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The Great Albums

Two indie rock musicians, Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson, dive into the fandom of great rock and pop music and how it connects to their lives through the lens of the medium they care for most, the album. Episodes frequently include guest contributions from musicians, podcasters, and journalists and always culminate in a track by track review.
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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 28, 2016

Bill and Brian close out Massive Album November with singer songwriter Jack Linden of Rose Boulevard (roseboulevard.bandcamp.com) talking about Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA (1984, Columbia). Springsteen was a good ways into his career, but with this album and its 7 top 10 singles, he became a household name. Jack talks about growing up having been "born into Bruce" and not really remember when he first heard these tunes. He also shares how his fandom ebbed and flowed, cementing itself as he reached adulthood. Brian, Bill, and Jack also discuss synthesizers, the E Street Band, Springsteen's effect on Jack's writing, how Bruce synthesizes his influences to be unrecognizable, Bruce's falsetto and (in)ability to harmonize with himself, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Nov 24, 2016

Happy Bonus Song Thanksgiving! Bill and Brian celebrate by talking about Pink Floyd's "See Emily Play." Brian breaks down a bit of the story of Syd Barrett and his time in the Floyd. Then we jump into a whole bunch of listener emails, spurred by our conversation of what could be the best album openers and closers. We got a bunch of cool suggestions and maybe threw out some controversial statements about the White Stripes and the Beatles. Also, Bill and Brian talk about what they are thankful for!

Nov 21, 2016

Massive Album November continues as Brian and Bill welcome podcaster Andrew James (rowthree.com) to talk about Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (1974, Harvest). Although their 8th studio album, the band finally 'broke through' in a big, bad way with Dark Side, spending 741 weeks (that's nearly 15 years) on the Billboard charts! Andrew talks about unlocking the magic of the Floyd thanks to the confluence of a friend's parents being out of town, some "gummy bears," and a sublime saxophone. Then Bill, Brian, and Andrew discuss how cool VH1/s Classic Albums program is, madness, the universal themes of the album, synthesizers, how annoying it is that Roger Waters is just better than everyone at everything (except singing), 7/8 time signatures, David Gilmore's gorgeous vocal tones, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Nov 17, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian fast forward in the Who's career to discuss the last song off their last album (so far), "Tea & Theatre" from 2006's Endless Wire. Brian fills in the events on the band's timeline, including the deaths of Keith Moon and John Entwhistle and the bands reformation. We discuss how the band has aged gracefully and progressed into this next step in their career. The we read some listener tweets, correcting a Madonna fact and sharing some great Canadian music.

Nov 14, 2016

Editor in Chief for Speak Into My Good Eye (speakimge.com) Mike Mehalick joins Bill and Brian for another installment of Massive Album November as we discuss the Who's Who's Next (1971, Decca). Emerging from the 60s mod scene into their own sound with 1969's Tommy, the Who, especially primary songwriter Pete Townshend, were struggling with the next step in their career. Hoping to continue pushing boundaries, the band began work on the multimedia project Lifehouse but abandoned its grandiose ideas, leaving engineer Glyn Johns with the task of assembling the album that became Who's Next. Mike talks about his father bringing him to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where the Tommy exhibit captured his imagination. Bill, Brian, and Mike then discuss commercialism, the Who vs. Led Zeppelin, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry's complementary voices, synthesizers, Borat impersonations, and more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Nov 10, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Brian and Bill speak to you from the optimism of the past as we break down what make's Madonna's "Into the Groove," released as part of the Like a Virgin single cycle, pretty cool. We talk about the song's inclusion on the international release of the album and a bit about David Bowie before reading some listener emails about Randy Newman and the 33 1/3 series!

Nov 7, 2016

Massive Album November is here! Each episode this month will be a different artist and record that has attained huge sales numbers that we've somehow missed so far. To get us started, thegreatalbums.com blogger Jeff Fiedler joins Bill and Brian to discuss Madonna's sophomore effort Like a Virgin (1984, Sire). Although a success on the dance scene, Madonna had yet to make herself a household name prior to this release. With the help of producer Nile Rodgers and an excellent set of tunes, Madonna became the icon she has continued to be today. Jeff talks about becoming a record collector at a very young age and how it helped him cut through the production of 80s pop as a listener. Bill, Brian, and Jeff then discuss the contributions of Rodgers' bandmates in Chic, the songwriting talents of Stephen Bray, Madonna's early bands Breakfast Club and Emmy, how the controversy over the sexuality on the album is a bit overblown, how pop songs were songs in the 80s, and much more as we make our way through the album track by track!

Nov 3, 2016

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian take some time out to cover a little bit of Neil Young's weaker output by discussing "Transformer Man" off 1982's Trans. We discuss Young's rationale for incorporating electronic instruments into his music, the sincerity of his experimentations at the time, and how some better songs may have helped him in this period. Also, we read a listener email that takes back down the path of Pearl Jam as Bill attempts to defend Yield, "Wishlist," and his opinions about Ten!

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