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Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson discuss their favorite music through the lens of the medium they care for most, the ALBUM.

Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson discuss their favorite music through the lens of the medium they care for most, the ALBUM.
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Bill Lambusta and Brian Erickson discuss their favorite music through the lens of the medium they care for most, the ALBUM.




Liner Notes - The Stone Pony, Quincey Jones, and Mail Bag

Bill and Brian pick up the digital phone to have a relaxed conversation about Brian preparing for a show at the Stone Pony, Quincey Jones epic rants, and some listener emails that touch on Boston, Elliott Smith, Ben Folds Five, and the Eagles!


Hole - Live Through This (w/ guest Adam Bird)

Musician Adam Bird ( joins Bill and Brian to discuss Hole's breakthrough sophomore effort Live Through This (1994, DGC).


Blondie - Parallel Lines (w/ guest Jonathyne Briggs)

Author and professor Jonathyne Briggs joins Bill and Brian to discuss Blondie's breakthrough third album Parallel Lines (1978, Chrysalis). Jonathyne talks about underestimating the band as a singles band in his youth before really digging into their catalog after they reformed in the late 90s. Then Bill, Brian, and Jonathyne discuss sexism in the NYC punk scene, Mike Chapman's dictatorial production, Debbie Harry's voice, the excellent rhythm section - Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison, Robert...


The Clash - London Calling (w/ guest Nick Palmer)

Musician Nick Palmer joins Bill to talk about iconic, landmark "punk" album London Calling (CBS/Epic, 1979) by the Clash. Nick describes working his way back from Green Day to eventually picking up Combat Rock and not understand how anyone could call it punk. Then Bill and Nick talk about Nick's fandom forming fully, the important dichotomy of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, Paul Simonon's surprisingly good bass despite his own self-deprecating description of it, Topper Headon's killer drums,...


Norah Jones - Come Away with Me (w/ guest Matt Kelly)

Podcaster Matt Kelly ( joins Bill and Brian to discuss Norah Jones' massive breakout debut Come Away with Me (2002, Blue Note). Matt shares how Jones' blend of melancholy jazz and country helped him process the death of an important family member who passed shortly before this album was released. Then Bill, Brian, and Matt discuss the possible influence of Willie Nelson, Starbucks albums, how Jesse Harris may be the luckiest guy, Lee Alexander's soft country style, Jones'...


Ben Folds Five - The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (w/ Brian Rothenbeck and Jay Gogel)

Bill takes the weekend off, leaving the program in Brian's questionable hands. But he recruits solo artist, bandleader, and Yarnspinners Podcast maestro Brian Rothenbeck ( to be the guest co-host. Together, the two Brian's and special guest Jay Gogel (of The Adventuring Party) dig deep into Ben Folds Five's final album, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999/550 Music). Brian recalls a sad breakup that echoes "Don't Change Your Plans," while Rothenbeck...


The Velvet Underground & Nico (w/ guest Mike Noordzy)

Multi-instrumentalist Mike Noordzy of psychedelic afro-cuban surf jazz band El Noordzo ( joins Bill and Brian to discuss the eponymous album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967, Verve). Mike talks about falling in love with a Velvets' best of he found at a random used record shop, before we get into talking about Nico's contributions as a vocalist, Tom Wilson punching up the sound, the effect Andy Warhol had on the band, John Cale vs. Sterling Morrison on bass, Lou...


Liner Notes - Mail Bag

Welcome to the first ever Liner Notes edition of the Great Albums podcast, a semi-monthly version of the show where Bill and Brian get to relax a little, read some listener emails, make corrections, and possibly chat about some new topics. In this episode we read some listener emails about loving Boston as a kid, giving the podcast a second chance, some top songs of 2017, guests helping the podcast get some context, and some cool local bands from other parts of the world. Check these out:...


Heatmiser - Mic City Sons

Bill and Brian dive into Heatmiser, a band that might be familiar to some as "Elliott Smith's band," and their final album Mic City Sons (1996, Caroline). Bill and Brian discuss picking this album up from the Princeton Record Exchange used section, Elliott Smith's value as a band member, co-songwriter Neil Gust going song for song in quality alongside Elliott, Tony Lash's contributions to the Pacific Northwest sound as a producer, Sam Coomes subtle arrangements on bass and keys, beets, and...


Boston - Self Titled (w/ guest Mike Virok)

Bill and Brian are joined by guitarist and certified luthier Mike Virok ( to discuss Boston's self titled debut album (1976, Epic). Mike talks about discovering this music while his dad played side one on the tape deck while driving to his bowling league. Then Bill, Brian, and Mike get into near one-man-band Tom Scholz production, Brad Delp's important contributions as vocalist, the band's status as "corporate rock," the Real World Boston, rocking out to these...


