The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
A weird compilation containing the original Tony Sheridan LP they backed him on, with some bonus tracks (including "Cry for a Shadow" but not "Ain't She Sweet"), some really poor quality live tracks, with and without him, the rest of the Decca audition tunes not on the first Anthology, some demos preceding their debut, and the "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You" single to cap it off. Still, it's an interest document of the early Beatles. I like some of the Decca tunes, and Sheridan was actually a pretty good singer/arranger for a pre-British Invasion rock 'n' roller.
The Beatles - Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany 1962
The sound quality is much worse than on Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, but the track selection is much more interesting. I especially love this bizarrely aggressive rendition of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)".
Elton John - Honky Cat
I was just kind of listening to this in the background. I only recognize "Rocket Man" (a fantastic song, although if we're talking about songs on this subject, "Space Oddity" just barely nudges it out for me), but the rest seems pretty good. I kind of miss the more heavily notable rootsy influence on Tumbleweed Connection, but I might end up liking this more (and remembering more of it) with repeat listens.
Frank Zappa - Over-Nite Sensation
Nothing like Zappa-grade smut. It's a shame that two of the best songs ("I'm the Slime" and "Dirty Love") are also two of the shortest, but otherwise, I don't have much to complain about. Yep, I even kind of like "Dinah-Moe Humm". I think the fact that it bases itself off of stupidly perverted lyrics, initially sets it to a tricky and promising melody and midway through abandons it for generic porn music *adds* to the charm.
Gentle Giant - Acquiring the Taste
Is it weird that I really like all of the odd numbered tracks, but only think one even-numbered one cuts the mustard ("Edge of Twilight")? Either way, pretty great album. I'm one of the few who thinks their self-titled album is really underrated, to hell with the obvious King Crimson ripping off, but while the lesser material drags this one down a bit by comparison, I can't say that the great material here doesn't surpass the great material on their debut.
The Who - The Who By Numbers
There was actually a time this was my favourite Who album. I still have a soft spot for it. I think "Slip Kid", "However Much I Booze", "Dreaming from the Waist", "They're All in Love" and "How Many Friends" have some of Pete's best post-Quadrophenia lyrics, and the music still kicks ass even without the synths. The only disappointment for me is "In a Hand or Face". The verse melody is pretty good, with its bitter, snarling character, but the chorus sucks. Really one of the worst refrains I've ever heard from a major band.
The Who - Who Are You
I love this one too. I've come to like "905" a lot less than I used to (still a fun little tune) and like "Love Is Coming Down" even more. It's a song that seems like it would be totally uncomfortable for Roger to sing, but I think he pulls it off extremely well. Like with most albums, I listen to the bonus tracks, although I usually stop after "Empty Glass" (which I'm still not sure whether I prefer this version or the Townshend LP title track version). What's the deal with "No Road Romance"? Was this part of the Lifehouse revival attempt?