College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 4

4. Linda Ronstadt, Living in the USA In 1978, Linda Ronstadt was about as big as a rock ‘n’ roll performer could get, though most of the superlatives that got flung around centered on her gender. After a slightly belated breakthrough with her fifth studio album, Heart Like a Wheel, Ronstadt started stacking up accomplishments. She became the first solo female to have three straight million-selling albums when her 1976 release Hasten Down the Wind crossed that tally (she eventually could claim nine straight Platinum-certified albums). The 1977 album Simple Dreams spent five weeks atop the Billboard album chart, holding … Continue reading College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 4

College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 6

6. Jethro Tull, Bursting Out Look. It’s Jethro Tull, the band that brought flute solos into rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a double live album, because it’s the nineteen-seventies and double live albums were the standard filler on the discography of the bigger bands. If you want to hear it, the whole damn thing is online. Every once in a while in these countdowns, I give myself a pass. I’m giving myself a pass. Previously… —An Introduction –26: Darkness on the Edge of Town –25: Give Thankx –24: Caravan to Midnight –23: Next of Kihn –22: 52nd Street –21: Crafty Hands … Continue reading College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 6

College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 9

9. Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! For any up-and-coming band, it’s useful to have some advocates who have already established themselves in the cutthroat music biz. Circa 1978, a band couldn’t do much better than David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Brian Eno. Devo, the brilliantly bizarre art rock outfit from Ohio, had already released a bit of music by the late nineteen-seventies, including a trio of singles that were collected on an EP from the revolutionary British label Stiff Records. The EP, appropriately enough, took the title from the third of those singles: “Be Stiff.” … Continue reading College Countdown, The First CMJ Album Chart, 9