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Mountain – “Climbing!”
From the Vaults / Record Bulletin

Mountain – “Climbing!”

MOUNTAIN – Climbing! (Windfall ’70): Cream comparisons have always seemed inane to me. I get why they exist: Mountain bassist/vocalist Felix Pappalardi produced two of Cream’s best-known records, Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire; the music press was eager to dub anything remotely similar as an “American Cream”; and like Cream, Mountain were a power … Continue reading

Boston – “Boston”
From the Vaults / Record Bulletin

Boston – “Boston”

BOSTON – Boston (Epic ’76): On those unfortunate occasions when I’m forced to have a conversation with a massive Tool fan, they’re certain to bring up the band members’ academic credentials as evidence that their songs have merit because, uh, they used math to make their rhythm-less compositions. Similarly, the MIT mechanical engineer grad Tom … Continue reading

Randy Newman – “Sail Away”
From the Vaults / Record Bulletin

Randy Newman – “Sail Away”

RANDY NEWMAN – Sail Away (Reprise ’72): Ragtime rock and Dixie roll. Newman’s various personas operate on the levels of Aesopian folktale slinger, lullaby dispenser, sludgy blues schlockmeister, and good old boy philosophizer. A man and his piano, he muses on God and death (“You don’t need anybody, and nobody needs you”), fame and fortune … Continue reading

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “More Creedence Gold”
From the Vaults / Record Bulletin

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “More Creedence Gold”

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – More Creedence Gold (Fantasy ’73): The problem with compilations by great bands is that the studio albums from which the comp tracks are pulled are so often worth owning on their own, making the vinyl the comps are stamped on obsolete before they’re pressed. And CCR cut five of the best … Continue reading

Feist – “Let It Die”
Record Bulletin

Feist – “Let It Die”

FEIST – Let It Die (Interscope ’04): Instrumentally minimalist not for aesthetic effect but because the environments Leslie Feist renders in her indie folk/lounge/bossa nova world are minimal—from the home made from a rented house in the fantasy storybook schmaltz of “Mushaboom” to the dimly-lit bedroom of her “Leisure Suite,” it’s rare to hear more … Continue reading