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Product: Audio CD
Title: Stardust... The Great American Songbook, Vol. III
Label: J-Records
Artist: Rod Stewart
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Great Love Making Album

Rod did it again. A great Album that shows why he is so successful for the last 30+ years. His voice is just unbelievabel. But I really have to say: Rod is at its best when he sings live.
Anyway, this and also the last two Songbooks are a MUST BUY.

Product: Audio CD
Title: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
Label: Capitol
Artist: John Lennon
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Trying to Break Free From 'Illusions'

This was the first album John Lennon recorded following the breakup of the Beatles, and there are few more effecive, raw expositions of emotional torment in pop. These songs are not always easy to listen to- for instance, the opening track, "Mother", about his feeling of having been abandoned and unwanted by his partents. It starts with heavy funeral bells and ends with Lennon screaming "Momma don't go, Daddy come home". But for the most part, they are not mere cathartic screaming exercises, but were songs that effectively conveyed his feelings because they were well-crafted pop songs. The one exception, and the album's one misfire, is "Well Well Well", which is little more than Lennon screaming. The songs feature bare-bones arrangements, with Lennon on guitar or piano, rounded out by bass and drums. Lennon also does not keep hitting you over the head with his angry despair song after song, but, for instance, follows up "Mother" with "Hold On John", a fairly lighthearted, optimistic song, and starts Side 2 with the quiet, beautiful "Love". But those songs only serve to make the other songs seem all the more intense. "I Found Out" is a stinging rejection the politics and spirituality that was trendy at the time-- which at other times he himself espoused. "God" is an even more comprehensive attack on the things and people being idolized.
Unfortunately, his process of questioning and dealing with his personal demons, and bringing down all the things he had held on to- his parents, his politics, his being a Beatle leads him by the end of "God" to say that all he believes in is as himself...oh, and Yoko too. But what was he without those other things? Not long after this album he would therefore be returning to many of the same 'illusions' he had so bravely, or foolishly, abandoned here. Still, he was brave in putting out an album, that on the face of it, seems rather intimidating and 'uncommecial', but not only conveyed his own personal problems but also feelings that most of us have at one time or another.

Product: Audio CD
Title: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of John Hiatt
Label: A&M Records
Artist: John Hiatt
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Can't be beat

I could listen to this over and over. If you've never heard of John Hiatt this is a great introduction. If you're already a fan it is great to have all of these cuts in one place.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Aereo-Plain
Label: Rounder Select
Artist: John Hartford
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
It's a pair of psychic slippers

When John Hartford released this album in the early 70s I was suffering from a large dose of confusion and I didn't know where I was. These songs helped me out and helped me along. There's no way to explain the effect they have except to listen. Talk about your money's worth-there's no fluff or filler. Play it for your kids if you've got any or somebody else's if you don't. Maybe they can figure it out. Thanks to Hartford and Bromberg et. al., the old Philly folk scene for playing it the first time around and Amazon for keeping it.