Monday 6 January 2014

Special Edition: Every Single AAA Album With Release Dates (News, Views and Music 227)

Dear readers, happy new year! Whether you were controversially knighted in this year's honours list, are a humble MBE or CBE, were cruelly overlooked for another year or sent your medal back to the Queen in protest at 'Cold Turkey' dropping down the charts 45 years ago, welcome one and all. Let's hope 2014 brings good cheer for everyone except those we fear (I'm looking at you, David Cameron!) I've been racking my brains for a while to think what to give you for our first issue of the year, which has become our traditional spot for 'special editions'. We've already covered live albums, spin-off solo albums, compilations albums, AAA books and AAA DVDs so to be honest there isn't that much ground we haven't covered somewhere, somehow during our five years making this site. So we figured - why not organise what we've got for this year's special instead of adding yet more to it! So this edition is a sort of 'unfolding text', where you can see each AAA member's stories weave their way round each other, stitching up the fabric that is Alan's Album Archives.

You see, a few of you have asked me - well, to be honest, one of you have asked me - what the schedule of AAA releases are. Yes, I know we've got the years for release dates at the end of each review, but it's intrigued one of our readers that The Beach Boys were five months ahead of The Beatles and that The Searchers seem to have come to an ungainly halt pretty much before bands like The Rolling Stones and The Kinks had got going. So here, for those who want more detail (and if you want detail you've come to the right site!) I thought I'd get my researching cap on again and give you each and every official studio non-compilation AAA release in order by year (plus live albums made up of 'new' material), taking us all the way from 'Surfin' Safari' in 1962 to Paul McCartney's 'New' (which neatly is indeed the 'new'est album at the time of writing). We've kept this to first-release studio albums by the way, not re-issues, live albums, compilations, film soundtracks, rarities CDs or box sets, otherwise we'll still be writing this article come January 2015! A word too: we've tried to include as many solo albums as we can, but there are limits even here: listings for some AAA stars (eg The Byrds' Chris Hillman) are as vague as they come and reluctantly we've had to make do without them, whereas some particularly prolific musicians (eg The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart) seem to have played on every album going, so we've tried to stick with the albums most fans of each band consider 'canon' (eg for the Moody Blues Justin Hayward solo albums are fair game, but Patrick Moraz - who played on two albums - isn't here). We've also gone with albums that were released in the normal channels - there's a whole run of 10cc's Eric Stewart's albums released via the internet that were never released in shops (and so the release dates for these records are particularly vague) while some albums were never released in Europe/America at all. In addition, we've skipped some of the spin-off band releases linked to these AAA albums (eg Wax, Humble Pie, The Flying Burrito Brothers) although we've stretched a point for those with particularly close links to 'our bands' (Godley and Creme, Manassas, McgUinn-Clark-Hillman etc). In other words, this list is as complete as we can get it, without getting tied into knots over what might or might not count as a studio record.

If lists aren't your thing, then a) whoops, sorry, don't despair, we'll be back to normal next week so hang around and b) think of this as some grand alternate 'home page' where there are links to each and every album reviewed on this site so far (we're approaching round about the three quarter mark) so you can, if you choose, read these reviews in their order of release rather than just by each artist chronologically as listed on our website's home page (believe it or not the first post every year is usually the most viewed, so it makes as much sense adding this 'home page' here as nay - I have a good feeling about our hit rate this year, but then again I said that the last three...) Unfortunately for the moment you might have to 'cut and paste' these into your internet browser yourselves: it nearly killed me physically putting the links in last time (oh for an assistant...) but if this page takes off I might well go back to doing it at a later date.

If nothing else, looking at the albums this way makes for some interesting reading, seeing which groups were exactly contemporary with whom and how each of our AAA bands influenced each other to some extent. For a bit of fun - and to break up all that heavy text - we've added our own comments at the end of each year in the by now customary AAA reverential-but-irreverent fashion. Oh and by the way this is the release date in the country of origin - so for the Beatles, for instance, we've kept to their UK discography (except for 'Magical Mystery Tour', which works far better as an LP than it does an EP) and the Beach Boys the US. Sadly some discographies - such as that for The Hollies and Lulu - are a bit sketchy, but we do at least have the relevant month so we'll stick these albums at the top of each relevant month (except when release dates are as vague as 'early' 'mid' or 'late' in a year, when we've had to make do with our best guesses - you'd be surprised at how little notice there was of some of the obscurer albums on this list being released). Have a read of how tight some of these recording schedules are at the beginning of this list, now it's the norm for artists to go five years without releasing anything new, and weep... (on the plus side, this means we only have to suffer Justin Bieber albums every few years - our guess is that no one will remember him by this time next year!):


October 1st 1962: The Beach Boys "Surfin' Safari"

Firsts: It's the first ever AAA album, with The Beach Boys a full five months ahead of everyone else!
Best selling AAA album of the year: "Surfin' Safari"
Worst selling album of the year: Err, "Surfin' Safari"!
Themes of the year: surfing!
Total albums: One
Interesting things to notice: 'Surfin Safari' was released just four days before The Beatles came out with their first single 'Love Me Do'!


March 22nd 1963: The Beatles "Please Please Me"
March 27th 1963: The Beach Boys "Surfin' USA"
"August" 1963: The Searchers "Meet The Searchers"
September 16th 1963: The Beach Boys "Surfer Girl" (not yet reviewed)
October 7th 1963: The Beach Boys "Little Deuce Coupe" (not yet reviewed)
November 22nd 1963: The Beatles "With The Beatles"
"Late" 1963: The Searchers "Sugar and Spice"

Firsts: debut albums by The Beatles and The Searchers
Best selling AAA album of the year: "With The Beatles" (the best selling album of all in 1963 despite being released only five weeks before Christmas!)
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Hard to tell, but 'Meet The Searchers' spent the fewest weeks in the charts
Themes of the year: surfing, cars, Merseybeat and fast-paced Motown covers
Total albums: 7
Interesting things to notice: By the end of 1963 The Beach Boys have released four albums, with The Beatles and The Searchers neck and neck on two each. BY contrast, The Rolling Stones have only released one comparatively flop single! Note too how closer together the two Searchers albums are and the mere three-week gap between Beach Boys albums, by far the shortest on our list (it helps that 'Little Deuce Coupe' is a 'concept' album about cars that recycled quite a few songs!)


"January" 1964: The Hollies "Stay With The Hollies" (not yet reviewed)
January 1st 1964: Otis Redding "Pain In My Heart"
March 2nd 1964: The Beach Boys "Shut Down Volume 2" (not yet reviewed)
"Spring" 1964: The Searchers "It's The Searchers" (not yet reviewed)
April 16th 1964: "The Rolling Stones"
July 10th 1964: The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night"
July 13th 1964: The Beach Boys "All Summer Long"
"Autumn" 1964: The Searchers "Sounds Like Searchers"
October 2nd 1964: "The Kinks" (not yet reviewed)
October 9th 1964: Simon and Garfunkel "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM"
"November" 1964: The Hollies "In The Hollies Style"
November 9th 1964: The Beach Boys "Christmas"
December 4th 1964: The Beatles "Beatles For Sale"

Firsts: Debut albums by The Hollies, Otis Redding, Rolling Stones, The KInks and Simon and Garfunkel
Best selling AAA Album of the year: "Beatles For Sale", just. Also the best-selling album of the year overall
Worst selling album of the year: 'Wednesday Morning' sells only in the low thousands - Simon and Garfunkel won't really take off until the end of 1965 when 'The Sound Of Silence' is overdubbed with electric instruments and turned into a 'hit'!
Themes of the year: Excitement, tiredness, more Merseybeat, more cars, Christmas trees and a bit of soul
Total albums: 13
Interesting things to notice: As we'll be seeing, most albums are released in November to make the Christmas market. However two AAA records were released this year in traditionally the slowest time for the record business (the first week in January). Oops! The Beach Boys and Beatles rivalry across the pond really takes off this year too, with 'A Hard Day's Night' released just three days before 'All Summer Long'.


January 15th 1965: Rolling Stones "No 2" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1965: Otis Redding "The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads"
March 5th 1965: The Kinks "Kinda Kinks"
March 8th 1965: The Beach Boys "Today" (not yet reviewed)
April 16th 1965: "Bert Jansch" (Pentangle) (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1965" Lulu "Something To Shout About!"
"Mid 1965": Davy Jones (Monkees) "David Jones" (part reviewed)
June 21st 1965: The Byrds "Mr Tambourine Man"
July 5th 1965: The Beach Boys "Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!)"
July 22nd 1965: The Moody Blues "The Magnificent Moodies"
August 6th 1965: The Beatles "Help!"
September 6th 1965: "The Hollies"
September 15th 1965: Otis Redding "Otis Blue"
September 24th 1965: Rolling Stones "Out Of Our Heads" (not yet reviewed)
"Late" 1965: The Searchers "Take Me For What I'm Worth"
November 8th 1965: The Beach Boys "Party!" (not yet reviewed)
November 26th 1965: The Kinks "The Kink Kontroversy" (not yet reviewed)
"December" 1965: Bert Jansch "It Don't Bother Me" (Not yet reviewed)
December 3rd 1965: The Who "Sing My Generation" (not yet reviewed)
December 4th 1965: The Beatles "Rubber Soul" (not yet reviewed)
December 6th 1965: The Byrds "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Debut releases by Lulu, The Byrds, The Who and future member of Pentangle Bert Jansch, who'll become one of the most prolific names on this list. /Lasts: Last album by The Searchers, who lose their album contract far too soon.
Best selling AAA album of the year: "Rubber Soul", beaten as best-selling long player by anyone only by 'The Sound Of Music' soundtrack
Worst selling AAA album of the year: It's between "Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads" - Otis only starts doing well with third album 'Otis Blue' later in the year - Davy Jones' first recordings (you know, the album sleeve that later appears in the MOnkees TV episode 'Monkee at the Movies') and either of Bert's two LPs.
Themes of the year: The music world splits into two, hard-core rock and folk, sometimes combining the two.
Total albums: 21
Interesting things to note: Look at the three iconic albums at the end of the list, all released the same week for the Christmas market. The Beach Boys clock up three albums in the year - a record for an AAA group only equalled once by The Monkees in 1967 - while most of the other groups are really in the swing of things now, releasing an album every six months like clockwork. Bert Jansch releases his first two LPs within a mere eight months of each other.


January 7th 1966: Simon and Garfunkel "Sounds Of Silence"
April 1st 1966: Otis Redding "The Soul Album" (not yet reviewed)
April 15th 1966: Rolling Stones "Aftermath"
May 6th 1966: "The Small Faces" (Decca)
May 16th 1966: The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" (not yet reviewed)
June 6th 1966: The Hollies "Would You Believe?" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1966": Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Lucky Thirteen" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1966": "John Renbourn" (Pentangle) (Not yet reviewed)
July 18th 1966: The Byrds "5D (Fifth Dimension"
August 5th 1966: The Beatles "Revolver"
August 15th 1966: Jefferson Airplane "Takes Off!"
"September" 1966: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Jack Orion" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1966: Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (Pentangle) "Bert and John" (not yet reviewed)
October 10th 1966: "The Monkees"
October 10th 1966: Simon and Garfunkel "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme"
October 15th 1966: Otis Redding "The Otis Dictionary Of Soul" (not yet reviewed)
October 28th 1966: The Kinks "Face To Face"
December 5th 1966: "Buffalo Springfield"
December 9th 1966: The Hollies "For Certain, Because..."
December 9th 1966: The Who "A Quick One While He's Away"

Firsts: Debut albums by The Small Faces, The Monkees, Jefferson Airplane and the Buffalo Springfield, plus the first record by future Pentangle guitarist John Renbourn. Lasts: October sees the release of Otis Redding's fifth and final album before his death the following year.
Best-selling album of the year: Shock! Horror! The Beatles are beaten into second place by - no, not 'Pet Sounds' (which sells poorly at first) but 'The Monkees', alos the best-selling record of the year in general.
Worst selling album of the year: Both the Small Faces and Buffalo Springfield debuts got their respective bands off to a slow start, although any of the Pentangle-member albums are arguably even harder to find.
Themes of the year: More psychedelic, with longer songs and 'experiments', some of which work only too well and others not at all.
Total of the year: 19, down on the previous year for the first time as bands on tight schedules start feeling the burn and also gain more control over release dates
Interesting things to note: My personal favourite year in music terms, with several bands either consolidating their successes or starting their own career journeys this year. Both October and December are busy months, with several key AAA albums released in the same week. Future Pentangle stars Bert Jansch and John Renbourn team up for the first time, which also means - thanks to a delayed solo album - that Bert becomes the only AAA member to release two different non-compilation albums within the same month.


