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Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 1:04pm
Happy 45th: Bread, BABY I’M-A WANT YOU

45 years ago this month, Bread released their fourth LP, which proved to be the highest-charting studio album of the band’s career and provided them with four top-40 hits.

Produced by frontman David Gates, who also served as the band’s predominant songwriter, BABY I’M-A WANT YOU was a transitional album for Bread, as it was their first LP without founding member Robb Royer in their ranks. Although his departure was due to increasing tensions between him and Gates, Royer continued to write songs with Jimmy Griffin, who remained in the band, hence Royer’s name still turning up in the credits as the co-composer of “Dream Lady” and “Games of Magic.” From a musical standpoint, however, keyboard duties were handed over to new member Larry Knechtel, who arrived with an impressive résumé, having played on The Beach Boys’ PET SOUNDS, The Doors’ self-titled album, and Chet Baker’s BLOOD, CHET, AND TEARS.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 12:57pm
Happy Anniversary: Warren Zevon, EXCITABLE BOY

39 years ago today, Warren Zevon released his third studio album, and while it featured a decidedly dark title track, it also offered up a tune about British lycanthropes which remains Zevon’s signature song.

Recorded at The Sound Factory in Los Angeles and produced by Jackson Browne and Waddy Wachtel, EXCITABLE BOY was the first time that Zevon found legitimate commercial success: it hit #8 on the Billboard 200. What was different about this album that led it to rise so high in the charts when its predecessors had not? For one thing, it was loaded with notable musicians, including Browne, Karla Bonoff, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, and Jennifer Warnes. More importantly, though, it featured a little ditty called “Werewolves of London.”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 3:32pm
Start Your Ear Off Right

Last Tuesday kicked off our annual Start Your Ear Off Right reissue campaign, and if this is the first you’re hearing of it, then allow us to steer you toward what we wrote about it a week ago today. Go ahead and read it now. We’ll wait.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 2:03pm

When it comes to The Stooges’ place in rock history, there’s more or less a consensus among rock critics – or as close to a consensus as you’re ever going to get with rock critics, anyway – that they’re among the greatest rock bands of all time.

Friday, January 13, 2017 - 11:44am
Happy 40th: David Bowie, LOW

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the first chapter in David Bowie’s so-called “Berlin Trilogy,” a series of LPs which, although they threw many listeners at the time, have since gone on to become some of the most critically acclaimed albums in his discography.

Friday, January 13, 2017 - 11:39am
Remembering Donny Hathaway
Today marks the day that R&B legend Donny Hathaway departed this veil of tears, but his legacy lives on, thanks to his solo career as well as his noted collaborators with his longtime friend Roberta Flack. But there was more to Hathaway’s career than the releases that emerged under his own name, and we’ve got a six-pack of them for your listening enjoyment.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 11:54am
This Day in 1981: The White House Record Library Rocks
On this day in 1981, the White House issued a memo about an upcoming reception which – in longstanding political tradition – completely buried its most important fact.

The announcement in question was that they would be holding a reception the following day for the Commission for the White House Record Library, and if you didn’t realize that there even was such a thing, the memo has prepared for that contingency. It goes on to explain that “the White House Record Library is a collection of music, drama, poetry, and prose reflective of our nation’s cultural interests,” one which “was established in 1973 and is administered by a volunteer commission whose members are appointed by the First Lady.”
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 11:49am
Big Star
On this day in 1951, Christopher Branford Bell – but you can call him Chris – was born, and while he would go on to become one with the cosmos on December 27, 1978 at only 27 years old, he made some great music with Big Star during the all-too-short amount of time he walked among us. To celebrate his life, here are six tracks from the KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY box set where Bell shines the brightest.