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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Survivor
Eye of the Tiger
1982
Album Rock
Rumor has it that Sylvester Stallone originally wanted Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” as the Rocky III main theme. Denied, he serendipitously settled on Survivor’s “Eye of the...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Survivor
Eye of the Tiger

1982
Album Rock

Rumor has it that Sylvester Stallone originally wanted Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” as the Rocky III main theme. Denied, he serendipitously settled on Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” a song so full of crotch-tight, pre-game swagger it could almost be named the “Id of the Tiger.” Amazingly, the rest of Survivor’s third album plays like an 18-year-old’s fever dream of what the ‘80s sounded like. These are hooky, headband-and-jean jacket anthems propelled by cocky, neon guitar licks, a steamy underlayment of synth, and Dave Bickler’s nasal-flaring lead-vocals.

- Matt Collar

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Moonglows
Look, It’s the Moonglows
1959
Doo Wop
The doo wop act’s only official full-length release, this elegant set includes the R&B hits “Ten Commandments of Love” and “When I’m with You,” along with ten other sweetly...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Moonglows
Look, It’s the Moonglows

1959
Doo Wop

The doo wop act’s only official full-length release, this elegant set includes the R&B hits “Ten Commandments of Love” and “When I’m with You,” along with ten other sweetly harmonized, tightly arranged tunes spanning rhythm and blues ballads and light-handed rock & roll. With Harvey Fuqua and Bobby Lester singing lead, the legendary group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

- Marcy Donelson

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
John Carter
Dauwhe
1982
Jazz
The first of five thematically linked albums by clarinetist John Carter in which he musically depicts African-American history. This is the only volume on Black Saint (the rest appeared on...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
John Carter
Dauwhe

1982
Jazz

The first of five thematically linked albums by clarinetist John Carter in which he musically depicts African-American history. This is the only volume on Black Saint (the rest appeared on Gramavision), Carter’s octet includes cornetist Bobby Bradford, and flutist James Newton. These five originals expressionistically depict life in Africa before slavery by melding folk melodies with advanced improvising.

- Thom Jurek

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Blur
The Great Escape
1995
Britpop
Dark, cynical, and subversively funny, Blur’s fourth LP skews more of modern life in witty fashion, while delivering some of the catchiest tunes in their catalog. From the biting “Stereotypes”...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Blur
The Great Escape

1995
Britpop

Dark, cynical, and subversively funny, Blur’s fourth LP skews more of modern life in witty fashion, while delivering some of the catchiest tunes in their catalog. From the biting “Stereotypes” to “Country House” and the yearning “Best Days” and “The Universal,” there’s something for every mood. Highlights on this career peak include the jaunty “Charmless Man,” the wild “Mr Robinson’s Quango,” and one of the band’s best moments of introspection, “He Thought of Cars.”

- Neil Z Yeung

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind and Fire
February, 1971
Soul
Earth, Wind & Fire’s self-titled 1971 debut arrived already fluent in the close harmonies of the classiest soul groups, the deep funk of James Brown, and the progressive...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind and Fire

February, 1971
Soul

Earth, Wind & Fire’s self-titled 1971 debut arrived already fluent in the close harmonies of the classiest soul groups, the deep funk of James Brown, and the progressive social concerns and multiple vocal features of Sly & the Family Stone. Courtesy of auteur Maurice White, the nine-member group added a set of freewheeling arrangements that were heavy on horns, which helped to make this one of their finest albums – the artistic, if not commercial equal of their hits.

- John Bush

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Uncle Tupelo
March 16-20, 1992
August 3, 1992
Alternative Country-Rock
On their first two albums, Uncle Tupelo’s music was influenced as much by the Minutemen and Dinosaur Jr. as the Carter Family, but for their third...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Uncle Tupelo
March 16-20, 1992

August 3, 1992
Alternative Country-Rock

On their first two albums, Uncle Tupelo’s music was influenced as much by the Minutemen and Dinosaur Jr. as the Carter Family, but for their third full-length, they turned off their amps and dug deep into the folk sounds that inspired them. March 16-20, 1992whispered where most of their music roared, but the covers showed their sense of class consciousness ran deep, and revealed how quickly Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy were maturing as songwriters.

