The Clash London Calling
I was never really fond of disc 2 (I love disc 1, though; easily in my top 20 albums) but now it's really grown on me. Basically everything but "Koka-Kola", "The Card Cheat", "Lover's Rock" and "Four Horsemen" (the weakest song on the LP, imo) are highlights. I've also come to appreciate the one non-highlight on disc 2, the jazz-rock(?) "The Right Profile".
Cream Disraeli Gears
It was always one of my favorites. Even the obvious filler ("Blue Condition", "Take It Back", "Mother's Lament") are cool novelties, though it's kind of too front-loaded. Swap "World of Pain" and "We're Going Wrong" and you have something far more balanced, and both are similar enough for the switch not to screw with the transition in moods.
Cream BBC Sessions
Kind of boring compared to their real live stuff. And the announcer guy getting stuff wrong (calling them the Cream and referring to "Cat's Squirrel" as a remake of "Cat's Cradle", whatever that is) annoy me to no end, but it's a nice historical curio, and it's interesting to learn that "Born Under a Bad Sign" was recorded so early.
The Doobie Brothers The Doobie Brothers
I've been listening to these guys a lot for some reason. Something about their music fits just right with the improving weather. Their debut is a cool acoustic rock record, kind of reminiscent of early '70s Byrds; the opening single "Nobody" is a great driving tune and their heavy cover of Randy Newman's "Beehive State" is a treat as well.
The Doobie Brothers Toulouse Street
More hit-filled, with the joyful "Listen to the Music", driving "Rockin' Down the Highway" and gospel-rock classic "Jesus Is Just Alright", but even most of the lesser known tunes are cool (I especially like the froggy organ vamp and droning harmonies in "Cotton Mouth"). The last three songs kind of leave me cold: two meandering acoustic tunes (although the closing "Snake Man" is much shorter) surrounding a meandering biker rocker.
The Doobie Brothers The Captain & Me
Tied for first place amongst their albums, largely because of the stylistic diversity, and quality in each style: some latin-influenced grooves (the funky "Long Train Runnin'", the bluesy "Dark-Eyed Cajun Woman", the folksy title track), some prime boogie rock ("China Grove"), some folksy-prog stuff ("Driven As the Clear Snow"), some Byrds-y country ("South City Midnight Lady"), some Who-influenced rock ("Without You"), some synth-driven folk-pop ("Natural Thing"), and not a stinker in sight, imo.
The Doobie Brothers What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits
They seem to be re-hashing their last two albums a bit on this one "Eyes of Silver" is a more rocking but less melodic/anthemic "Listen to the Music", "Road Angel" is "Without You" 2.0 (albeit with some late-period Hendrix influence in the opening riff) , but there are some good new ideas, like the swampy acoustic folk-blues of "Black Water" (with a fantastic bridge), or the late '60s soul-influenced tunes like "Songs to See You Through" or the Sly & the Family Stone-esque "You Know You Just Can't Stop It", or the speedy western tune "Spirit", or some psychedelic experimentation (again, somewhat Hendrix-like think the medley on Electric Ladyland) on the closing two tunes). Really the only thing that kind of bores me is the Chicago-esque non-hit single, "Another Park, Another Sunday". Pretty, but boring.
The Doobie Brothers Stampede
This seems to be a concept album, but it's just a solid, consistent roots rock LP to me. Some good boogie (the opening and closing numbers), some soul (the Curtis Mayfield-produced "Music Man", the more soul-pop sound of their Motown cover "Take Me in Your Arms"), some cool country-rock tunes ("Neal's Fandango", "Texas Lullaby"), but the biggest highlight for me is the lengthy Neil Young-esque folk-prog number, "I Cheat the Hangman".
The Doobie Brothers Takin' It to the Streets
Tied with The Captain & Me The opening trio is particularly solid, going from the funky, almost disco-ish rocker "Wheels of Fortune", to the anthemic gospel pop title track, to the Steely Dan-esque jazz-rock "8th Avenue Shuffle", but they're all good tunes to me. I suppose I could understand how people might dislike Michael McDonald's other tunes, but I like 'em just fine, especially "It Keeps You Runnin'". That bluesy synth/clavinet riff is almost kind of hypnotic with the repetitive backup vocals.
