The Reviews

Each fortnight Fran and Dave listen to an album from the music tree. The albums represent different music genres and the genres show the development of music over time. We love listening to the albums and discovering new and old music: it’s a great adventure. We welcome you to listen along with us and comment.

Here is a summary of our reviews. Click on the links to read the full reviews.

Louis Armstrong Plays W. C. Handy - Louis Armstrong and His All Stars

Jazz

Louis Armstrong Plays W. C. Handy
by Louis Armstrong and His All Stars (1952)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★☆

Songs for Swingin' Lovers - Frank Sinatra

Swing

Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!
by Frank Sinatra (1956)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★☆☆☆

The King and I - Motion Picture Soundtrack Film Soundtrack

The King And I: Motion Picture Soundtrack
(1956)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★☆

Chuck Berry - One Dozen Berrys Rock ‘n’ Roll

One Dozen Berrys
by Chuck Berry (1958)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

Cliff - Cliff Richard and The Drifters

Pop

Cliff
by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (1959)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

Ride This Train - Johnny CashCountry

Ride This Train
by Johnny Cash (1960)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

The Beatles - Please Please Me

Beat Music

Please Please Me
by The Beatles (1963)

Fran: ★★★★★
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

The Rolling Stones - The Rolling StonesBritish Invasion

The Rolling Stones
by The Rolling Stones (1964)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

The Muppet Christmas Carol - SoundtrackChristmas
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Fran: ★★★★☆
Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade (1973)
Dave: ★★★★★
_

The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go

Motown

Where Did Our Love Go
by The Supremes (1964)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★★
_

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Psychedelia

Pet Sounds
by The Beach Boys (1966)

Fran: ★★★★★
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

Folk

Blonde On Blonde
by Bob Dylan (1966)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico

Art Rock

The Velvet Underground & Nico
by The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

Fran: ★★★★★
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

Heavy Metal

Led Zeppelin
by Led Zeppelin (1969)

Fran: ★★☆☆☆
Dave: ★★★★★
_

James Brown - Sex Machine

Funk

Sex Machine
by James Brown (1970)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

Soul

What’s Going On
by Marvin Gaye (1971)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Big Star - #1 Record

Power Pop

#1 Record
by Big Star (1972)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Glam

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie (1972)

Fran: ★★★★★
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon

Prog Rock

The Dark Side Of The Moon
by Pink Floyd (1973)

Fran: ★★★★★
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

R&B

Songs In The Key Of Life
by Stevie Wonder (1976)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

Abba - Arrival

70’s Pop

Arrival
by ABBA (1976)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

Eagles - Hotel California

Soft Rock

Hotel California
by Eagles (1976)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★☆☆☆
_

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus

Reggae, Dub, Ska

Exodus
by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1977)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack

Disco

Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
by Various, but a lot of The Bee Gees (1977)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks

Punk

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
by The Sex Pistols (1977)

Fran: ☠☠☠☆☆
Dave: ☠☠☠☠☆
_

Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine

Krautrock

Die Mensch-Maschine
by Kraftwerk (1978)

Fran: ★★☆☆☆
Dave: ★★★★★
_

Blondie - Parallel Lines

New Wave

Parallel Lines
by Blondie (1978)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

Post Punk

Unknown Pleasures
by Joy Division (1979)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★★★
_

2 Tone

Specials
by Specials (1979)

Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★☆
_

The Human League - Dare

Synthpop

Dare
by The Human League (1981)

Fran: ★★☆☆☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

Metal

The Number Of The Beast
by Iron Maiden (1982)

Fran: ★★☆☆☆
Dave: ★★☆☆☆
_

Old School Hip Hop

The Message
by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (1982)

Fran: ★★★★☆
Dave: ★★★☆☆
_

Indie
The Queen Is Dead
by The Smiths (1986)
Fran: ★★★☆☆
Dave: ★★★★★
Bonus: Bizarro
by The Wedding Present (1989)
Dave: ★★★★★

We will continue to update this page as we listen to more albums.

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3 Responses to The Reviews

  1. Albert Hemmings. says:

    If your going to mention Cliff (Richard) and The Drifters/Shadows, how can you not mention The Shadows – they were units together, and apart. Thus creating two influencial acts. The latter, having their own impact on many, many artists and groups that followed them. Something that The Beatles etc. didn’t acheive until the respective bands split??. Just thought I’d remind people, of this.

    • Fran says:

      It’s a fair point Albert, but if you were going to pick just one of Cliff and the Drifters/Shadows or the Shadows to represent pop of that era, it’s not going to be the Shadows, is it? Or maybe you disagree…?

      • Fran,
        As you said, maybe, I will “disagree”.
        Let’s consider Move It, said “to be the first real british rock “n” roll record”. Not a copy, of american material. I believe, a certain Mr. J. Lennon, acknowledged this fact!!??.
        Secondly, what about Apache – The Shadows, formerly The Drifters. A worldwide hit, except for America, where it is suggested a poorer interpretation of the tune made it to the number one spot . Unfortunately, it is said The Shadows version, was not given the publicity it so rightly should have received??. Wasn’t that tune, a representative of popular music of that era/period.!!??. It spent six weeks at the number one spot. Quite an acheivement at the time. It has also been sampled, by various persons/artists since that period. If, my memory is correct it knocked Cliff off the number one spot – ?? Please Don’t Tease, written by Mr. Bruce Welch of The Shadows.
        The Shadows, a group from the “era/period” that doesn’t get the recognition it ought too??.
        I also believe it has been said in certain quarters, the group has been referred to as the first “punk band” – a lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and a drum kit. Now, surely that is “influence” etc. How many other bands/ groups have followed with the same line- up?. “Fab Four”, to name but one, seems to come to my mind. Do, I need to “say anymore”??.
        Cheers,
        Albert.

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