January 9th 1967: The Monkees "More Of The Monkees" (not yet reviewed)
January 20th 1967: Rolling Stones "Between The Buttons"
"February" 1967: Jefferson Airplane "Surrealistic Pillow" (not yet reviewed)
"February" 1967: "Gene Clark with the Godsin Brothers" (The Byrds) (Not yet reviewed)
February 6th 1967: The Byrds "Younger Than Yesterday"
March 10th 1967: Cat Stevens "Matthew and Son" (not yet reviewed)
March 17th 1967: "The Grateful Dead"
May 22nd 1967: The Monkees "Headquarters"
"Mid 1967" Lulu "Loves Love To Love Lulu/Mickie Most Years/I'm A Tiger"
"June" 1967: The Hollies "Evolution"
June 23rd 1967: "The Small Faces" (Immediate)
June 1st 1967: The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club band" (not yet reviewed)
"July" 1967: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Nicola" (Not yet reviewed)
"August" 1967: "Big Brother and the Holding Company Featuring Janis Joplin" (not yet reviewed)
August 4th 1967: Pink Floyd "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn"
September 15th 1967: The Kinks "Something Else"
September 18th 1967: The Beach Boys "Smiley Smile" (not yet reviewed)
October 30th 1967: Buffalo Springfield "Again"
"November" 1967: The Hollies "Butterfly"
November 6th 1967: The Monkees "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd"
November 10th 1967: The Moody Blues "Days Of Future Passed" (not yet reviewed)
November 27th 1967: The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour"
November 30th 1967: Jefferson Airplane "After Bathing At Baxters"
"December" 1967: Cat Stevens "New Masters"
December 8th 1967: Rolling Stones "Their Satanic Majesties Request"
December 15th 1967: The Who "Sell Out"
December 18th 1967: The Beach Boys "Wild Honey"

Firsts: Debut albums by Cat Stevens, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues, plus ex-Byrd Gene Clark's first LP. Lasts: None
Best selling album of the year: Again The Monkees win with 'More Of The Monkees' (also the best selling album of the year in general), which out-sells even 'Sgt Peppers', although they did have more days of the year to sell the album than anyone else, releasing the record just nine days into the new year!
Worst selling album of the year: "Wild Honey" - following Brian Wilson's breakdown the Beach Boys simply aren't around to promote their new albums and are seen as 'old hat' after the non-appearance of 'Smile'. Bert Jansch didn't sell many copies of 'Nicola' either, one of his rarer records.
Themes of the year: Peace, love and drugs
Total albums: a massive 27, reflecting how many 'new' groups there are this year
Interesting things to note: The huge gap in the Beach Boys' discography caused by Brian Wilson's breakdown (although their two albums are hot on each other's tails), the length of time between Beatles albums, only for 'Peppers' to be followed up very quickly by 'MM Tour' and the impressive three albums by The Monkees released in their biggest year by some margin, doubly impressive when you consider they also recorded 50-odd episodes of their TV show during this year and the last few months of 1966! Also, a quirk of fate means that, despite having the whole year to choose from, ex-Byrd Gene Clark goes head-to-toe with his old band's first fully post-Clark record 'Younger Than Yesterday'.


January 15th 1968: The Byrds "The Notorious Byrd Brothers"
April 3rd 1968: Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends"
April 22nd 1968: The Monkees "The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees"
May 24th 1968: The Small Faces "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake"
"June" 1968: "The Pentangle" (not yet reviewed)
June 24th 1968: The Beach Boys "Friends"
June 28th 1968: Pink Floyd "A Saucerful Of Secrets"
"Mid" 1968: Graham Gouldmann (10cc) "The Graham Gouldmann Thing" (not yet reviewed)
July 18th 1968: Grateful Dead "Anthem Of The Sun"
July 22nd 1968: Stephen Stills/MIke Bloomfield/Al Kooper "Super Session (not yet reviewed)
July 26th 1968: The Moody Blues "In Search Of The Lost Chord"
July 30th 1968: Buffalo Springfield "Last Time Around"
August 12th 1968: Big Brother/Janis Joplin "Cheap Thrills"
August 30th 1968: The Byrds "Sweethearts Of The Rodeo" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1968: Jefferson Airplane "Crown Of Creation"
October 28th 1968: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark" (Not yet reviewed)
November 1st 1968: George Harrison "Wonderwall Music"
November 12th 1968: "Neil Young"
November 22nd 1968: "The Beatles" aka "The White Album"
November 22nd 1968: The Kinks "The Village Green Preservation Society" (not yet reviewed)
"December" 1968: Pentangle "Sweet Child" (not yet reviewed)
December 1st 1968: The Monkees "Head"
December 6th 1968: Rolling Stones "Beggar's Banquet"

Firsts: Pentangle, Neil Young and the first ever solo album by the Beatles or a member of CSN, plus the first appearance on this list by a future member of 10cc. Lasts: Buffalo Springfield's third and final album, plus the last time Big Brother work with Janis Joplin. 'Ogden's 'is also the last 'finished' Small Faces album although they'll crop up on this list once more.
Best selling album of the year: "The White Album" (it's actually the best-selling record of the 1960s as a whole!)
Worst selling album of the year: "Head". A weird soundtrack album to a weird film with an even weirder advertising campaign by a band fading rapidly in fortune kills what might be the band's finest work stone dead. The first Pentangle, last Buffalo Springfield and second Gene Clark album are all poor sellers too compared TO What's been/is to come.
Themes of the year: protest, blues, scarier psychedelia and mayhem.
Total albums: 24, down again slightly.
Interesting things to note: 'Friends', a sweet compact extremely short album about how small Brian Wilson's world has become was released the same week as Pink Floyd's 'Saucerful Of Secrets', an epic album that's quite lengthy despite containing just seven songs and which takes in, literally, the universe and everything (well, the heart of the sun at least). Note too how quick on the mark Neil Young is, releasing his debut record just four months after the demise of the Springfield. There's also not a single Who or Hollies album for the whole of this year, unusual for a band in the 1960s, while the generally slower Byrds surprise many by releasing two.


"January" 1969: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Birthday Blues" (Not yet reviewed)
January 13th 1969: The Beatles "Yellow Submarine" (not yet reviewed)
February 10th 1969: The Beach Boys "20/20"
February 15th 1969: The Monkees "Instant Replay"
March 5th 1969: The Byrds "Dr Byrds and Mr Hyde"
April 25th 1969: The Moody Blues "On The Threshold Of A Dream"
May 14th 1969: Neil Young "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (not yet reviewed)
May 23rd 1969: The Who "Tommy"
May 29th 1969: "Crosby, Stills and Nash"
"Mid 1969" Lulu "Lulu's Album"
June 13th 1969: Pink Floyd "More" (not yet reviewed)
June 20th 1969: Grateful Dead "Aoxomoxoa"
"August" 1969: The Hollies "Sing Dylan" (not yet reviewed)
"August" 1969: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "Through The Morning, Through The Night" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1969: Janis Joplin "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmik Blues Again Mama!"
September 26th 1969: The Beatles "Abbey Road"
"October" 1969: Pentangle "Basket Of Light"
October 1st 1969: The Monkees "Present"
October 10th 1969: The Kinks "Arthur"
"November" 1969: The Hollies "Sing Hollies"
"November" 1969: Jefferson Airplane "Volunteers" (not yet reviewed)
"November" 1969: The Small Faces "The Autumn Stone"
November 7th 1969: Pink Floyd "Ummagumma"
November 10th 1969: The Byrds "The Ballad Of Easy Rider"
November 10th 1969: Grateful Dead "Live/Dead" (not yet reviewed)
November 21st 1969: The Moody Blues "To Our Children's Children's Children"
December 5th 1969: Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Debut album by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Last album by The Small Faces (unfinished as it is).
Best selling AAA album of the year: 'Abbey Road', minutely beating the first CSN album and 'Let It Bleed'.
Worst selling AAA album of the year: 'Aoxomoxoa', which in fact does so badly it puts the Grateful Dead in debt to several million dollars after they agree to pay for all the studio time; luckily their live album of the year 'Live/Dead' is a strong seller done on the cheap.
Themes: Revolution, rocket ships, soundtrack albums to films about 'journeys' and the bittersweet feeling that an era is over.
Total of albums: 27 again, the same as in 1967
Interesting things to note: The Hollies and The Who return in strength after taking the previous year off - the former, in particular, don't leave themselves much gap between albums this year. Lulu also returns after a two year absence, although frankly most fans wished she hadn't (it's not one of her better LPs!) Note, too, that 'Instant Replay' is released by The Monkees just two months after 'Head', despite losing Peter Tork and most of their following.


January 3rd 1970: Syd Barratt (Pink Floyd) "The Madcap Laughs"
January 16th 1970: Lulu "New Routes" (not yet reviewed)
January 26th 1970: Simon and Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (not yet reviewed)
March 11th 1970: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Deja Vu"
April 17th 1970: Paul McCartney "McCartney"
May 8th 1970: The Beatles "Let It Be"
"June" 1970: The Monkees "Changes"
June 14th 1970: Grateful Dead "Workingman's Dead"
"Mid" 1970: Hotlegs (10cc) "Thinks...School Stinks!"
"July 1970": Lulu "Melody Fair" (not yet reviewed)
"July 1970": Cat Stevens "Mona Bone Jakon"
"July 1970": Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Magnetic South" (reviewed in part)
August 7th 1970: The Moody Blues "A Question Of Balance"
August 30th 1970: Neil Young "After The Goldrush"
August 31st 1970: The Beach Boys "Sunflower"
September 14th 1970: The Byrds "Untitled"
October 2nd 1970: Pink Floyd "Atom Heart Mother"
"November" 1970: Pentangle "Cruel Sister" (Not yet reviewed)
"November" 1970: The Hollies "Confessions Of The Mind"
"November" 1970: Paul Kantner/Grace Slick/Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra "Blows Against The Empire"
"November" 1970: Lindisfarne "Nicely Out Of Tune"
"November" 1970: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Loose Salute" (reviewed in part)
November 1st 1970: Grateful Dead "American Beauty"
November 14th 1970: "Syd Barratt" (Pink Floyd) (reviewed in part)
November 16th 1970: "Stephen Stills"
November 23rd 1970: Cat Stevens "Tea For The Tillerman"
November 27th 1970: The Kinks "Lola v Powerman and The Money-Go-Round"
November 28h 1970: Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) "Music From The Body" (reviewed in part)
November 30th 1970: George Harrison "All Things Must Pass"
December 11th 1970: "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band"
December 11th 1970: "Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Solo releases by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney (we're ignoring the three 'unfinished music' LPs and the 'Family Way' soundtrack for now), Pink Floyders Syd Barratt and Roger Waters and Monkee Mike Nesmith; First CSNY album nine months after the first CSN album and first 'proper' solo effort by Stills; 10cc's first recordx but under a different name; Lindisfarne's first record under their real name. Lasts: The final albums by The Monkees and Simon and Garfunkel.
Best selling AAA album of the year: 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', still in the top ten best-selling albums today!
Worst selling AAA album of the year: No one really buys Lindisfarne's 'Nicely Out Of Tune' until the release of 'Fog On The Tyne' and the re-issue of 'Lady Eleanor' the following year, while Roger Waters' 'Music From The Body' is something of a collector's item amongst Floyd fans (sadly for them it only contains three actual 'songs'!)
Themes: The year is split between huge epic LPs in gatefold sleeves and quite understated releases in fairly plain covers. Otherwise it's business as usual: with an emphasis on gnomes, bovines, inflatable giraffes and dustbins.
Total of albums: 31, with more solo albums than ever before.
Interesting things to note: Definitely a good year for Pink Floyd: as well as releasing one of their better LPs Roger Waters releases his first solo album (well, technically a co-write with avant gardist Ron Geesin) and founder Syd Barratt releases his only two records just ten months apart. Note too one of the big arguments that ended The Beatles was the dispute over the clashing release schedules of 'Let It Be' and 'McCartney', which ended up with Paul threatening Ringo according to some accounts; The gap between Cat Stevens' first two 'comeback' albums for Island is ridiculously short (four months!) with the Grateful Dead taking only a month longer between their two releases of the year; Lennon's and Harrison's first 'proper' solo records are released just a fortnight apart for the Christmas market; Mike Nesmith releases his first two solo records a mere four months apart and a mere few weeks after the final Monkees band LP (which doesn't feature him); Note the twin' John-and-Yoko 'Plastic Ono Band' LPs released the same day; November 1970 is also the busiest AAA month on record with an impressive twelve albums out across the 30 days, an amazing six of them all considered good enough to be 'core' (ie they're part of our original 101 classic albums list).