One Great Song - The Beach Boys "Good Vibrations"

Bill and Brian close out the year by discussing an all time classic song, "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys (1966, Capitol). We get into Brian Wilson's arrangements and composition style, Mike Love's lyrical contributions, Dennis Wilson's musicianship, whether it's Carol Kaye or possibly Carl Wilson on bass, where the song belongs amongst other great songs from the 60s and 70s, just how many song parts there are, a little music theory [listener, be warned], and a listener email about...


Bonus Song Thursday - Christmas Spectacular

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian are again joined by .com blogger Jeff Fiedler to discuss some musical Christmas memories. We chat about some odd albums we've received as gifts, some of our favorite gifts, and a little about our Jeff's favorite Christmas tune!


Top 10 Albums of 2017 (Part II - Jeff)

Bill and Brian are joined by blogger and resident bin-diver Jeff Fiedler to count down his top 10 albums of 2017. Listeners are in for a treat as we get into an all new, all different list of great albums that were released in the 2017 calendar year! *Note: there is an early discussion about this year's hit of the summer "Despacito," and it being attributed to Justin Bieber. It's worth pointing out that, although the remix version that featured the Biebs' as a guest...


Bonus Song Thursday - Ruby Bones "Heart of Darkness"

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian continue talking about our favorite albums of 2017 by highlighting a release from a local NJ band, Ruby Bones! We talk about what a great guy band leader Chris Nova is and his dedication to the scene and how Brian obtained an early copy of the album through some underhanded means. Then we read some listener emails about Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper and Jules Shear, and some possible changes coming to the Great Albums in 2018.


Top 10 Albums of 2017 (Part I - Brian)

Bill and Brian count down their top 10 albums of 2017. As has become our custom, Bill defers to Brian to give us a list of 10 hip, cool albums that came out in the past calendar year. Stay tuned for next week's episode in which we'll have another all new, all different top 10!


Bonus Song Thursday - Phil Collins "True Colors"

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian get a little tangential, finally bringing one of the all time greats to the podcast, as we discuss Phil Collins' very 90s-tastic cover of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." We talk a little about Phil, Genesis in the 80s, and uilleann pipes before we then read some listener emails in appreciation of horn parts, which leads to a great metaphor comparing song arrangements to cheeseburgers, and a poll of Billy Joel vs. Elton John.


Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual

Massive Albums November comes to a close as Bill and Brian chat about Cyndi Lauper's smash debut She's So Unusual (1983, Portrait). Bill and Brian talk about learning to appreciate pop albums, the contributions of the Hooters' Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, how Lauper made this album of cowrites and voters her own, the influence of ska, reggae, and new wave on the album, Brian not saying "motored," Betty Boop, and more as we make out way through the album track by track!


Bonus Song Thursday - Billy Joel "The River of Dreams"

It's Bonus Song Thursday! Bill and Brian break out the their Ocean Pacific gear as they remember the 90s and their early experiences hearing Billy Joel's "The River of Dreams." Brian tells a heartbreaking tale of a young man who didn't get to sing the solo at school but redeemed himself at the county fair. Then we get into some listener emails about 90s rap and our plans for April Fool's Day. Make sure to check out Speak Into My Good Eye's 24 hour songwriting challenge to hear new tunes...


Billy Joel - The Stranger (w/ guest Matt Fernicola)

Massive Albums November rolls (and rocks) on into week 3 as Bill and Brian welcome multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Matt Fernicola (Foes of Fern, Avery Mandeville and the Man Devils, the Burns, and many more) to talk about Billy Joel's the Stranger (1977, Columbia). Listener be warned: much to our delight Fern, a Berklee College of Music alum, really dives deep into music theory when describing how Joel's classical training help define his unique pop sound. Also, we compare and...


Bonus Song Thursday - Michael Jackson "Butterflies"

It's Bonus Song Thursday! And Bill and Brian are joined by special guest cohost - our resident bin diver and .com blogger Jeff Fiedler - to discuss one of his favorite late period Michael Jackson tunes "Butterflies." Jeff talks about how the warmer sounds and throwback vibe of the song are to his liking. Then we take a comparative look at MJ's 90s output before we get to some listener (and reader) emails about top 5 Led Zeppelin songs, Jeff's rating system for Discog Fever pieces, and Prince.


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