The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 25

Clearing out a lot of albums from the end of last week and into the weekend...

Big Brother and the Holding Company - Big Brother and the Holding Company
XTC - The Big Express
The Rolling Stones - Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)
Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings
Rush - Black Forest (Frankfurt, Germany 5/28/79)
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

The debut album from Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring a lead singer named Janis Joplin, is a fairly tame and low-key affair that is nothing like the sound for which they'd later become known and famous for. XTC's album is fantastic, one of their best, and yet it's criminally underrated and overlooked in their discography. The Stones' first hits collection has most of their singles from the early-to-mid 1960s and is nice although all of the songs are available elsewhere. Dream Theater's final album featuring founding drummer Mike Portnoy is excellent, bookended by the two epics "A Nightmare to Remember" and "The Count of Tuscany." The Rush show from 1979 is nice and long and features classic after classic and the full epics of Hemispheres and 2112, which alone make it worth having. Finally, Black Sabbath's debut album is a classic blend of heavy blues and the early stirring of heavy metal and has more loose jams wrapped up in song structures than you can shake a stick at.