January 11th 1971: Janis Joplin "Pearl"
February 22nd 1971: David Crosby "If Only I Could Remember My Name"
March 26th 1971: The Kinks "Percy" (not yet reviewed)
April 23rd 1971: Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers"
"May" 1971: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Nevada Fighter" (reviewed in part)
"May" 1971: John Entwistle (The Who) "Smash Your Head Against The Wall" (not yet reviewed)
May 17th 1971: Paul and Linda McCartney "Ram"
May 28th 1971: Graham Nash "Songs For Beginners"
"June" 1971: Nils Lofgren and Grin "Grin" (not yet reviewed)
"June" 1971: "Davy Jones" (Monkees) (part reviewed)
"June" 1971: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Rosemary Lane" (not yet reviewed)
June 3rd 1971: The Byrds "Byrdmaniax"
June 30th 1971: Stephen Stills "Stephen Stills II"
July 23rd 1971: The Moody Blues "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour"
"August 1971": Gene Clark (The Byrds) "Gene Clark" aka "White Light"
"August 1971": Gilbert O'Sullivan "Himself" (not yet reviewed)
August 14th 1971: The Who "Who's Next" and
August 30th 1971: The Beach Boys "Surf's Up" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1971: Jefferson Airplane "Bark"
September 20th 1971 (In USA, UK delayed till December): Yoko Ono "Fly" (Not yet reviewed)
"October" 1971: Lindisfarne "Fog On The Tyne"
"October" 1971: Pentangle "Reflection"
"October 1971": Cat Stevens "Teaser and the Firecat" (Not yet reviewed)
October 8th 1971: The Hollies "A Distant Light" (not yet reviewed)
October 8th 1971: John Lennon "Imagine" (not yet reviewed)
October 24th 1971: "Grateful Dead" aka "Skulls and Roses"
"November" 1971: Paul Kantner/Grace Slick "Sunfighter"
November 5th 1971: Pink Floyd "Meddle"
November 17th 1971: The Byrds "Farther Along"
November 26th 1971: The Kinks "Muswell Hillbillies" (not yet reviewed)
December 7th 1971: Wings "Wildlife"

Firsts: Nils Lofgren's first LP with his band 'Grin'; First album by 'Wings'; First solo releases by both Crosby and Nash; John Entwistle releases the world's first solo Who album. Lasts: Janis Joplin's fourth and final LP released posthumously four months after her death; final 'proper' Byrds albums (although they'll be back with a short-lived 'reunion' the following year.
Best selling AAA album of the year: It's a close run thing between 'Who's Next' 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Fog On The Tyne', strong sellers all three (Lindisfarne are, in fact, the top selling UK act of the year although their sales are split between 'Fog' and the re-issue of their debut LP).
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Possibly 'Percy', a Kinks album nobody bought which was the soundtrack to a film nobody watched.
Themes: Pig's ears, penis transplants, zipped-up-trousers and fish wrapped up in newspapers - it's one hell of a year.
Total Albums: 31, equal to last year.
Interesting things to note: This is probably the most 'normal' AAA year of the lot: almost every band still around in 1971 released one album but no more (with the exception of Paul McCartney who takes Wings to flight a mere seven months after 'Ram').


"January" 1972: Nils Lofgren and Grin "1+1"
January 14th 1972: "Paul Simon"
January 20th 1972: Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) "Garcia" (Not yet reviewed)
"February" 1972: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Tantamount To Treason" (reviewed in part)
February 14th 1972: Neil Young "Harvest" (not yet reviewed)
April 5th 1972: "Graham Nash, David Crosby"
April 12th 1972: "Stephen Stills/Manassas"
"May" 1972: Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) "Ace" (Not yet reviewed)
"May" 1972: John Entwistle (The Who) "Whistle Rhymes" (Not yet reviewed)
May 12th 1972: Rolling Stones "Exile On Main Street"
May 15th 1972: The Beach Boys "Carl and The Passions - So Tough"
June 2nd 1972: Pink Floyd "Obscured By Clouds"
"Mid" 1972: Allan Clarke (Hollies) "My Real Name Is 'Arold" (reviewed in part)
July 20th 1972: Jefferson Airplane "Long John Silver" (not yet reviewed)
"August" 1972: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "And The Hits Just Keep On Coming..." (reviewed in part)
August 25th 1972: The Kinks "Everybody's In Show-Biz"
"Autumn" 1972: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Back To Front" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1972: Lindisfarne "Dingly Dell"
"September 1972": Pentangle "Solomon's Seal"
September 15th 1972: John Lennon/Yoko Ono "Sometime In New York City"
September 27th 1972: Cat Stevens "Catch-Bull At Four"
"October" 1972: Pete Townshend "Who Came First" (reviewed in part)
"November" 1972: The Hollies "Romany"
November 5th 1972: Grateful Dead "Europe '72"
December 20th 1972: The Moody Blues "Seventh Sojourn"

Firsts: Paul Simon's first solo album a full 20 months before Art Garfunkel's; The first time Yoko Ono gets a co-credit on one of Lennon's mainstream albums; The first of two albums for Stephen Stills' short-lived super-group Manassas, his substitute for CSNY; the first solo albums by both Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead; first solo album by Allan Clarke of the Hollies; the first solo albums by Pete Townshend (Not that many people buy it, given that it's a limited edition tribute album to guru Meher Baba!). Lasts: The final Moody Blues album before a six year 'rest'; Lindisfarne's final album before splitting in two and a six year 'rest' for the original line-up; the final Pentangle album before a fifteen-year rest and many line-up changes; the final Jefferson Airplane studio album before reforming as Jefferson Starship in two years' time.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: "Harvest", the only Neil Young album ever to make #1 in the charts.
Worst selling AAA album of the year: It's 50:50 between 'Romany' , a gorgeous but poorly marketed Hollies album (that saw the band relegated to German-only releases for the next year) and 'Solomon's Seal', a partly gorgeous but even worse marketed Pentangle album.
Themes: Almost every album cover released this year features somebody's face (even if 'Obscured By Clouds' has it out-of-focus and you'll need your magnifying glass for 'Exile on Main Street') or, in the case of 'Europe '72', a big boot.
Total albums: 25, down slightly from the year before.
Interesting things to note: Again we're down to one AAA album per year now, but note the differing fortunes of two former 60s greats with new albums out the same week: The Stones have never been bigger or more acclaimed than with 'Exile on Main Street' but The Beach Boys score one of their worst selling albums ever with 'Carl and the Passions'; three Grateful Dead-related albums make this their busiest year and all three are heralded as 'classics' by at least one group of Deadheads.


"January" 1973: The Hollies "Out On The Road"
"January" 1973: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "Roadmaster" (reviewed in part)
January 8th 1973: The Beach Boys "Holland"
January 8th 1973 (in USA, UK delayed till February): Yoko Ono "Approximately Infinite Universe" (link missing - will update!)
"February" 1973: Nils Lofgren and Grin "All Out"
"February" 1973: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Moonshine" (Not yet reviewed)
March 7th 1973: "The Byrds" (not yet reviewed)
March 23rd 1973: Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon"
"April" 1973: "Roger Daltrey" (The Who) (not yet reviewed)
April 23rd 1973: Stephen Stills/Manassas "Down The Road" (not yet reviewed)
April 30th 1973: Wings "Red Rose Speedway"
"May" 1973: Paul Kantner/Grace Slick/David Freiberg "Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun" (not yet reviewed)
"May" 1973: John Entwistle (The Who) "As Rigor Mortis Sets In" (not yet reviewed)
May 5th 1973: Paul Simon "There Goes Rhymin' Simon"
"June 1973": "Roger McGuinn" (The Byrds) (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1973": Lindisfarne "Roll On Ruby" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1973": "Lulu" (Not yet reviewed)
June 22nd 1973: George Harrison "Living In The Material World"
"July 1973": "10cc"
"July 1973": Allan Clarke (Hollies) "Headroom"
July 13th 1973: Grateful Dead "Wake Of The Flood"
July 25th 1973: Cat Stevens "Foreigner"
August 31st 1973: Rolling Stones "Goat's Head Soup"
"September" 1973: Art Garfunkel "Angel Clare" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1973: Gilbert O'Sullivan "I'm A Writer, Not A Fighter" (not yet reviewed)
"October" 1973: Nils Lofgren and Grin "Gone Crazy" (not yet reviewed)
"October" 1973: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash" (reviewed in part)
October 19th 1973: The Who "Quadrophenia"
November 16th 1973: The Kinks "Preservation" (Act One)
November 16th 1973: John Lennon "Mind Games"
November 16th 1973: Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) "Aah...Laine" (Not yet reviewed)
November 23rd 1973: Yoko Ono "Feeling The Space" (not yet reviewed)
"December" 1973: Graham Nash "Wild Tales"
December 7th 1973: Wings "Band On The Run"
"Late 1973": Alan Hull (Lindisfarne) "Pipedream" (reviewed in part)

Firsts: Art Garfunkel solo, Roger McGuinn solo (a mere three months after the Byrds break up for good), Roger Daltrey solo, Alan Hull solo and 10cc's first album under that name. Lasts: Grin waves goodbye; The Byrds fly away for good this time; Manassas go down the road for good; Paul Kantner and Grace Slick's last in their trio of joint albums before the Starship begin again.
Best selling AAA album of the year: Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' which will stay on the charts for the next fifteen years! Wings finally come good with 'Band On The Run', in second place, another of the decade's strongest selling albums.
Worst selling AAA album of the year: 'Out On The Road', a Hollies album only released in Germany.
Themes: There's a theme of foreign lands this year, what with a German-only Hollies album that's a loose concept LP about travel, a Beach Boys album entitled 'Holland', 'Band On The Run' being recorded in Laos and Cat Stevens writing about his life as a 'Foreigner' tax exile in Brazil.
Total albums for the year: 35, up on last year.
Interesting things to note: Wings release two key albums just eight months apart; Roger McGuinn tries to overshadow a lacklustre Byrds reunion LP with his own album a mere four months later; both 'Preservation' and 'Mind Games' are out the same day and, in two entirely differing ways, tackle the same themes of politics and disillusionment.


January 4th 1974: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane/Starship) "Manhole" (reviewed in part)
"March" 1974: "The Hollies" (not yet reviewed)
"March 1974": Cat Stevens "Buddha and the Chocolate Box"
"Spring" 1974: Jack The Lad "It's Jack The Lad"
"May 1974": 10cc "Sheet Music"
May 8th 1974: The Kinks "Preservation" (Act Two)
"June 1974": Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) "Compliments Of Garcia" (Not yet reviewed)
"June 1974": Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) "Monkey Grip" (not yet reviewed)
June 24th 1974: Grateful Dead "From The Mars Hotel"
"July" 1974: Ronnie Lane (Small Faces) "Anymore For Anymore" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1974": "The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band" (Byrds/Buffalo Springfield) (reviewed in part)
"Mid 1974": "Terry Sylvester" (Hollies) aka "I Believe" (reviewed in part)
July 19th 1974: Neil Young "Time Fades Away"
"August" 1974: "Allan Clarke" (Hollies) (reviewed in part)
"Autumn" 1974: Lindisfarne "Happy Daze"
"September" 1974: Jefferson Starship "Dragonfly"
"September" 1974: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "No Other" reviewed in part)
"September" `1974: Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) "Peace On You" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1974: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "L.A.Turnaround" (Not yet reviewed)
September 13th 1974: Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) "I've Got My Own Album To Do" (reviewed in part)
"October" 1974: Gilbert O'Sullivan "A Stranger In My Own Back Yard"
October 4th 1974: John Lennon "Walls and Bridges"
October 18th 1974: Rolling Stones "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" (not yet reviewed)
"Late" 1974: Jack The Lad "The Old Straight Track"
"Late" 1974: Ronnie Lane (Small Faces) "Slim Chance" (not yet reviewed)
December 20th 1974: George Harrison "Dark Horse"

Firsts: Lindisfarne spin-off group Jack The Lad, who release two albums this year either side of what is left of the original band. Jefferson Starship also take off properly this year. In addition, Bill Wyman becomes the first Stone to release a solo album just beating soon-to-be Stone Ronnie Wood (we're ignoring 'Brian Jones presents the Pan Pipes of Aujouka' for now on the grounds that he doesn't technically play on it and it wasn't widely available until the late 1970s), Terry Sylvester releases his first bash at his only true solo album (re-released twice more over the years with different track listings), Grace Slick releases the first of her four solo albums and Ronnie Lane is the first of the Small Faces to release an album after leaving The Faces to create his own band Slim Chance. Lasts: It's Lennon's last album before his 'house-husband' semi-retirement phase and the Grateful Dead take a break after their album this year too - erm, for a full year (that's long by Dead standards). This is also the last album by Lindisfarne Mark II.
Best selling AAA album of the year: To be honest none of the albums release this year are best sellers. 'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll' might win it by a nose, but even that record doesn't sell as well as the last two Stones LPs.
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Possibly 'Preservation Act Two' - Kinks albums had been in a steady sales decline ever since 1970 and a lot of the fans still left hated the first 'Preservation' so didn't bother with the second (it's well worth your time, though, having aged rather well).
Themes: Welcome to 1974: Dirt tracks, walls, bridges, hotels on alien landscapes and a chocolate-covered deity.
Total albums for the year: 26, with another rise in the number of solo albums.
Interesting things to note: Look how close 'Dark Horse' is to Christmas, the second-latest any AAA album is released in any year (I know George Harrison was more interested in the 'New Year's market what with 'Ding Dong Ding Dong' on the album and all but still!)


