpenters – Close to You

This second album saw the carpenters come into their own with Richard’s light, airy melodies and meticulously crafted, clean arrangements that appealed to a wide variety of audiences. Karen Carpenter’s calm, crystal bell like voice was distinctive and fit perfectly with the music. The result was a well crafted pop gem that gave them super stardom while at the same time confounded critics and the 1960’s rock n roll scensters.  Is it Too clean?  too pop?  Too soft?  We will discuss.

180 The Doors – Morrison Hotel

The Doors returned to crunching, straightforward hard rock on Morrison Hotel, an album that, despite yielding no major hit singles, returned them to critical favor with hip listeners.  For as much as they returned I don’t know that the Doors were ever the same.