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John Milward


  • Conversation Peace

    It would be hard to underestimate the influential legacy of Stevie Wonder, a 1989 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After recording a stack of '60s singles that helped define the sound of Motown, Wonder was also the artist who broke that mold by succeeding with a more personal and political style […]

    • Music
  • Turbulent Indigo

    "Let me speak," sings Joni Mitchell on "The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song)," "let me spit out my bitterness." Few songwriters could write, let alone convincingly convey, such blunt, honest language. Mitchell's words are honed by a life dedicated to the notion that songs, like all great art, can illuminate deeper truths. Plenty has […]

    • Music
  • That's The Way It Should Be

    Booker T. and the MG's are the kind of instrumental virtuosos who don't make you say, "Wow," so much as offer an appreciative "yeah." Gaining fame as the Stax/Volt house band accompanying such titans of '60s soul as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, the group showed similarly impeccable taste on its own instrumental hits, […]

    • Music
  • Crazy Legs

    Crazy Legs is Jeff Beck's tribute to the player who inspired him to pick up the guitar, Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. The fact that this collection of rockabilly tunes is also one of the liveliest albums of Beck's long career also underscores the fact that the brilliant guitarist is one […]

    • Music
  • Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys

    The Beach Boys, who released their first record 30 years ago, have been living off their past for so long that it's easy to hate them for it. It hasn't helped that the heroes-and-villains saga of the group and its creative soul, Brian Wilson, is as twisted a melodrama as anything in show business, let […]

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  • The Missing Years

    The Missing Years, John Prine's first studio album in five years and his best since Bruised Orange, from 1978, is filled with idiosyncratic delights. The presence of a stellar cast of supporting singers (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt) and players (David Lindley, Mike Campbell, Albert Lee) reflects Prine's reputation. Yet the subtle production of […]

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  • Mr. Lucky

    John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon are the last of a generation of giants that plugged Mississippi's Delta blues into urban America. Dixon went to Chicago and became a mainstay at Chess Records, where he played bass, produced, arranged and wrote songs for electrified Delta wailers such as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, who, like […]

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  • For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

    There's a message in the acronym that winks its way out of the title of Van Halen's latest album, and it has nothing to do with sex. No, what the title really spells out is how easy it is for veteran pop stars desperate to seem outrageous to act like guests on Wayne's World. Like, […]

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  • Join Together

    Join Together is the inevitable live-album curtain call designed to squeeze the last dollar out of the Who's twenty-fifth-anniversary tour. The package, which includes a handy order form for T-shirts and posters, could have been called The Who Sell Out, but, of course, the group has already used that title. Join Together is not the […]

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  • Heritage

    The Eighties were not especially kind to funky big bands. Rhythm machines replaced drummers, synthesizers subbed for horns, and rappers found that the easiest way to take it to the bridge was to sample James Brown. That could be one reason why Maurice White titled the first Earth, Wind and Fire album of the Nineties […]

    • Music