"February" 1975: The Hollies "Another Night" (not yet reviewed)
"February" 1975: Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) "Old and In The Way" (not yet reviewed)
"February" 1975: John Entwistle (The Who) "Mad Dog!" (Not yet reviewed)
February 21st 1975: John Lennon "Rock and Roll" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1975: "Nils Lofgren" (not yet reviewed)
"March 1975": 10cc "The Original Soundtrack"
"March" 1975: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "The Prison" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1975: Keith Moon (The Who) "Two Sides Of The Moon" (not yet reviewed)
March 14th 1975: Justin Hayward/John Lodge (Moody Blues) "The Blue Jays"
May 16th 1975: The Kinks "A Soap Opera"
May 27th 1975: Wings "Venus and Mars"
"June 1975": "Roger McGuinn and Band" (The Byrds) (reviewed in part)
June 13th 1975: Jefferson Starship "Red Octopus" (not yet reviewed)
June 20th 1975: Neil Young "Tonight's The Night"
June 23rd 1975: Stephen Stills "Stills"
"Mid" 1975: Lindisfarne "Rough Diamonds" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1975: Keith and Donna Godchaux (Grateful Dead) "Keith and Donna" (reviewed in part)
"Mid 1975": Alan Hull (Lindisfarne) "Squire" (not yet reviewed)
July 4th 1975: Roger Daltrey (The Who) "Ride A Rock Horse" (not yet reviewed)
July 11th 1975: Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) "From Mighty Oaks" (reviewed in part)
"August" 1975: Grateful Dead "Blues For Allah" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1975: Graeme Edge Band (Moody Blues) "Kick Off Your Muddy Boots" (reviewed in part)
September 12th 1975: Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here"
September 15th 1975: Crosby-Nash "Wind On The Water"
"October" 1975: Art Garfunkel "Breakaway"
"October" 1975: Paul Simon "Still Crazy After All These Years"
"October" 1975: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Santa Barbara Honeymoon" (Not yet reviewed)
October 3rd 1975: George Harrison "Extra Texture" (not yet reviewed)
October 3rd 1975: The Who "By Numbers"
"November 1975": Cat Stevens "Numbers"
November 10th 1975: Neil Young "Zuma" (not yet reviewed)
November 17th 1975: The Kinks "Schoolboys In Disgrace" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Nils Lofgren's splits from Grin and goes solo; Keith Moon; the only album by the Grateful Dead's Keith and Donna Godchaux; plus four members of the Moody Blues release albums this year (all but Mike Pinder). Lasts: None.
Best selling AAA album of the year: This is the year of the sequel: "Wish You Were Here", Pink Floyd's follow-up to 'Dark Side Of The Moon, is a natural contender, with Wings' "Venus and Mars" - follow up to "Band On The Run" - is a close second.
Worst selling AAA albums of the year: The Kinks weren't popular last year and the much-maligned 'A Soap Opera' doesn't do much to restore favour (even if it's one of my favourite Kinks albums...)
Themes: This is the year of the wacky album title: 10cc promise an 'original soundtrack' to a film that doesn't actually exist and George Harrison's extra textured cover is embossed and orange, while goodness only knows what Jefferson Starship meant by 'Red Octopus'.
Total albums for the year: An impressive 32.
Interesting things to notice: Cat Stevens ''Numbers" and the similarly titled 'Who By Numbers' are only released three weeks apart and are listed together. This is the only time the same title - or nearly the same title - appears on the whole list. That's a nice bit of trivia for you whenever someone invents an AAA version of Trivial Pursuits! Ray Thomas manages to beat fellow Moody Graeme Edge into the shops by two months - despite booking the studio afterwards (a delay with the Blue Jays causes all sorts of problems with the timings). Elsewhere note the two Kinks albums only six months apart (normal for the 60s, rare for the 70s) and the close proximity of both 'Breakaway' and 'Wind On The Water': both albums feature Art Garfunkel and Crosby-/Nash and were made back-to-back in the same studios for the most part.


"Early" 1976: "Steve Marriott" (Small Faces) (not yet reiewed)
"Early" 1976: Ronnie Lane (Small Faces) "One For The Road" (Not yet reviewed)
"January" 1976: The Hollies "Write On" (not yet reviewed)
"January" 1976: 10cc "How Dare You!" (not yet reviewed)
"February" 1976: Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) "Reflections" (Not yet reviewed)
"March" 1976: Stephen Stills "Illegal Stills" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1976: Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) "Stone Alone" (not yet reviewed)
March 25th 1976: Wings "At The Speed Of Sound" (not yet reviewed)
"April" 1976: Mike Pinder (Moody Blues) "The Promise" (reviewed in part)
April 23rd 1976: Rolling Stones "Black and Blue" (not yet reviewed)
"May 1976": Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) "Cardiff Rose" (not yet reviewed)
"June" 1976: Jefferson Starship "Spitfire"
"June" 1976: Nils Lofgren "Cry Tough" (not yet reviewed)
"June" 1976: Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) "Hopes, Wishes and Dreams" (reviewed in part)
June 25th 1976: Crosby-Nash "Whistling Down The Wire" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1976": Lulu "Heaven and Earth and The Stars" (not yet reviewed)
"1976": Chris Hillman (Byrds) "Slippin' Away" (reviewed in part)
"July" 1976: Allan Clarke (Hollies) "I've Got Time" (reviewed in part)
July 5th 1976: The Beach Boys "15 Big Ones" (not yet reviewed)
"August" 1976: Jack The Lad "Jackpot" (not yet reviewed)
September 10th 1976: Stephen Stills/Neil Young Band "Long May You Run"
November 19th 1976: George Harrison "33 and 1/3rd" (not yet reviewed)
"December" 1976: The Hollies "Russian Roulette"

Firsts: The one-off by the Stills-Young band and Moody Mike Pinder's only solo LP. Lasts: The one-off by the Stills-Young band. Jack The Lad also call it a day after their album this year. Plus this is the last album by the 'Godley and Creme' line-up of 10cc; last of Ray Thomas' two solo albums.
Best selling AAA album of the year: Another terrible year for AAA bands. Only the Beatles-related, Stills/Young and 10cc albums chart, none of them that highly! 'Wings at the Speed Of Sound' probably wins on points, but it's a hollow victory seeing as the album only just makes the top ten.
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Good luck finding Lulu's album, I've never even seen it!
Themes: This is the year of the surprise return. We last heard of the Beach Boys back in January 1973 and it's taken them this long to gain a new recording contract. Many fans will wish they hadn't bothered...The Crosby-Nash and Stills-Young recordings were also planned to be on the first CSNY album since 1970, before the band split up (again!) This is also Lulu's first album in a number of years.
Total number of albums for the year: 23, woefully low (that's a mere one every two weeks!)
Interesting things to note: Stephen Stills had a hand in three albums this year, with some of the Crosby/Nash songs 'arranged' by CSNY together as well as his releases solo and with Neil Young. Interestingly 1976 is the only year till the 1990s that doesn't see the release of a solo Neil Young album. Steve Marriott's first solo album is up against Ronnie Lane's second album, releases more or less simultaneously. Note too the Hollies bookended the list, with the 'first' and 'last' non-solo releases of the year - not bad considering they also released the 'Hollies Live Hits' album the same year! As for the Beach Boys Birthday album, was it really '15 big ones' ago we started this list?! (Err no - there's a bit of fudging going on with the title we think!)


"January" 1977: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "Two Sides To Every Story" (reviewed in part)
January 21st 1977: Pink Floyd "Animals"
January 28th 1977: John Lodge (Moody Blues) "Natural Avenue" (reviewed in part)
February 11th 1977: Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) "Songwriter"
February 12th 1977: The Kinks "Sleepwalker"
"March 1977": Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) "Thunderbyrd" (Not yet reviewed)
"March 1977": Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "From A Radio Engine To Photon Wing" (reviewed in part)
April 18th 1977: The Beach Boys "Love You" (not yet reviewed)
"May 1977": 10cc "Deceptive Bends" (not yet reviewed)
"May 1977": Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "A Rare Conundrum" (not yet reviewed)
"May 1977": Roger Daltrey (The Who) "One Of The Boys" (Not yet reviewed)
May 6th 1977: Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) "Holly Days" (Not yet reviewed)
May 27th 1977: Neil Young "American Stars 'n' Bars"
May 28th 1977: Cat Stevens "Izitso?"
June 17th 1977: Crosby, Stills and Nash "CSN"
"Mid" 1977: Nils Lofgren "I Came To Dance" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1977: Graeme Edge Band (Moody Blues) "Paradise Ballroom" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1977: Godley and Creme (10cc) "Consequences" (reviewed in part)
"1977": Chris Hillman (Byrds) "Clear Sailin" (reviewed in part)
July 27th 1977: Grateful Dead "Terrapin Station"
August 27th 1977: Dennis Wilson (Beach Boys) "Pacific Ocean Blue" (reviewed along with unfinished second album 'Bambuu')
September 16th 1977: Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane (Who/Small Faces) "Rough Mix" (reviewed in part)
"October" 1977: Art Garfunkel "Watermark" (not yet reviewed)
"November" 1977: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Southpaw" (not yet reviewed)
Firsts: Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane's one-off collaboration is released this year. Dennis Wilson becomes the first Beach Boy to go solo (although sadly he never does finish his second album). Godley and Creme release their first joint LP after leaving 10cc. John Lodge's only solo album before re-joining the Moody Blues. Lasts: None. What a boring year!
Best selling AAA album of the year: 'CSN' sold well in America and 'Animals' sold well in Britain though each album did comparatively badly across the pond. As ever in cases of Britain versus the USA, America probably wins!
Worst selling AAA album of the year: 'I Came To Dance' is generally recognised as being the weakest link in Nils Lofgren's back catalogue, both commercially and artistically.
Themes: A whole hodge-podge of subjects showing what a schizophrenic year punk's 'year zero' was, taking in Terrapins dancing on a railway platform, Cat Stevens playing with a yo-yo in his 'red room', Ray Davies' insomnia and a giant helium pigs flying over Battersea Power Station.
Total albums for the year: Only 24. Well that's less writing to do I suppose.
Interesting things to note: That 'Animals' becomes one of the best-selling albums of the year despite being released at the worst time, financially speaking, when record buyers are thought to have least money (just after Christmas). Note too the release of two 'transitional' back-to-basics albums release a day apart: 'American Stars and Bars' and 'Izitso?' The second half of the year is the worst six months yet in terms of AAA releases.


January 13th 1978: Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) "Heaven Help The Fool" (Not yet reviewed)
February 6th 1978: Jefferson Starship "Earth" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1978: The Hollies " A Crazy Steal" (not yet reviewed)
March 31st 1978: Wings "London Town"
"April" 1978: Jerry Garcia Band (Grateful Dead) "Cats Under The Stars" (reviewed in part)
May 19th 1978: The Kinks "Misfits" (not yet reviewed)
May 25th 1978: "David Gilmour" (Pink Floyd) (reviewed in part)
"June" 1978: Lindisfarne "Back and Fourth" (not yet reviewed)
June 9th 1978: The Moody Blues "Octave"
June 9th 1978: Rolling Stones "Some Girls"
"Mid" 1978: Allan Clarke (Hollies) "I Wasn't Born Yesterday" (reviewed in part)
July 7th 1978: "Dire Straits"
August 18th 1978: The Who "Who Are You"
September 1st 1978: 10cc "Bloody Tourists"
September 15th 1978: Rick Wright (Pink Floyd) "Wet Dream" (reviewed in part)
October 2nd 1978: The Beach Boys "M.I.U. Album" (not yet reviewed)
October 21st 1978: Neil Young "Comes A Time"
October 31st 1978: Stephen Stills "Thoroughfare Gap" (not yet reviewed)
November 18th 1978: Grateful Dead "Shakedown Street" (not yet reviewed)
December 3rd 1978: Cat Stevens "Back To Earth" (Not yet reviewed)
"Late" 1978: Godley and Creme (10cc) "L" (reviewed in part)
Firsts: Lindisfarne are back, for the first time in six years with the 'proper' line-up! Ditto The Moody Blues, who broke up six months after the Geordies and yet release their reunion album the very same month. 'Dire Straits' also begin their 15 year long career this year. David Gilmour and Rick Wright become the third and fourth members of Pink Floyd to release a solo album. Lasts: Cat Stevens, before his return under a new name in the 21st century. Also 'A Crazy Steal' is the end of an era as from now on it will be cover songs for The Hollies all the way through their album career...
The best-selling AAA Album of the year: 'Some Girls' does well by 70s Stones standards and 'Who Are You' is the biggest Who album in years but this year's title is probably won by new-comers Dire Straits who sell steadily via word of mouth the whole of the second half of the year (the album charts long into 1979 as well).
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Probably 'Thoroughfare Gap'. CSN are very out of fashion at this point in time and Stills' decision to release a disco album a year late doesn't exactly win him over many new fans.
Themes: Places are back in fashion again, with 'London' 'Earth' (twice over) the fictional 'Shakedown Street' and, err, the Maharishi Institute University of California all name-checked this year.
Total albums for the year: 21,down slightly - especially on solo albums.
Interesting things to note: June is a particularly busy month. Two very different AAA albums are released the same day, June 9th, with the Moody Blues' lushest, proggiest album and the Stones' attempt at punk about as big a contrast between two AAA albums as you'll find. No other AAA albums are ever released on this day before or since which is quite, erm, odd.


