Must Own Albums: Americana

Cosmos_factoryCreedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory

With a string of hits under their belt, and a high profile set at the legendary Woodstock Festival, CCR were one of the biggest bands around. This double album would be their commercial peak just before the band rapidly spiralled towards a tempestuous breakup. It’s also their most diverse album featuring the rock’n’roll of ‘Travellin’ Band’, the psychedelic ‘Ramble Tamble’ and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard it Through The Grapevine’.

harvest neil youngNeil Young – Harvest

As much as he tried to avoid it, fame and success followed Neil Young around, whether with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or with his solo work. All other success though paled in comparison with that of Harvest, an acoustic album featuring the hits ‘Heart Of Gold’ and ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’. Following this Young tried to escape his acoustic troubadour image and went on to make heavier albums that helped found alternative rock and grunge.

american beautyGrateful Dead – American Beauty

The biggest cult band in the world. Although they were one of the most popular bands in America at the time they didn’t receive much commercial success until they swapped out their psychedelic acid test jams for the acoustic style of American Beauty. It featured some of their most famous and familiar songs including ‘Truckin’, ‘Sugar Magnolia’ and ‘Friend of the Devil’, ‘Ripple’ and ‘Box of Rain’.

the-last-waltzThe Band – The Last Waltz

Starting out as a backing band for Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, The Band went their own way and became known as one of the most loved and talented bands of the time. By the late 70s however pressure was starting to build and they decided to call it quits with one massive farewell concert. Though it featured such incredible guest stars as Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton, The Band pulled off one final swan song and upstaged them all.