Top 15 Albums of 1969

After some deliberation, I have decided to continue my present series back into the 1960s. While this decision is mainly just an excuse to recommend some of my personal favorites, I'm unsure if I will cover any years before 1965. Not only am I assuming I will hit a lack of variety at that time,... Continue Reading →

5 Ways to Improve Your Dialogue

I love good dialogue. I love how it can accomplish so many different things in a story and can grip readers just as much as an action sequence. Sometimes when I'm starting another short story I'll write just dialogue for a couple pages and fill in all of the description and action later. After all,... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1976

1. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder This album, also the recipient of a Best Album Grammy, is considered the peak of Wonder's "classical period," and influenced just so many artists of the genre even until today. Much of the album has been sampled: just take a listen to "Pastime Paradise" and... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1977

1. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac The 11 songs here are impressive without even factoring in the intense crucible of events that surrounded this album's recording and release. During a period of fracturing and breakups, the group fortunately managed to make a work that transcended it. Buckingham's in rare form with "Second Hand News" and "Go... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1975

1. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd While I consider Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd's best album, Wish You Were Here is their most cohesive. Every part flows effortlessly and plays into the larger theme. The two sections of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," which begin and end the album, are full... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1973

1. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd I've probably listened to this album more than any other in my life. I'm not sure what keeps bringing me back to it, but I will say that the entire album has a distinct aura about it, one I can't exactly place. "Time" and "The... Continue Reading →

Dealing with Dissatisfaction

Every six months or so, I go through a period where I think everything I've written up to that point is complete shit. Like clockwork, I exchange a wary glance with the nearest paper shredder, contemplate filing away all my current projects under a "Juvenilia" folder that my future biographers will hopefully gloss over. From... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1972

1. Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones This double album is pretty much the Stones' White Album. It shows them, to an impressive degree, embracing a variety of different musical influences, from country to blues and even gospel, in "I Just Want to See His Face." The big songs here are "Rocks Off"... Continue Reading →

Top 10 Albums of 1971

1. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye This one takes the top spot for many reasons. It's not exactly a concept album, but it is effortlessly cohesive. The musicianship is top-notch--it is Motown, after all, and by this point Gaye had spent close to a decade with the label. Most important, though, is the social... Continue Reading →

Top 15 Albums of 1970

The early 1970s were often a tempestuous time in music history. However, that didn't prevent a lot of good albums from being made, 15 of which I have ranked here from the first year of the decade, along with a few honorable mentions. I don't consider myself qualified to be a music critic per se,... Continue Reading →

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