"Early 1979": Lulu "Don't Take Love For Granted" (not yet reviewed)
"Early" 1979: Ronnie Lane "See Me" (not yet reviewed)
"February" 1979: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Avocat" (Not yet reviewed)
February 23rd 1979: "George Harrison"
"March" 1979: The Hollies "5317704"
March 15th 1979: Art Garfunkel "Fate For Breakfast" (not yet reviewed)
March 19th 1979: The Beach Boys "L.A. Light Album"
"April" 1979: "McGuinn, Clark and Hillman" (The Byrds) (reviewed in part)
"May" 1979: Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "Infinite Rider On The Big Dogma" (reviewed in part)
June 8th 1979: Wings "Back To The Egg" (link gone missing!!!)
June 15th 1979: Dire Straits "Communique" (not yet reviewed)
June 22nd 1979: Neil Young "Rust Never Sleeps" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1979: Nils Lofgren "Nils" (Not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1979: Allan Clarke (Hollies) "Legendary Heroes" aka "The Only Ones" (reviewed in part)
"Mid" 1979: Ian McLagan (Small Faces) "Troublemaker" (Not yet reviewed)
"August" 1979: Alan Hull (Lindisfarne) "Phantoms" (aka "Isn't It Strange?" by "Radiator") (reviewed in part)
"Autumn" 1979: Lindisfarne "The News"
September 9th 1979: The Kinks "Low Budget" (not yet reviewed)
"October" 1979: The Human League "Reproduction" (not yet reviewed)
November 1st 1979: Jefferson Starship "Freedom At Point Zero"
November 30th 1979: Pink Floyd "The Wall"
"Late" 1979: Godley and Creme (10cc) "Freeze Frame" (reviewed in part)

Firsts: The Human League begin their run on our list. McGuinn-Clark-Hillman is as close to The Byrds as fans will ever get post-1973, although many fans wish they hadn't bothered. Ian McLagan becomes the third member of the Small Faces to release a solo LP. Lasts: None.
Best selling AAA album of the year: 'The Wall' by one of the highest margins on the list despite having three things working against it: 1) it's a pricey double LP 2) it's released the closest to the end of the year and 3) it has one of the most boring album covers of all time (lots of bricks). The good news is having a #1 hit single in 'Another Brick In The Wall' probably helps quite a lot...
Worst selling AAA album of the year: Good luck finding this year's Lulu album as well!
Themes: There's a theme of breakfast at the start of the year (Wings lay eggs and Art Garfunkel eats fate), there's a run of 'newspaper' themes albums in the middle of the year (more on that story later!) and the year ends with themes of repression and obstacles.
Total albums for the year: 22, identical to last year.
Interesting things to note: The title of Lindisfarne's album this year, 'The News', was a working title for Dire Straits' 'Communique' the band decided not to use (Lindisfarne guitarist Si Cowe was a friend of Dire Straits drummer Pick Withers and was there at the 'band meeting' to decide the album name!) Note too how close Alan Hull's third solo album is to 'The News' despite sitting in the vaults for two years and being recorded under a different name (by the band 'Radiator') - clearly the record company think 'The News' will be as big a hit as 'Back and Fourth' was (it isn't). March and June are both busy months again: with two 'failed' AAA reunion albums by Wings and Dire Straits followed by Neil Young's biggest success in seven years, all released a week apart from each other in June.


"Early" 1980: Graham Gouldmann (10cc) "Animalympics" (reviewed in part)
February 16th 1980: Graham Nash "Earth and Sky" (not yet reviewed)
March 18th 1980: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane/Starship) "Dreams"
March 24th 1980: The Beach Boys "Keepin' The Summer Alive"
March 28th 1980: 10cc "Look, Hear, Are You Normal?"
April 21st 1980: Pete Townshend (The Who) "Empty Glass"
April 28th 1980: Grateful Dead "Go To Heaven" (not yet reviewed)
"May 1980": Human League "Travelogue" (not yet reviewed)
May 16th 1980: Paul McCartney "McCartney II"
June 13th 1980:Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) "Nite Flights" (reviewed in part)
June 20th 1980: Rolling Stones "Emotional Rescue" (Not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1980: The Hollies "Sing Holly" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1980: Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman featuring Gene Clark (The Byrds) "City" (reviewed in part)
"Mid 1980": Ray Jackson (Lindisfarne) "In The Night" (not yet reviewed)
July 18th 1980: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Thirteen Down" (not yet reviewed)
September 28th 1980: Dave Davies (Kinks) "AFL1-3603" (reviewed in part)
"October" 1980: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Off Centre"
"October" 1980: paul Simon "One-Trick Pony"
October 17th 1980: Dire Straits "Makin' Movies"
October 29th 1980: Neil Young "Hawks and Doves"
November 17th 1980: John Lennon and Yoko Ono "Double Fantasy" (not yet reviewed)
November 21st 1980: 10cc "Ten Out Of Ten"
December 6th 1980: Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) "Japanese Tears" (reviewed in part)
Firsts: 1980 sees Paul McCartney's first solo album in ten years and Dave Davies' first ever album away from The Kinks a massive 13 years after starting work on one! Lindisfarne's Ray Jackson releases his one and only solo this month. Lasts: Sadly this year also sees colleague John Lennon's last ever album, although a posthumous album is on our list in four years' time. McGuinn-Clark-Hillman fold after this year too.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Double Fantasy' is a slow seller at first but understandably does rather well once creator John Lennon dies.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: Take your pick between 'Ten out of Ten' and 'Hollies Sing Holly' , neither of which chart.
Themes: Numbers - there's 'Macca 2' 'Double Fantasy' '10 out of 10'...
Total number of albums for the year: 22, slightly down again.
Interesting things to note: The much-delayed10cc album 'Look Hear' is closely followed by next album 'Ten Out of Ten' only eight months later - the shortest gap between any 10cc studio LPs.


January 28th 1981: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplae/Starship) "Welcome To The Wrecking Ball" (reviewed in part)
March 16th 1981: The Who "Face Dances"
March 27th 1981: "Carl Wilson" (Beach Boys)(not yet reviewed)
April 21st 1981: Jefferson Starship "Modern Times" (not yet reviewed)
May 3rd 1981: Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) "Fictitious Sports" (not yet reviewed)
May 11th 1981: Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane/Starship) "Balin" (Not yet reviewed)
May 15th 1981: The Moody Blues "Long Distance Voyager" (not yet reviewed)
June 5th 1981: George Harrison "Somewhere In England"
June 12th 1981:Yoko Ono "Season Of Glass" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1981": Nils Lofgren "Time Fades Away" (not yet reviewed)
"August" 1981: Art Garfunkel "Scissors Cut" (not yet reviewed)
August 24th 1981: Rolling Stones "Tattoo You"
September 23rd 1981: John Entwistle (The Who) "Too Late The Hero" (not yet reviewed)
"October" 1981: Godley and Creme (10cc) "Ismism" (reviewed in part)
October 8th 1981: Mike Love (Beach Boys) "Looking Back With Love"
October 16th 1981: Dave Davies (Kinks) "Glamour" (reviewed in part)
October 20th 1981: Human League "Dare" (not yet reviewed)
October 21st 1981: Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) "Bobby and the Midnites" (Not yet reviewed)
October 28th 1981: Neil Young "Re-Ac-Tor" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: solo albums by lots of people - Carl Wilson, Marty Balin, Mike Love... Lasts: None. It's that kind of a year - anonymous in AAA terms.
Best-selling AAA Album of the year: The Human League's best-selling album 'Dare' (which last time I read a list was just hanging on to 100th place in the 'best selling albums of all time in the UK', although it's dropped a little bit now), followed by The Moody Blues' best-selling 'Long Distance Voyager'.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Modern Times' sells less copies than any other Jefferson Starship record.
Themes: Note how many three syllable album titles there are: 'Sci-ssors Cut' 'Re-Ac-Tor 'Tatt-Oo You' 'Face Dan-ces' 'Modern Times'...OK, I'm getting desperate for links now!
Total number of albums for the year: 19, the lowest number since 1963.
Interesting things to note: This is the first year since 1962 that Paul McCartney does not release an album, either solo with Wings or The Beatles. Mike Love's album was marketed as 'the first ever solo album by a member of the Beach Boys' - in actual fact it's the third!


"January 1982" The Kinks "Give The People What They Want"
"April" 1982: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Heartbreak" (Not yet reviewed)
"April" 1982: "Bill Wyman" (Rolling Stones) (reviewed in part)
April 26th 1982: Paul McCartney "Tug Of War"
June 14th 1982: Pete Townshend (The Who) "All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes"
June 21st 1982: Crosby, Stills and Nash "Daylight Again"
"Mid 1982": Lulu "Take Me To Your Heart Again" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1982": Denny Laine (Wings/Moody Blues) "Anyone Can Fly" (Not yet reviewed)
"1982": Chris Hillman (Byrds) "Morning Sky" (not yet reviewed)
August 28th 1982: The Moody Blues "The Present"
"Autumn 1982": Lindisfarne "Sleepless Nights"
September 4th 1982: The Who "It's Hard"
September 20th 1982: Dire Straits "Love Over Gold"
"October" 1982: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Life and Rhymes" (not yet reviewed)
October 4th 1982: Jefferson Starship "Winds Of Change" (not yet reviewed)
"November" 1982: Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) "Run For The Roses" (Not yet reviewed)
"November" 1982: Yoko Ono:" It's Alright (I See Rainbows)" (not yet reviewed)
November 5th 1982: George Harrison "Gone Troppo" (not yet reviewed)
December 29th 1982: Neil Young "Trans"

Firsts: None. Lasts: The Who release their final album this year, ending an impressive 17-year career, although they will be back for a misguided one-off in 2006.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: It's a close match between 'Love Over Gold' (which sells steadily for about a year) or 'Tug Of War' (which does very well but whose chart entry is over rather quicker).
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Gone Troppo', the first non-Ringo Beatles LP not to chart (to put this in context, even John and Yoko's trio of avant garde albums charted briefly!)
Themes: The year's first release, a sarcastic 'Give The People What They Want!', sums it up well: this is the year of the complex, troubled album from Neil Young's vocoder-filled album about his poorly son to The Who's shoulder-shrugging 'It's Hard' to the protracted sessions for Macca, CSN and Lindisfarne this year, all three records due for release the year before but delayed for one reason or another.
Total albums for the year: down again to 19
Interesting things to note: I take it back - Neil Young's 'Trans' is the record released closest to the end of the year, December 29th to be exact, making predecessor George Harrison's 'Dark Horse' in 1974 look positively organised!


