Breakup albums don’t get much better than ‘Rumours,’ Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 blockbuster that was recorded as band members went through various stages of relationship adjustment. When they made their breakthrough self-titled album in 1975, Fleetwood Mac included two couples, one married; by the time ‘Rumours’ was released, they were broken up. Listen to the record, and you’ll get an idea what happened.
When you get right down to it, AC/DC might be the most reliable band on the planet. In 40 years, they never once challenged fans with anything other than straight-up, uncomplicated rock ‘n’ roll played with fuss-free intensity. They never made a concept album. They never dabbled in pop, R&B, hip-hop or electronic music. And they never swerved from their playbook of barroom-meets-arena swagger dosed with a shot of heavy blues.
With the exception of Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones are rock’s most repackaged artist. From ‘Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass),’ which came out two mere years after their debut, to ‘Forty Licks,’ the excellent two-disc set released a decade ago to mark the band’s 40th anniversary, the Stones have made sure that fans would never have to look too far for ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.’
Forget ‘Americana,’ the album of folk standards Neil Young released with Crazy Horse earlier in 2012. Please. It’s a tossed-off goof – a record that should have been uncovered by music archeologists 15 years from now, released as a bootleg and devoured by Young’s rabid fan base.
The good news is that 2012’s other album by Young and Crazy Horse, ‘Psychedelic Pill,’ should completely wipe away any lingering memories of ‘Americana’’s nagging children’s choir.
It took Donald Fagen nearly a quarter century to release his Nightfly Trilogy, which started with 1982’s ‘The Nightfly’ and wrapped up with 2006’s ‘Morph the Cat.’ ‘Sunken Condos,’ the fourth solo album by the Steely Dan singer, is a slightly looser record than its predecessors, with more emphasis on groove this time around. And it sounds like it could be the next chapter in the solo odyssey Fagen started 30 years ago.