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Greg's Favourites

Here are some of my picks for greatest albums of all time.   The selection includes CDs from Santana, Bob Dylan, Sarah McLachlan, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pat Metheny, Blue Rodeo, Van Morrison, Marshall Tucker, The Guess Who, and Stan Rogers.  Of course, there are many fantastic recordings we will never hear, but these ones have stayed relevant for me. 

All CDs reviewed by Greg Dixon, musician and song-writer for Blazing Saddles

Santana - Abraxas at Santana - Abraxas

Abraxas displays the amazing grace and power of Carlos Santana's guitar work.  My favourite tracks are Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va, and the sublime instrumental - Samba Pa Ti.

Song List: 1. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts 2. Black Magic Woman 3. Gypsy Queen 4. Oye Como Va 5. Incident At Neshabur 6. Se A Cabo 7. Mother's Daughter 8. Samba Pa Ti 9. Hope You're Feeling Better 10. El Nicoya 11. Se A Cabo - (bonus track, previously unreleased, CD only, live) 12. Toussaint L'Overture - (bonus track, previously unreleased, CD only, live) 13. Black Magic Woman - (bonus track, previously unreleased, CD only, live) 14. Gypsy Queen - (bonus track, previously unreleased, CD only, live)

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Beatles - Abbey RoadBeatles - Abbey Road

The Beatles last album was perhaps the best with Come Together, Something, Oh! Darling and others.

Song list:1. Come Together 2. Something 3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer 4. Oh! Darling 5. Octopus's Garden 6. I Want You (She's So Heavy) 7. Here Comes The Sun 8. Because 9. You Never Give Me Your Money 10. Sun King 11. Mean Mr. Mustard 12. Polythene Pam 13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window 14. Golden Slumbers 15. Carry That Weight 16. End, The 17. Her Majesty

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Blue Rodeo - Five Days in JulyBlue Rodeo - Five Days in July

Blue Rodeo provides a unique blend of country, blues, and ballad styles.  Five Days in July, Bad Timing, and How Long stand out on this masterpiece.

Song list: 1. 5 Days In May 2. Hasn't Hit Me Yet 3. Bad Timing 4. Cynthia 5. Photograph 6. What Is This Love - (with Sarah McLachlan) 7. English Bay 8. Head Over Heels 9. Til I Gain Control Again 10. Dark Angel 11. Know Where You Go 12. Tell Me Your Dream

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Pat Methany Group at Amazon.comPat Metheny Group

This 1978 recording featured Lyle Mays, Danny Gottlieb, Mark Egan, Pat Metheny.  The four musicians combine to create a rich sound canvas of flowing melodies, rythms, and jazz harmonics that is pure magic.

Song list: 1. San Lorenzo 2. Phase Dance 3. Jaco 4. Aprilwind 5. April Joy 6. Lone Jack

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Stan Rogers - Fogarty;s Cove at Amazon.comStan Rogers - Fogarty's Cove

Stan Rogers adopted maritime sensibilities for song and story and became a folk spokesperson for the hearts of many Canadians.  Perhaps my favourite tune of all time is his touching Forty-Five Years.

Song list: Watching The Apples Grow, Forty-Five Years, Fogarty's Cove, The Mais On The Shore, Barrett's Privateers, Fisherman's Warf, Giant, The Rawdon Hills, Plenty of Hornpipe, The Wreck of the Athens Queen, Make and Break Harbour, Finch'e Complaint / Giant: Reprise

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Bob Dylan - Blood On The TracksBob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks

Tangled Up In Blue seems to summarize the lyrical tapestry created on this album.

Song list: Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate, You're A Big Girl Now,  Idiot Wind , You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go, Meet Me In The Morning, Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts,  If You See Her, Say Hello,   Shelter From The Storm , Buckets Of Rain

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The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street available at Amazon.comRolling Stones - Exile On Main Street

This was a constant party a;bum in my youth, providing a rocking good time from beginning to end.

Song list: 1. Rocks Off 2. Rip This Joint 3. Shake Your Hips 4. Casino Boogie 5. Tumbling Dice 6. Sweet Virginia 7. Torn And Frayed 8. Sweet Black Angel 9. Loving Cup 10. Happy 11. Turd On The Run 12. Ventilator Blues 13. I Just Want To See His Face 14. Let It Loose 15. All Down The Line 16. Stop Breaking Down 17. Shine A Light 18. Soul Survivor

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The Best Of The Marshall Tucker Band: The Capricorn Years  available at Amazon.comThe Best of the Marshall Tucker Band - Capricorn Years

Marshall Tucker provided some of the best moments of southern boogie, cowboy rock.  Standouts are Can't You See, Heard it in a Love Song, Fly Like and Eagle, and Desert Skies.  Bands just don't seem to perform live like Marshall Tucker did.  Too bad.  This double CD set captures it all.

Song list - Disc 1: 1. Take The Highway 2. Can't You See - (45 version) 3. Hillbilly Band 4. See You Later, I'm Gone 5. A New Life 6. Blue Ridge Mountain Sky 7. Another Cruel Love 8. This Ol' Cowboy - (45 version) 9. In My Own Way 10. Where A Country Boy Belongs 11. Try One More Time 12. Ramblin' - (live) 13. 24 Hours At A Time - (live)

Disc 2:  1. Fire On The Mountain 2. Searchin' For A Rainbow - (45 version) 3. Walkin' And Talkin' 4. Virginia 5. Bob Away My Blues 6. Can't You See - (live) 7. Long Hard Ride - (45 version) 8. Am I The Kind Of Man 9. You Say You Love Me 10. Fly Like An Eagle 11. Heard It In A Love Song - (45 version) 12. Desert Skies 13. I'll Be Loving You 14. Dream Lover

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Best Of The  Guess Who available at Amazon.comThe Best of the Guess Who

The Guess Who, featuring Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, was perhaps Canada's most under appreciated band.  Burton's vocals are superb and the arrangements are always interesting.

Song list: 1. These Eyes 2. Laughing 3. Undun 4. No Time 5. American Woman 6. No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature 7. Hand Me Down World 8. Bus Rider 9. Share The Land 10. Do You Miss Me Darling? 11. Hang On To Your Life

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Van Morrison - Too Long In Exile - available at Amazon.comVan Morrison - Too Long In Exile

Perhaps it is futile to try to pick the best Van Morrison recording, but Too Long in Exile has many superb cuts. Highlights for me include Close Enough For Jazz - (instrumental) and  Before The World Was Made.

Song list: 1. Too Long In Exile 2. Big Time Operators 3. Lonely Avenue 4. Ball & Chain 5. In The Forest 6. Till We Get The Healing Done 7. Gloria - (with John Lee Hooker) 8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 9. Wasted Years - (with John Lee Hooker) 10. Lonesome Road, The 11. Moody's Mood For Love 12. Close Enough For Jazz - (instrumental) 13. Before The World Was Made 14. I'll Take Care Of You 15. Instrumental 16. Tell Me What You Want

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Sarah McLachlan Surfacing at Amazon.comSarah McLachlan - Surfacing

This excellent CD has many great tracks and also features multimedia enhancements that include video clips and interviews.  There is even a clip of Sarah playing the drums.  Sarah McLachlan has been an inspiration to me to expand my musical horizons to become a more complete musician.

Song list: 1. Building A Mystery 2. I Love You 3. Sweet Surrender 4. Adia 5. Do What You Have To Do 6. Witness 7. Angel 8. Black & White 9. Full Of Grace 10. Last Dance

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Last modified Friday, April 04, 2003