"February 1983": Carl Wilson (Beach Boys) "Youngblood" (not yet reviewed)
February 11th 1983: Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane/Starship) "Lucky" (not yet reviewed)
March 21st 1983: Pink Floyd "The Final Cut" (not yet reviewed)
June 10th 1983: The Kinks "State Of Confusion" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1983": Nils Lofgren "Wonderland" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1983": Alan Hull (Lindisfarne) "On The Other Side" (Not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1983: Godley and Creme (10cc) (reviewed in part)
"July 1983": The Hollies "What Goes Around..." (not yet reviewed)
July 27th 1983: Neil Young "Everybody's Rockin" (Not yet reviewed)
"September 1983": 10cc "Windows In The Jungle"
October 7th 1983: Dave Davies "Chosen People" (reviewed in part)
October 31st 1983: Paul McCartney "Pipes Of Peace" (not yet reviewed)
November 4th 1983: Paul Simon "Hearts and Bones"
November 7th 1983: Rolling Stones "Undercover"

Firsts: None. Lasts: We wave bye-bye to two long-serving AAA bands, The Hollies (who started in 1963 and are still around today, but don't release a full album again till 2006 and - shudder - that awful record doesn't count, not to me anyway) and 10cc (who started in 1974 and will only be back for two unloved contract-filling reunion albums). Plus the second and final albums by Marty Balin and Carl Wilson.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Pink Floyd's 'The Final Cut', the only #1 album on the list, even though ultimately it sold only a fraction of predecessor 'The Wall' (which peaked at #3).
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Wonderland', the Nils Lofgren record that took me longest to track down (and is taking even longer to find on CD!)
Themes: There's these pipes of peace, see, that are blown in the jungle that turns it into wonderland before a state of confusion is uncovered, which turns out to be the final cut. Oh alright then - there aren't any really, spoilsport!
Total albums for the year: 14
Interesting things to note: Halloween seems an odd date to release 'Pipes Of Peace', although ironically it is a bit of a trick-and-treat album. Arguably the best albums of the 1980s by Paul Simon and the Rolling Stones are released in the same week (November 4th and 7th) - sadly both also prove to be the worst-selling of the decade, proving for once and for all that the 1980s really was a decade without taste.


January 27th 1984: John Lennon and Yoko Ono "Milk and Honey"
January 30th 1984: Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane/Starship) "Software" (reviewed in part)
March 5th 1984: David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) "About Face" (reviewed in part)
April 9th 1984: Rick Wright/Zee (Pink Floyd) "Identity" (not yet reviewed)
April 30th 1984:Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) "The Pros and Cons of Hitch-Hiking" (part reviewed)
"May 1984": Human League "Hysteria" (link missing!)
May 30th 1984: Jefferson Starship "Nuclear Furniture"
"Mid" 1984: Gene Clark (The Byrds) "Thunderbyrd" (reviewed in part)
"Mid" 1984: Roger Daltrey (The Who) "Parting Should Be Painless" (not yet reviewed)
"1984": Chris Hillman (Byrds) "Desert Rose" (not yet reviewed)
July 30th 1984: Stephen Stills "Right By You" (not yet reviewed)
"August 1984": Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) "Where The Beat Meets The Street" (Not yet reviewed)
October 22nd 1984: Paul McCartney "Give My Regards To Broad Street" (not yet reviewed)
November 19th 1984: The Kinks "Word Of Mouth"

Firsts: None. Lasts: We really do bid goodbye to Lennon after this, with 'Milk and Honey' his last album of previously unpublished material. Jefferson Starship - or in fact Jefferson anything - wave goodbye after this album as well (sssh, I'll pretend the later 'Starship' albums never happened if you agree to it too!) Grace Slick releases her last solo album too.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Hysteria' does the best of a sorry bunch of albums this year, just about going top five on the back of 'Dare'
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Right By You' is released with barely any marketing or promotion and - six years after Stills' last solo album - seems doomed to failure.
Themes: 'Broad Street' is the soundtrack to an (unfairly, some of the time at least) film. 'Right By You' and 'Word Of Mouth' feature covers that look like film posters of the day. 'Nuclear Furniture', an epic about the destruction of mankind in a nuclear war, should have been a film.
Total albums for the year: just thirteen
Interesting things to note: Afraid of being accused of 'cashing in' on Lennon's death, EMI sensibly wait until after the Christmas market to release the much-anticpated 'Milk and Honey'. Note too the close proximity of by now bitter enemies, Roger Waters and Rick Wright - the former's wild and wacky solo album couldn't be more apart from the slick and empty solo by the latter.


"Early" 1985: Pentangle "Open The Door" (not yet reviewed)
February 18th 1985: Yoko Ono "Starpeace" (not yet reviewed)
February 21st 1985: Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) "She's The Boss" (reviewed in part)
May 13th 1985: Dire Straits "Brothers In Arms"
June 10th 1985: "The Beach Boys" (Not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1985": Nils Lofgren "Flip!"
"Mid 1985": "Phillip Oakey and Georgio Moroder" (Human League) (reviewed in part)
July 1st 1985: Ray Davies (Kinks) "Return To Waterloo" (not yet reviewed)
July 29th 1985: Nick Mason/Rick Fenn (Pink Floyd/10cc) "Profiles" (reviewed in part)
August 12th 1985: Neil Young "Old Ways" (not yet reviewed)
"September" 1985: Roger Daltrey (The Who) "Under A Raging Moon" (not yet reviewed)
September 16th 1985: Justin Hayward "Moving Mountains" (reviewed in part)
November 12th 1985: Pete Townshend (The Who) "White City" (reviewed in part)
Firsts: Mick Jagger's first solo album, a sight most fans thought they'd never see, plus the only release by the unusual crossover between the Floyd and 10cc and the Human League's Phil Oakey's only solo to date. Pentangle are also back after a thirteen year break, albeit with a rather different line-up. Lasts: none.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: actually the best-selling album of the decade, 'Brothers In Arms'.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Flip!' does better than 'Wonderland' but sales for NIls Lofgren are still poor compared to the glory days of ten years earlier
Themes: Nostalgia: 'Flip!' is Nils' goodbye to his on-stage acrobatics now he's reached the age of 34, 'Brothers IN Arms' is a title track about wartime camaraderie , 'The Beach Boys' is a terrible attempt that half-remembers what Beach Boys albums used to be like and, contrary to the end, for Neil Young old ways are like 'a ball and chain'.
Total albums for the year: Thirteen, the worst since 1963
Interesting things to note: This is the first time I can't think of any interesting things to note!


January 12th 1986: Art Garfunkel "The Animal's Christmas" (not yet reviewed)
March 24th 1986: Rolling Stones "Dirty Work" (not yet reviewed)
March 27th 1986: Graham Nash "Innocent Eyes" (not yet reviewed)
April 6th 1986: The Moody Blues "The Other Side Of This Life" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1986": Lindisfarne "Dance Your Life Away" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1986": Pentangle "In The Round" (Not yet reviewed)
July 21st 1986: Neil Young "Landing On Water" (not yet reviewed)
August 12th 1986: Paul Simon "Graceland" (not yet reviewed)
August 22nd 1986: Paul McCartney "Press To Play"
"September 1986": Human League "Crash" (not yet reviewed)
November 17th 1986: The Kinks "Think Visual"

Firsts: None. Lasts: None.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Graceland', Paul Simon's controversial Africana album.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: It's a fight between Nash's 'Innocent Eyes' (delayed on CD till a couple of years ago) and The Kinks' 'Think Visual' (which still hasn't been re-issued on CD since it came out in limited quantities in1986).
Themes: Is it just me or are the examples on this list the worst records each of these artists made? With the exception of 'Press To Play' (which I love but everyone else hates) these are all the nadir of the respective artist's work (yes, even 'Graceland' which is a terrible album no matter how many copies it sold).
Total albums for the year: Eleven
Interesting things to note: This is the year of the digital image on album sleeves: Nash features a big digital Earth, The Kinks feature a big digital posing body builder, Neil Young features a digital version of a liferaft complete with instructions, the Human League simply feature the letters of the album title in big digital lettering and Art Garfunkel features a big digital chicken. Note too that Art Garfunkel's poor-selling yuletide album missed the Christmas market completely, being released at the end of January - oops!


"June" 1987: Roger Daltrey (The Who) "Can't Wait To See The Movie" (not yet reviewed)
June 15th 1987: Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) "Radio KAOS" (not yet reviewed)
June 30th 1987: Neil Young "Life"
July 6th 1987: Grateful Dead "In The Dark" (link yet to be added)
"Mid 1987": Lindisfarne "C'mon Everybody" (link yet to be added)
"August 1987": The Monkes "Pool It!" (not yet reviewed)
September 7th 1987: Pink Floyd "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason"
September 14th 1987: Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) "Primitive Cool" (reviewed in part)
November 2nd 1987: George Harrison "Cloud Nine" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: This is the first Grateful Dead album in seven years... Lasts: ...And George Harrison's last solo record in his lifetime.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Cloud Nine', a successful comeback commercially if not artistically. 'In The Dark' is the best selling Dead album since 1970, too.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'C'mon Everybody' , in part thanks to the tasteless cheap-and-cheerful packaging and that fact that e-recordings of old rock and roll songs were deeply out of fashion in 1987.
Themes: Album covers with interesting backgrounds: The Monkees are in a swimming pool, Neil Young is in 'prison', the Grateful Dead are literally in the dark and Pink Floyd are, erm, on a beach filled with hospital beds
Total albums for the year: Nine
Interesting things to note: Had three of the June albums 'been released just a couple of weeks later then the first half of 1987 would have been the first six-month period with no AAA albums in it at all.


"April" 1988: Art Garfunkel "Lefty" (not yet reviewed)
April 12th 1988: Neil Young "This Note's For You" (not yet reviewed)
June 6th 1988: The Moody Blues "Sur La Mer" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1988: Godley and Creme (10cc) "Goodbye Blue Sky" (reviewed in part)
July 12th 1988: "Brian Wilson" (Beach Boys) (reviewed in part)
October 3rd 1988: Keith Richard(s) "Talk Is Cheap" (not yet reviewed)
November 1st 1988: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "American Dream"

Firsts: Brian Wilson and Keith Richard go solo. Lasts: Final Godley and Creme album.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'American Dream' didn't do that well, but it outsold the other three hands down.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Lefty' is Arty's poorest selling album to date.
Themes: Blues, with The Bluenotes backing Neil Young and the Moodies still blue
Total albums for the year: A mere seven
Interesting things to note: There might only be seven AAA albums out this year, but Neil had a hand in two of them (that's about 30% in case you hadn't worked that out already). What's more 'American Dream' was more-or-less ready first but record company hassles (Neil was on Reprise, CSN were on Atlantic) caused the delay.


January 23rd 1989: David Crosby "Oh Yes I Can!" (not yet reviewed)
"March" 1989: Bert Jansch/Rod Clements (Pentangle/Lindisfarne) "Leather Launderette" (Not yet reviewed)
June 5th 1989: Paul McCartney "Flowers In The Dirt"
"Mid 1989": Lindisfarne "Amigos" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1989": Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) "Lonely Road" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1989": Pentangle "So Early In The Spring" (not yet reviewed)
August 22nd 1989: "Jefferson Airplane" (not yet reviewed)
August 24th 1989: Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels"
August 29th 1989: The Beach Boys "Still Cruisin'" (not yet reviewed)
October 2nd 1989: The Kinks "UK Jive"
October 2nd 1989: Neil Young "Freedom"
October 4th 1989: Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) "Classic Blue" (reviewed in part)
October 31st 1989: Grateful Dead "Built To Last"
"November 1989": Gilbert O'Sullivan "In The Key Of G" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: It's the only collaboration between Pentangle and Lindisfarne members Bert and Rod. Lasts: Goodbye Grateful Dead, who release their final studio album 22 years on from their first appearance in this list.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones went head to head with their new albums, both marketed heavily as 'big' comeback albums. Macca just won the album battle, but the Stones won if you count singles.
Themes: Many AAA bands who seemed to have stuttered to a halt came back this year, with 'Flowers' 'Freedom' 'Wheels' and 'Amigos' all hailed as the best albums by their respective bands for many years.
Total albums for the year: Much healthier with twelve.
Interesting things to note: this is David Crosby's first solo appearance on this list since 1971 28 years earlier, which is a record for anyone we cover on this site. Both The Kinks and Neil Young release their new albums on the same day - the first time this has happened in many a year.


June 1st 1990: Crosby, Stills and Nash "Live It Up!"
"Mid 1990": Nils Lofgren "Silver Lining" (not yet reviewed)
September 9th 1990: Neil Young "Ragged Glory" (not yet reviewed)
September 23rd 1990: Human League "Romantic?" (link missing!)
October 12th 1990: Paul Simon "Rhythm Of The Saints"

Firsts: None. Lasts: None.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Rhythm Of The Saints' - follow-up to 'Graceland' - does well, although it deserved to do even better.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Romantic?' is an all-time low despite being my favourite League LP
Themes: Cover stars standing in awkward poses: the drummer on 'Saints' seems as if he's about to topple over, Crazy Horse are in full intensity mode on 'Ragged Glory', the League look as if they're about to keel over on 'Romantic?'...
Total albums for the year: Slipped again to five.
Interesting things to note: September is quite a busy month - traditionally more records are released in November than any other month.


