The #1 Albums

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The #1 Albums: “Led Zeppelin III”

On October 24, 1970, Led Zeppelin III blased onto the Billboard 200 album chart at #3. The next week, it knocked Santana’s Abraxas...

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The #1 Albums: Santana’s “Abraxas”

My first radio was a green plastic box with a giant dial and tubes inside. I didn’t care that it got only AM—it got WLS, the...

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The #1 Albums: “Cosmo’s Factory” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

youtube id=”nM_BJrgRs2E” width=”600″ height=”350″ Sweet mama this is one great album. Released at a...

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The #1 Albums: “Blood Sweat & Tears 3”

At a distance of more than 40 years, we forget how big Blood Sweat and Tears was at the turn of the 1970s. Their second, self-titled album...

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The #1 Albums: “Woodstock”

Years ago, I worked at a radio station in small-town Illinois. An on-air discussion about Woodstock prompted one of the sales reps to...

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The #1 Albums: The Beatles’ “Let It Be”

“I’ll finish you all now! You’ll pay!” So said Paul McCartney to Ringo Starr when Ringo tried to convince Paul to...

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The #1 Albums: “McCartney”

It must be great to be Paul McCartney. All that fame, all that money. And it must be terrible, too, because you have to compete with Paul...

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The #1 Albums: “Deja Vu” by Crosby Stills Nash & Young

Their long musical partnership has been good to David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. During the period when they added Neil Young...

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The #1 Albums: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Several songs on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water seem so perfect it’s as though they must always have existed....

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The #1 Albums: “Led Zeppelin II”

In 2003, Eric Boehlert (now at Media Matters) wrote an essay for Salon called “The Greatest Week in Rock History” in which he...

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The #1 Albums: “Abbey Road”

Certain albums in this series present a particular challenge, as we’ve noted before: What can one say that’s fresh about some...

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The #1 Albums: “Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

And now, a list of songs: “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe “Love Theme From...

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The #1 Albums: Blind Faith

What would an English edition of the Band have sounded like? Eric Clapton wondered, too. And in 1969, he set out to form one, but without...

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The #1 Albums: “Johnny Cash at San Quentin”

In 1953, Johnny Cash wrote “Folsom Prison Blues.” Fifteen years later, on a weekday morning in January, he played a legendary...

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The #1 Albums: “Hair”

The changing mores of the 1960s eventually reached far beyond popular music. Motion pictures abandoned the production codes that had ruled...

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The #1 Albums: “Blood Sweat and Tears”

The top of the Billboard album chart in the early months of 1969 had something for everybody: the Beatles’ psychedelic flights on the...

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The #1 Albums: “TCB” by the Supremes and the Temptations

Over the years, certain television programs became iconic because of their historical value—the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show,...

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The #1 Albums: “The Beatles”

The Beatles, better known as The White Album, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart for the week of December 28, 1968, and spent nine...

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The #1 Albums: Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman”

We reach the end of 1968 riding a wave of all-time rock classics, and we’ll see in 1969 with another, in next week’s...

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The #1 Albums: “Electric Ladyland” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

Certain albums in this series present a challenge even to a professional gasbag such as I. What can one possibly say about the most...

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The #1 Albums: “Cheap Thrills” by Big Brother and the Holding Company

You have undoubtedly heard DJs talking about “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. When they do that, they’re wrong....

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The #1 Albums: “Time Peace: the Rascals’ Greatest Hits”

The geographical center of the pop music universe was all over the map during the first decade-and-a-half of the rock era. It began in New...

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The #1 Albums: “Waiting for the Sun” by the Doors

The first two Doors albums, The Doors and Strange Days, were both written at about the same time, and each one is studded with classic...

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The #1 Albums: “Wheels of Fire” by Cream

Certain dates in pop-culture history ring with importance. On February 9, 1964, the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. On August 16,...

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The #1 Albums: “The Beat of the Brass” by Herb Alpert and the TJB

You don’t hear the phrase “mood music” much anymore. It was often used to refer to the instrumental pop music that rose...

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The #1 Albums: Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Graduate” and “Bookends”

There was nothing hippie about Simon and Garfunkel, really. Among the general run of late 60s pop stars, they were remarkably straight....

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The #1 Albums: “Blooming Hits” by Paul Mauriat

The year 1968 is one of pop’s most legendary, and to look back on it now is to imagine a continuous stream of genius pouring out of...

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The #1 Albums: “Magical Mystery Tour”

As if there wasn’t enough evidence of the vast gulf between record industry marketing practices of the 1960s and today, consider...

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The #1 Albums: “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.” by the Monkees

In 1967, the album supplanted the single as rock’s preeminent art form. Yet the album that ended 1967 at #1 in Billboard sits astride...

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The #1 Albums: “Diana Ross and the Supremes’ Greatest Hits”

I quit buying 45s when I was 13 years old. After that, I considered myself an album consumer, but that sometimes created an economic...