8

079: Miles Davis, ‘So What’ (“Kind of Blue”)

THE masterpiece, universally acknowledged . By rockers, by rappers, by jazzists, by aficionados and cognoscenti, by layfolk and by elevator riders. A monolith of lyric beauty and depth.
It is perfect.

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5

252: The Beatles, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’

‘Strawberry Fields’ was born of Lennon’s genius. But it was engendered by the miraculous, unique, liberating status of The Beatles.

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2

251: The Maysles Brothers, “The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit”

“We got a call one day from Granada television in England. They said The Beatles were arriving in two hours in New York at Idlewild Airport. Would we like to make a film of them? I put my hand over the phone and asked my brother ‘Who are The Beatles? Are they any good?'”

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3

250: Mose Allison, ‘Young Man’s Blues’

They’re dropping like flies — Mose Allison, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Paul Kantner, teenagers dying of old age.
Talkin’ ‘bout my g-g-g-generation.
Carpe diem?
After my nap.

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5

093: Leon Russell, ‘A Song for You’

RIP, Leon. A song for you up there.
Leon Russell’s first album is one of the most evocative of the late 60s, rock’s Medici Florence. I recently discovered an eye-, ear- and mind-boggling trio of 1971 videos – ‘Delta Lady’, a ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ that pales the original, and The Perfect Love Song, ‘A Song For You’.

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15

087: Bob Dylan, ‘Black Diamond Bay’

A whole lot of folks have been asking me what I think of Dylan winning the Nobel. I answer that I’m no authority on the Nobel committee’s decision-making process, but that I certainly do thing Dylan’s a monumental artist.
Here’s a less-known Dylan masterpiece, ‘Black Diamond Bay’ from the last of his great albums, ‘Desire’ (1976).
It’s a cinematic tour de force, a dreamed narrative from a movie that you’ve never quite seen, hovering just beyond the horizon of your consciousness. You know every cliché, even the ones you’re aware Dylan is inventing as you watch.

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3

249: Bobby Vee, ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes’

Bobby Vee died last week at 73 from complications arising from Alzheimer’s. That’s pretty surprising, considering that he’s still an 18-year old pop star and I’m still a pimply 13-year old with my ear glued to a Top 40 transistor radio.

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4

248: Bob Dylan, ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’

Well, Bobby got The Nobel, and that’s great.
Fifty years ago, he was awarded a very different prize, The Meshel:
“For introducing me to a new direction, a path I chose to adapt and adopt and live by.”

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