- Mark Deming

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Outrageous Cherry
Meet You in the Shadows
December 14, 2018
Alternative/Indie Rock
A fine last hurrah from a one-of-a-kind band, Meet You in the Shadows harks back to Outrageous Cherry’s early days and sums up where they landed...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Outrageous Cherry
Meet You in the Shadows

December 14, 2018
Alternative/Indie Rock

A fine last hurrah from a one-of-a-kind band, Meet You in the Shadows harks back to Outrageous Cherry’s early days and sums up where they landed more than 20 years later. Filled with love songs for misfits – and plenty of eloquent guitar solos from the late Larry Ray – the album radiates the joy and warmth that always defined the band’s music.

- Heather Phares

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Watersons
For Pence and Spicy Ale
1975
British Folk
The Watersons’ 1975 masterpiece saw British folk legend Martin Carthy joining the family’s ranks both as husband of Norma Waterson and vocal stand-in for John Harrison. The...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Watersons
For Pence and Spicy Ale

1975
British Folk

The Watersons’ 1975 masterpiece saw British folk legend Martin Carthy joining the family’s ranks both as husband of Norma Waterson and vocal stand-in for John Harrison. The group’s earthy a cappella folk reached its zenith in terms of performance, arrangements, and tone on this set.

- Timothy Monger

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
INXS
Welcome to Wherever You Are
1992
Alternative
One of the lesser-appreciated INXS albums from their late era, Welcome to Wherever You Are still has several worthwhile tunes. The album opens with a quasi-mystical drone but...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
INXS
Welcome to Wherever You Are

1992
Alternative

One of the lesser-appreciated INXS albums from their late era, Welcome to Wherever You Are still has several worthwhile tunes. The album opens with a quasi-mystical drone but quickly shifts into the slick fashion-pop that the band was known for. “Heaven Sent,” “Taste It” and the slinky “Not Enough Time” are all tailor made for an MTV House of Style runway montage, and that’s not a bad thing.

- Zac Johnson

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Earl Sweatshirt
Some Rap Songs
November 30, 2018
Alternative Rap
With lo-fi, waterlogged production and post-Dilla beats heavy on chopped vocal samples, this brief offering from Odd Future’s most lyrically astute member marks...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Earl Sweatshirt
Some Rap Songs

November 30, 2018
Alternative Rap

With lo-fi, waterlogged production and post-Dilla beats heavy on chopped vocal samples, this brief offering from Odd Future’s most lyrically astute member marks another shift in his restless creative arc. Bright, woozy textures and submerged, almost detached rhyme schemes make Some Rap Songs feel both summery and cold at the same time.

- Fred Thomas

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Delta 9
Disco Inferno
January 28, 1997
Hardcore Techno
Unquestionably one of the best and most important hardcore techno albums ever, Delta 9’s debut full-length brought gabber and speedcore to a wider audience (i.e. fans of...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Delta 9
Disco Inferno

January 28, 1997
Hardcore Techno

Unquestionably one of the best and most important hardcore techno albums ever, Delta 9’s debut full-length brought gabber and speedcore to a wider audience (i.e. fans of death metal and industrial, as it was released by Earache). Filled with 200+ BPM distorted kicks, violent samples, and sampled metal riffs, this is a brutal, uncompromising mix of adrenaline and sheer terror. For fans of certain corners of the extreme music world, this changed everything.

- Paul Simpson

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped
June 13, 2006
Alternative Pop/Rock
As close to a pop record as they were capable of, 2006’s Rather Ripped found Sonic Youth embracing compact song structures with discernible hooks. Still with plenty of...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped

June 13, 2006
Alternative Pop/Rock

As close to a pop record as they were capable of, 2006’s Rather Ripped found Sonic Youth embracing compact song structures with discernible hooks. Still with plenty of the warped guitar experiments the band had made their name on, the album felt stripped down and urgently alive, with Kim Gordon penning both a majority of the tracks and most of its standouts.

- Fred Thomas

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Orquesta Akokan
Orquesta Akokan
March 30, 2018
Mambo
Recorded live to tape at Havana’s legendary Areito Studios, this cooking multi-generational big band pays homage to the mambo with passion and innovation. An homage to the...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Orquesta Akokan
Orquesta Akokan

March 30, 2018
Mambo

Recorded live to tape at Havana’s legendary Areito Studios, this cooking multi-generational big band pays homage to the mambo with passion and innovation. An homage to the great mambo music of the ‘40s and '50s, this 16-piece big band of seasoned Cuban musicians – that includes lead vocalist Jose “Pepito” Gomez and pianist/arranger Michael Eckroth – makes the dancefloor burn.

- Thom Jurek

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