The Doobie Brothers Livin' On the Fault Line
I hated this at first every instrument sounds so sterile but the tunes are still good, especially where Jeff "Skunk" Baxter's influence is strongest: the jamming on the title track and on the atmospheric "Chinatown" are particular highlights. I far prefer the McDonald-sung pop tunes (though he also contributes the weakest tune, "There's a Light"); good melodies, nothing too special. And bassist Tiran Porter contributes a cool funk tune with some Sly Stone-esque vocals so that's a keeper.
The Doobie Brothers Minute By Minute
Side one is pretty good as far as yacht rock goes. The title track and "What a Fool Believes" are really catchy, if a bit too cheesy, but the more rocking Pat Simmons' contributions might even give the classic line-up's fans something to enjoy. I don't remember side two at all, though.
The Doobie Brothers One Step Closer
I only really remember the Hall & Oates-esque title track, the catchy boogie "Keep This Train a-Rollin'" and the hit single "Real Love", and they're all at least good (though the latter is mostly good because of the grim, grumbly opening synth riff). I don't remember anything else on here though.
Buddy Holly The "Chirping" Crickets
Pretty great collection of his earliest singles. Every hit is a gem, and some lesser known tunes are great as well. I'm not fond of many of the covers though; too doo-woppy, and very little of Buddy's personality. The two songs that I know from soul singers ("It's Too Late" through Otis Redding and "Send Me Some Lovin'" through Sam Cooke) are especially notorious in my mind.
Buddy Holly Buddy Holly
A bit more refined, but that's alright by me. If anything, this LP has the opposite problems: the rockers are the weak link, like "Ready Teddy" (which just doesn't suit Buddy, imo) and "Rave On!", but the pop numbers are terrific, and of course the more "hiccupy" rockers like the opening "I'm Gonna Love You Too" are more in that category.
The Rolling Stones Five By Five EP
This is where the Stones begin to improve their production; it's most notable in the soulful "If You Need Me" (I love Brian's organ tone) and the Booker T-esque "2120 South Michigan Avenue", but the highlights are on side two: "Confessin' the Blues" and "Around and Around" are prime early Stones blues and R&R, respectively. "Empty Heart" is kind of sloppy, but it's like a better version of the Pretty Things' non-hits from around this time.
The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones, No. 2
My favorite of the pre-"Satisfaction" Stones albums. The opening four tracks are all great, the way the breeze through "Down the Road Apiece" and "Susie Q" is great too, the (until 1972) UK-only "I Can't Be Satisfied" has some of Brian's best slide work, and I even really like their awkwardly grim cover of "Under the Boardwalk". The three originals are kind of clumsy, though, and their Otis Redding cover is as tepid as their Solomon Burke cover on their debut, but the rest of the covers make up for it.
Roxy Music For Your Pleasure
As great as the first four songs are on their debut, this album has four songs just as strong, and of the remaining four, nothing is as lame as "The Bob". And "Beauty Queen" is pretty underrated, imo; it's some prime Ferry balladeering, and the slide guitar solo backed by chugging organ synths is very Who-esque; in fact, I'm pretty sure the latter instrument is the same brand of organ Pete uses for the synth pattern on "Won't Get Fooled Again".
Roxy Music Stranded
Even more consistent than the last one. Basically eery song bar the closing "Sunset" is a highlight, rockers and ballads alike. And even without Eno, the sound is just terrific: I especially love the swooshing guitar sound in "Amazona" from the guitar solo onward and the little atmospheric pinging guitar sound on "Mother of Pearl", and the latter has some pretty great lyrics to boot ("Thus even Zarathustra/another time loser"? Who rhymes stuff like that?)
Socrates Drank the Conium Socrates Drank the Conium
The "other" Greek rock band (the main one being Vangelis' Aphrodite's Child), also a power trio, but modelling themselves after Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience instead. Some great psychedelic blues rock, marred only by Yannis Spathis' thick accent, but saved by the terrific basslines and Greek bouzouki-influenced electric guitar soloing.