"January" 1991: Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) "Back From Rio" (reviewed in part)
June 25th 1991: The Moody Blues "Keys To The Kingdom" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1991": Pentangle "Think Of Tomorrow" (not yet reviewed)
September 9th 1991: Dire Straits "On Every Street"
September 11th 1991: Stephen Stills "Stills Alone" (not yet reviewed)
"November" 1991: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Sounds Of The Loop" (not yet reviewed)
Firsts: None. Lasts: Goodbye Dire Straits, who released six albums between 1978 and 1991.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Eagerly awaited 'On Every Street' - which is six years in the making - underperforms, but still outclasses the other AAA albums out this year.
Worst-selling album of the year: I'm convinced 'Stills Alone' doesn't exist: I know everything on it from various sources but I've never ever seen it; even 'Amazon' says it's been out of print for the past ten years.
Themes: Awful digital photographs with an emphasis on blue for both Dire Straits and the Moodies. Stills simply looks blue and down-in-the-dumps on his cover.
Total albums for the year: Six. How the mighty have fallen!
Interesting things to note: Despite only releasing five albums in total this year, two of the AAA stars decided to release their albums the same week.


"Mid 1992": Nils Lofgren "Crooked Line" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1992": 10cc "Meanwhile..." (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1992": Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "...Tropical Campfires..." (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1992: Roger Daltrey (The Who) "Rocks In The Head" (not yet reviewed)
August 3rd 1992: The Beach Boys "Summer In Paradise" (not yet reviewed)
September 7th 1992: Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) "Amused To Death"
October 19th 1992: Keith Richard(s) (Rolling Stones) "Main Offender" (not yet reviewed)
November 2nd 1992: Neil Young "Harvest Moon" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: 10cc re-appear on our list after a ten year absence. Lasts: The Beach Boys wave nearly goodbye - their next album won't be for another 20 years (and isn't exactly worth waiting for). Keith Richard releases his second and to date last solo album, Mike Nesmith releases his last non-soundtrack solo album to date, while Roger Waters is still promising us his follow-up to 'Amused To Death' 21 years on.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Neil Young's long-delayed return to his acoustic roots on 'Harvest Moon'.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: All of the other three perform badly, missing the charts altogether.
Themes: Times of the year: Summer, Autumn (when the Harvest Moon is out...)
Total albums for the year: Eight, a minute improvement
Interesting things to note: Err, nothing.


February 1st 1993: Paul McCartney "Off The Ground" (not yet reviewed)
February 9th 1993: Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) "Wandering Spirit" (reviewed in part)
March 23rd 1993: The Kinks "Phobia" (not yet reviewed)
May 4th 1993: David Crosby "A Thousand Roads" (not yet reviewed)
June 15th 1993: Pete Townshend (The Who) "Psychoderelict" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1993": Lindisfarne "Elvis Lives On The Moon"
"Mid 1993": Lulu "Independence" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1993": Pentangle "One More Road" (Not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Lulu's first album in over a decade. Lasts: Several farewells this year: The Kinks bid adieu after a stunning 29 year run on this list. David Crosby releases his third and final solo record (to date). Pete Townshend waves goodbye in terms of his solo career. And Lindisfarne are never the same again after founder Alan Hull dies some 18 months after the band release their 'Elvis' record.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Off The Ground' by a nose.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Phobia' is a commercial disaster, despite all the hard work put into it by the Davies brothers, selling only slightly over 1000 copies.
Themes: Outer space: Elvis is on the moon, 'Off The Ground' features Macca and band's feet flying...
Total albums for the year: Equal with eight
Interesting things to note: For the first time on this list all the entries are in the first half of the year, making the second half of 1993 the first time no AAA records are released in a six-month period.


March 28th 1994: Pink Floyd "The Division Bell"
"April" 1984: Gilbert O'Sullivan "By Larry" aka "The Little Album" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1994": Rod Clements (Lindisfarne) "One Track Mind" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1994": Mike Nesmith (Monkees) "The Garden" (reviewed in part)
July 11th 1994: Rolling Stones "Voodoo Lounge" (not yet reviewed)
August 6th 1994: Neil Young "Sleeps With Angels"
August 16th 1994: Crosby, Stills and Nash "After The Storm" (not yet reviewed)
August 29th 1994: Oasis "Definitely Maybe"

Firsts: Oasis' debut on this list. Rod Clement's only solo album. Lasts: Pink Floyd wave farewell after appearing on these lists since 1967. CSN also release their last ever album as a trio (at the time of writing anyway).
Best-selling AAA album of the year: the mammoth publicity blitz for 'The Division Bell' really pays off, even if hiring a 'fake' website writer to 'drop hints' about the depth of the song lyrics is going a bit far... 'Definitely Maybe' does rather well too and Oasis are going to dominate this list from hereon in.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'After The Storm' , an awful disappointment for such a strong album.
Themes: Forces outside our control: storms, death ('Angels'), the division bell of date, voodoo...
Total albums for the year: Down to eight.
Interesting things to note: August is generally a quiet week for albums so it's a shock to see 3 of the 8 albums this month (that's 40%!) released in it!


January 23rd 1995: Human League "Octopus" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 1995": Nils Lofgren "Damaged Goods"
"Mid 1995": 10cc "Mirror Mirror" (not yet reviewed)

August 7th 1995: Neil Young "Mirrorball"
August 15th 1995: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" (part reviewed)
October 2nd 1995: Oasis "(What's The Story?) Morning Glory" (not yet reviewed)
October 24th 1995: Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks (Beach Boys) Orange Crate" (part reviewed)
October 28th 1995: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "When The Circus Comes To Town" (not yet reviewed)
Firsts: None. Lasts: 10cc's very last album.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Morning Glory' storms past everything else on this list, staying in the best sellers chart well into 1996 9it's probably the best-selling AAA album of the 1990s).
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Damaged Goods', which is an awful shame - for me it's easily Nils' best record.
Themes: Mirrors: 'Mirror Mirror' and 'Mirroball' released alongside each other is a really cosmic coincidence (or is it?...)
Total albums for the year: Up again to eight.
Interesting things to note: 'Octopus', the long awaited League comeback, just misses the Christmas market. Note Brian Wilson's second and third solo albums just two months apart (to be fair 'These Times' is the soundtrack of a documentary and 'Orange Crate Art' is really a Van Dyke album many years in planning).


January 18th 1996: Yoko Ono "Rising" (not yet reviewed)
March 26th 1996: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Golden Heart" (reviewed in part)
June 6th 1996 (as an 'album', though released the year before on the internet)
Belle and Sebastian "Tigermilk"
"Mid 2006": Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) "Reborn"
July 2nd 1996: Neil Young "Broken Arrow" (not yet reviewed)
"October 1996": The Monkees "JustUs" (Not yet reviewed)
October 15th 1996: Justin Hayward (Moody Blues) "View From The Hill" (not yet reviewed)
November 18th 1996: Belle and Sebastian "If You're Feeling Sinister"
November 26th 1996: Rick Wright (Pink Floyd) "Broken China" (reviewed in part)

Firsts: Belle and Sebastian, who release two records this year (sort of - 'Tigermilk' was actually released in 1995 but only on a newfangled thing called the internet!) Mark Knopfler release his first solo LP this year too. Lasts: it's the second and final Monkees reunion album this year, ending their run which stretches back to 1966. 'JustUs' is, in fact, released as near as possible to the 30th anniversary of 'The Monkees'. Rick Wright releases his third and final solo album this year too. Ditto Denny Laine' whose up to five solo albums.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Sinister', a cult hit that gradually picks up in sales across the following year...
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Tigermilk' but that's a bit of a cheat - it is a limited edition of 5000 copies after all (thankfully the album gets re-issues in 1998).
Themes: There's no links between these eight disparate records that I can see.
Total albums for the year: Nine.
Interesting things to note: Belle and Sebastian's double means this is the first time an AAA band has had more than one album in a single year since 10cc in 1981!


May 5th 1997: Paul McCartney "Flaming Pie" (not yet reviewed)
"July" 1997: Yoko Ono "A Story" (recorded in 1974)
August 21st 1997: Oasis "Be Here Now"
September 21st 1997: Rolling Stones "Bridges To Babylon" (not yet reviewed)
"November" 1997: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Singer Sowing Machine" (not yet reviewed)
November 18th 1997: Paul Simon "The Capeman" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: 'The Capeman' is the first (and only) musical soundtrack to make the list!
Lasts: None.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Be Here Now', which would have won on pre-order sales alone.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'The Capeman', a doomed production that loses Paul Simon a lot of love from fans.
Themes: Half the albums have Beatles references - naturally for Macca (the man on a 'flaming Pie' was a Lennon invention when asked how the Beatles got their name) and Oasis (who 'steal' the title of a George Harrison song after their success with 'Wonderwall' the previous year).
Total albums for the year: Only seven
Interesting things to note: Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones again fight for chart supremacy with their 'comeback' albums, just like the old days (and 1989!)


March 30th 1998: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Toy Balloon" (not yet reviewed)
June 16th 1998: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) "Imagination" (Part Reviewed)
"Mid 1998": Lindisfarne "Here Comes The Neighbourhood" (not yet reviewed)
"1998": Chris Hillman (Byrds) "Like A Hurricane" (not yet reviewed)
September 7th 1998: Belle and Sebastian "The Boy With The Arab Strap"

Firsts: None Lasts: None.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Arab Strap', though not exactly a strong seller itself.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: That leaves 'Neighbourhood', a sadly flop 'comeback' album.
Themes: Err....neighbourhoods? (Though B+S' character is hardly the boy next door!)
Total albums for the year: Still only four!
Things to note: What an empty year it was!


April 5th 1999: Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "The Green Fields Of Foreverland" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 1999: Looper (Belle and Sebastian) "Up A Tree" (reviewed in part)
August 17th 1999: The Moody Blues "Strange Times" (not yet reviewed)
October 26th 1999: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Looking Forward" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Isobel Campbell becomes the first member of Belle and Sebastian to go solo, just beating Stuart David's 'Looper' project by a matter of months. Lasts: The last time CSNY get together in any greater numbers than two. Also, this is kind-of the last Moodies album to date, as the follow-up is simply a badly made Christmas album.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: both albums do badly
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: both albums do badly
Themes: The Millennium is here: CSNY are looking forward to it, The Moodies less so...
Total Albums for the year: A pitiful four!
Interesting things to note: 'Looking Forward' is released the closest to the millennium of all AAA albums.


February 28th 2000: Oasis "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants"
April 25th 2000: Neil Young "Silver and Gold" (not yet reviewed)
June 6th 2000: Belle and Sebastian "Fold Your Hands, Child, You Walk Like A Peasant"
"Mid" 2000: Graham Gouldmann (10cc) "...And Another Thing" (not yet reviewed)
August 15th 2000: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Crimson Moon" (not yet reviewed)
September 26th 2000: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Sailing To Philadelphia" (reviewed in part)
October 3rd 2000: Paul Simon "You're The One" (Not yet reviewed)
November 6th 2000: Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "Swansong For You" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: None. Lasts: Graham Gouldmann's third and - to date - final solo LP.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Giants' may have been Oasis' poorest seller to date but it still outshone everything else on offer.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: Paul Simon's album does better than 'Capeman' but still barely makes the charts.
Themes: Class: Oasis clearly think they're big and Paul Simon has found someone special, but Neil Young is obsessed with money and B+S are walking like peasants...
Total albums for the year: A slightly more respectable eight
Interesting things to note: 'Shoulders' is the first AAA album of the 21st century and it's good-but-patchy status rather sums up most of the albums we've had ever since.


"Mid 2001": Nils Lofgren "Breakaway Angel" (not yet reviewed)
August 6th 2001: Human League "Secrets" (not yet reviewed)
November 12th 2001: Paul McCartney "Driving Rain"
November 19th 2001: Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) "Goddess In The Doorway" (reviewed in part)
Firsts: None. Lasts: Mick Jagger's last solo album at the time of writing.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: all three do badly, but at least 'Driving Rain', just, makes the charts.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: all three do badly, but at least 'Driving Rain', just, makes the charts.
Themes: Things being revealed.
Total albums for the year: Four, again.
Interesting things to note: None.


