80 items by Stephen Holden

  • Lennon's Music: A Range of Genius

    Lennon's Music: A Range of Genius | ARTICLE

    The night after John Lennon was murdered, I happened to attend the Broadway musical Evita. At the curtain call, the show's star, Patti LuPone, asked for a moment of silence for the slain...

    December 7, 2010 12:10 PM ET
  • Music Box

    Music Box | ALBUM REVIEW

    With a voice that could stop a truck, a husband (Sony Records chief Tommy Mottola) who runs the store and only the hottest songwriting and producing collaborators going (Walter Afanasieff, C+C Music Factory and Babyface), Mariah Carey...

    October 28, 1993 12:00 AM ET
  • My World

    My World | ALBUM REVIEW

    Willie Nelson and Ray Charles are such monumental personalities that it almost doesn't matter what kinds of records they make. Each man ranks among the dozen or so pop legends who don't have to do much to...

    May 13, 1993 12:00 AM ET
  • What You See Is What You Sweat

    What You See Is What You Sweat | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Yo, gang! let's kick the ballistics!" shouts Aretha Franklin in the opening moments of "Everyday People," her spirited house-music remake of Sly Stone's classic hippie anthem. The song, which is heard in regular and remixed versions on...

    September 5, 1991 12:00 AM ET
  • Power Of Love

    Power Of Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    In the seven albums (eight, counting a 1989 best-of package) that he has released in the last decade, Luther Vandross has established himself as Smokey Robinson's successor in building a personalized pop-soul loveland around beautiful singing. Because...

    June 13, 1991 12:00 AM ET
  • Daylight Again

    Daylight Again | ALBUM REVIEW

    First, last and always, there is the blend. The way the three voices fit together remains one of the most singular and pleasing harmonic fusions in all of rock. And that is why, when the solo careers...

    August 17, 1986 12:00 AM ET
  • Synchronicity

    Synchronicity | ALBUM REVIEW

    Synchronicity is a work of dazzling surfaces and glacial shadows. Sunny pop melodies echo with ominous sound effects. Pithy verses deal with doomsday. A battery of rhythms — pop, reggae and African — lead a safari into...

    June 23, 1983 12:00 AM ET
  • Winds of Change

    Winds of Change | ALBUM REVIEW

    Though the Jefferson Starship's musical horizons have shrunk from mystical folk-rock id mundance hard rock, the old bird still refuses to land. On Winds of Change, the Starship's hard-rock image is spruced up with thicker harmonies and...

    December 9, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Forever, For Always, For Love

    Forever, For Always, For Love | ALBUM REVIEW

    The most gifted male pop-soul singer of his generation, Luther Vandross has broken away from the macho chest-beating of the likes of Teddy Pendergrass by crooning instead of roaring at moments of high passion. Forever, for Always,...

    November 25, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • The Nylon Curtain

    The Nylon Curtain | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Goodnight Saigon," the turning point of Billy Joel's ambitious new album, may well be remembered as the ultimate pop-music epitaph to the Vietnam War. Into a pastoral soundscape a sputtering helicopter ominously steals, followed by martially elegiac...

    October 14, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Jump to It

    Jump to It | ALBUM REVIEW

    For the first time since her early days on Atlantic, Aretha Franklin has made an album on which she sounds completely at home. Where Franklin's recent records have cast her as a maturing pop-soul diva looking back...

    September 16, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Tug of War

    Tug of War | ALBUM REVIEW

    Tug of War is the masterpiece everyone has always known Paul McCartney could make. In style and format, the album isn't all that different from his earlier work, but the songs are far more substantial than the...

    May 27, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • The Concert in Central Park

    The Concert in Central Park | ALBUM REVIEW

    After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same," Paul Simon philosophizes in a slightly revised version of "The Boxer," a number about eternal human struggle that's perhaps the finest song he wrote while he...

    March 18, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Controversy

    Controversy | ALBUM REVIEW

    It should come as little surprise that on his fourth album, Prince has made his inflammatory and explicit sexuality the basis of an amusingly jive but attractive social agenda. Once you've exalted brother-sister incest (Dirty Mind's "Sister"),...

    January 21, 1982 12:00 AM ET
  • Dylan In Fine Voice As Tour Hits East Coast

    Dylan In Fine Voice As Tour Hits East Coast | ARTICLE

    He could almost have stepped off the cover of Blonde on Blonde. Lean, lithe and bushy-haired, wearing skinny sunglasses, scuffed-up brown trousers and boots,...

    December 10, 1981 7:45 PM ET
  • Torch

    Torch | ALBUM REVIEW

    Carly Simon's Torch is a gorgeous throwback to the Fifties and early Sixties, when pop music divas and crooners routinely released two or three albums a year, each record utilizing a full studio orchestra instead of session...

    December 10, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Scissors Cut

    Scissors Cut | ALBUM REVIEW

    Scissors Cut, Art Garfunkel's finest solo album, easily justifies his unfashionable formal approach to pop music by its sheer aural beauty. Garfunkel's idea of arranging and recording pop numbers with a meticulousness that's usually reserved for art...

    October 15, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • The Fox

    The Fox | ALBUM REVIEW

    With The Fox, the king of Seventies mass-market pop-rock has finally found a comfortable balance between the churchy turgidity of "serious" efforts like Blue Moves and the irresistible thrust of his finest singles. For a change, there's...

    August 6, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Season of Glass

    Season of Glass | ALBUM REVIEW

    Besides being an eloquent elegy for John Lennon, Season of Glass is Yoko Ono's most accessible and assured album. Produced by Ono and Phil Spector, whose connection with the project ended before its completion, the LP is...

    July 9, 1981 12:00 AM ET
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow

    Somewhere Over the Rainbow | ALBUM REVIEW

    Somewhere over the Rainbow further establishes Willie Nelson as country music's preeminent conservator of America's pop tradition. Coproduced by Nelson and featuring a five-man combo of musical buddies from his Texas honky-tonking days (including noted fiddler Johnny...

    June 11, 1981 12:00 AM ET