April 9th 2002: Neil Young "Are You Passionate?" (not yet reviewed)
April 30th 2002: Graham Nash "Songs For Survivors" (not yet reviewed)
May 7th 2002: Dave Davies (Kinks) "Bug" (reviewed in part)
June 3rd 2002: Belle and Sebastian "Storytelling" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 2002": Lindisfarne "Promenade" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 2002": Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Edge Of A Dream" (not yet reviewed)
July 1st 2002: Oasis "Heathen Chemistry"
September 30th 2002: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "The Ragpicker's Dream" (reviewed in part)
October 8th 2002: Art Garfunkel "Everything Waits To Be Noticed"
November 19th 2002: George Harrison "Brainwashed" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: None. Lasts: So long George Harrison, whose appeared on this list in one form or another since the second entry. Goodbye too to Lindisfarne who've appeared since 1970. Graham Nash also records his fifth and final solo album to date.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Heathen Chemistry', Oasis agin outselling everyone else hands down.
Worst-selling AAA albums of the year: 'Promenade' is the worst selling Lindisfarne album of all, the band breaking up soon after. Also, fittingly, 'Everything Waits To Be Noticed' is a slow burner in sales terms.
Themes: None.
Total albums for the year: ten, the best since 1989.
Interesting things to note: There are two albums released in April, both of them from the same 'parent' group, although predictably Young's outsells Nash's.


August 19th 2003: Neil Young "Greendale" (not yet reviewed)
October 6th 2003: Belle and Sebastian "Dear Catastrophe Waitress"
October 7th 2003: Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "Amorino" (not yet reviewed)
October 28th 2003: The Moody Blues "December"

Firsts: None.Lasts: This really is goodbye for the Moody Blues this time, after appearing on this list in some form or another since 1965.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Waitress' is a much more commercial B+S CD, which fully takes advantage of the growing word-of-mouth around the band.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: They've repackaged 'December' several times now and it still won't chart!
Themes: Snow on the Greendale Hills where catastrophe waitresses spill their trays
Total albums for the year: Back down to four.
Interesting things to note: Three of the four albums (that's 75%!) were released in October! Note how close Isobel Campbell's album is to her parent band's 'Catastrophe Waitress', in part a concept album about her absence.


June 22nd 2004: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) "Gettin' In Over My Head" (Part reviewed)
August 10th 2004: "Crosby*Nash"
September 26th 2004: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Shangri-La" (reviewed in part)
September 28th 2004: Brian Wilson "Smile"
Firsts: None. Lasts: The final Crosby-Nash collaboration, after a gap of 28 years. To date it's the last studio release by either Crosby or Nash.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Err, there's only one choice!
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: Err, there's only one choice!
Themes: Ampersands, nuclear waste, weapons of mass distraction and puppeteers.
Total albums for the year: Four, yet again.
Interesting things to note: This album is only one asterisk away from the title of the first Crosby-Nash album released back in 1971.Brian released two albums just three months apart this year - although he had been working on one of them for 38 years!


May 24th 2005: Belle and Sebastian "Push Barman To Heal Old Wounds" (EPs 1996-2005)
May 30th 2005: Oasis "Don't Believe The Truth"
August 9th 2005: Stephen Stills "Man Alive!" (Not yet reviewed)
September 5th 2005: Rolling Stones " A Bigger Bang" (Not yet reviewed)
September 12th 2005: Paul McCartney "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard" (not yet reviewed)
September 27th 2005: Neil Young "Prairie Wind"
October 18th 2005: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) "All I Really Want For Christmas" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: None. Lasts: Stills' last album of 'new' material on the list.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Truth' just about outsells 'Chaos' and 'Bang' despite not doing as well as previous Oasis albums.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Man Alive' does poorly, released on a tiny label with little budget.
Themes: Something bigger...who caused the big bang? Who created chaos in the backyard? What is the mysterious force that blows across the prairies? And should we always believe the truth?!
Total albums for the year: Back up to seven!
Interesting things to note: Yet again the big comebacks by Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones are scheduled right next to each other! (A week apart in fact!)


"February" 2006: Ray Davies (Kinks) "Other People's Lives" (reviewed in part)
February 6th 2006: Belle and Sebastian "The Life Pursuit" (not yet reviewed)
March 6th 2006: David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) "On An Island" (reviewed in part)
April 24th 2006: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) with Emmylou Harris "All The Road Running" (reviewed in part)
May 2nd 2006: Neil Young "Living With War"
May 9th 2006: Paul Simon "Surprise"
"Mid 2006": Nils Lofgren "Sacred Weapon" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 2006": Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "Ballad Of The Broken Seas" (not yet reviewed)
September 16th 2006: Bert Jansch (Pentangle) "Black Swan" (not yet reviewed)
October 23rd 2006: Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "Milkwhite Sheets" (not yet reviewed)
October 30th 2006: The Who "Endless Wire" (not yet reviewed)
"November 2006": Yusuf/Cat Stevens "An Other Cup" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Cat Stevens surprises everybody by recording his first 'pop' album since 1978, even if technically it's under a different name. Ray Davies begins his solo career - 42 years after releasing his first record with The Kinks. This is also The Who's first album since 1982.... Lasts:...And their last to date. Plus Bert Jansch's final entry before his untimely death.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Surprise', surprisingly, ever so slightly beating the much ballyhooed returns by The Who and Cat Stevens.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Sacred Weapon' is another hard-to-find Nils Lofgren album.
Themes: War - Neil's living with it, Paul's surprised by it, Nils is scared by it and Cat Stevens is trying to stop it.
Total albums for the year: Up yet again, to twelve.
Interesting things to note: Cat Stevens and The Who - last heard of in 1978 and 1982 respectively - chose to release their first 'new' albums in all that time only a week apart! Isobel Campbell releases two very different records (the second of them the first of a run of duets featuring Mark Lanegan) just months apart.
"March" 2007: Gilbert O'Sullivan "A Scruff At Heart" (not yet reviewed
June 4th 2007: Paul McCartney "Memory Almost Full" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid 2007": Dave Davies (Kinks) "Fractured Mindz" (not yet reviewed)
July 10th 2007: Stephen Stills "Just Roll Tape!" (Recorded 1968) (not yet reviewed)
October 16th 2007: Neil Young "Chrome Dreams II" (not yet reviewed)
October 22nd 2007: Ray Davies "Workingman's Cafe" (reviewed in part)
October 23rd 2007: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Kill To Get Crimson" (reviewed in part)

Firsts: None. Lasts: Stills' last album and the last by any of CSN to date, even if it is a previously 'lost' recording from 1968! Ray Davies' second and final solo comes out this year too.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Memory' does OK.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Chrome Dreams' is the weakest selling NY album for quite some years, perhaps because of that hideous cover which is a close-up of his car.
Themes: The problems of growing older - except for Stills, singing to us from 1968, who is worried about growing older.
Total albums for the year: Back down to seven.
Interesting things to note: You wait five years for an album to be released in June and then two come along at once!


May 13th 2008: Isobel Campbell (Belle and Sebastian) "Sunday At Devil Dirt" (not yet reviewed)
October 6th 2008: Oasis "Dig Out Your Soul"
September 2nd 2008: Brian Wilson(Beach Boys) "That Lucky Old Sun"
November 28th 2008: Paul McCartney aka "The Fireman" "Electric Arguments"

Firsts: None. Lasts: Oasis' final album, after being a part of this list since 1994.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Soul' is the worst selling Oasis album to date, but still outsells the others on this list.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Soul' is the worst selling Oasis album to date, but still outsells the others on this list.
Themes: The 'spaciest' albums by both Oasis and Macca, both about endings in different ways.
Total albums for the year: A pathetic two.
Interesting things to note: These are the first two reviews of 'new' releases that we ever wrote for this website!


April 7th 2009: Neil Young "Fork In The Road" (not yet reviewed)
May 5th 2009: Yusuf/Cat Stevens "Roadsinger"
September 14th 2009: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Get Lucky" (Not yet reviewed)
September 21st 2009: Yoko Ono "Between My Head And The Sky" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: None. Lasts: Cat Stevens' final album to date (although he might well release more in the future), ending an association with this list since 1967!
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'Roadsinger', on points.
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: A hurried concept album about a car that doesn't run on petrol. What were you thinking Neil - even I didn't bother to buy it!
Themes: Cars, quite neatly. One of the better links on this list!
Total albums for the year: Count them. One -Two-Three-Four. That was easy wasn't it?!
Interesting things to note: 'Roadsinger' was the third 'new' album reviewed for this site.


June 29th 2010: Al Jardine (Beach Boys) "A Postcard From California (not yet reviewed)
August 17th 2010: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) "Re-imagines Gershwin" (not yet reviewed)
August 24th 2010: Isobel Campbell "Hawk" (not yet reviewed)
August 31st 2010: MIcky Dolenz (Monkees) "King For A Day" (Not yet reviewed)
September 28th 2010: Neil Young "Le Noise"
October 11th 2010: Belle and Sebastian "Write About Love"

Firsts: None. Lasts: The final Belle and Sebastian album - probably for good, although a reunion album in a few years might be on the cards, ending an association that goes back to 1996. Farewell too (to date at least) to Isobel Campbell. It's the only releases for Beach Boy Al Jardine and the first of two for Monkee Micky Dolenz.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: It's pretty much a draw!
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: It's pretty much a draw!
Themes: Both albums are - shock horror - about love.
Total albums for the year: Up to six.
Interesting things to note: 2010 was the longest we had to wait for an album of 'new' AAA material since 1962!


January 31st 2011: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Gilbertville" (not yet reviewed)
February 28th 2011: Beady Eye "Different Gear, Still Speeding"
March 21st 2011: Human League "Credo" (link missing!!)
April 11th 2011: Paul Simon "So Beautiful, Or So What?"
"Mid 2011": Nils Lofgren "Old School" (not yet reviewed)
"October 2011": Stevie Jackson (Belle+Sebastian) "I Can't Get No...Stevie Jackson" (Part reviewed)
October 17th 2011: "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds"
October 25th 2011: Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) "In The Key Of Disney" (not yet reviewed)

Firsts: Both Beady Eye and Noel Gallagher debut their new bands at different ends of the year. Lasts: Noel Gallagher hasn't released a follow-up at the time of writing, but no doubt he will sometime soon. Ditto The Human League, Paul Simon, Nils Lofgren and Brian Wilson, who all seem likely to have a new album out before too long.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: Noel's album makes #1, the first AAA artist to do so since Oasis in 2005. Whether he deserved to or not is another matter...
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: 'Old School', bought only by the faithful, with the non-charting 'Credo'# the biggest surprise after a ten year wait.
Themes: A complete mixture this year.
Total albums for the year: Again, upwards to eight.
Interesting things to note: Beady Eye beat Noel Gallagher into the shops, though there wasn't much in it.


February 12th 2012: Paul McCartney "Kisses On The Bottom"
June 12th 2012: The Beach Boys "That's Why God Made The Radio" (not yet reviewed)
"Mid" 2012: Micky Dolenz (Monkees) "Remember" (part reviewed)
September 3rd 2012: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) "Privateering" (Not yet reviewed)
October 30th 2012: Neil Young "Psychedelic Pill"

Firsts: None. Lasts: The last appearance to date for both Neil Young (around since 1968, or 1966 with the Springfield) and The Beach Boys(who date right back to our first entry in 1962!), plus Mark Knopfler.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: All three albums went top ten and did pretty well
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: All three albums went top ten and did pretty well.
Themes: All three albums have a very 'backwards' kind of a feel, what with McCartney crooning, The Beach Boys returning to their earliest Four Freshman roots and Crazy Horse finally releasing the 'jamming' album they seemed to promise us in 1969!
Total albums for the year: Down to five.
Interesting things to note: A very retro year - all these albums are about the 'past' in some way; worryingly so in the case of Macca's 'crooning' album!


"Early" 2013: Dave Davies (Kinks) "I Will Be Me" (reviewed in part)
June 10th 2013: Beady Eye "Be"
October 15th 2013: Paul McCartney "New"

Firsts: None. Lasts: Final appearance to date for Beady Eye or any Oasis spin-off for that matter (rumour is that the band have broken up now, leaving this as their final appearance anyway), Dave Davies and Paul McCartney, whose been part of this list since the second entry.
Best-selling AAA album of the year: 'New' did rather well
Worst-selling AAA album of the year: '...But 'Be' didn't.
Themes: 'Let It Be'.
Total albums for the year: We end with a lowly three (unless someone surprises us before this gets published!)
Interesting things to note: 2013 has seen the lowest amount of AAA releases of all kinds since starting the site in 2008 - not just in terms of new releases but archive items as well.

Well, wouldn't you know it?! No sooner had we written this list than Neil Young promises to have a new album out by January - there's no rest is there?! Yes the AAA bands might have slowed down a tad from the heydays of 1968 through 1972, alarmingly so come the 1990s, but so many of our bands are still releasing great music nearly 50 years after their first albums. We'll be there ready to review them, no matter what form they take or when they're due out, because the one thing we do properly learn from this list is to expect the unexpected: you never know what these bands are going to do next! let's hope the entries for 2014 will be chock-a-block! Till then, happy new year - see you next week for more news, views and music! I'm going for a lie-down after researching all that lot...

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