Ronstadt's fifth album was released in 1974, and made her a star. She perfects her folk-rock sound through covers of songs by Paul Anka, Hank Williams and Anna McGarrigle. This album had number one hits on the Country and Pop charts, went platinum, and even earned Ronstadt a Grammy award.
Belle and Sebastian grew out of a class project and became a sensation in the U.K. due to word of mouth. This, their third album from 1998, is steeped in a wide array of musical influences. It grew their fanbase even more and earned them a coveted Brit Award.
This album began Blondie's rise to stardom, and rocketed them past many of their CBGBs contemporaries as far as commercial success goes. This album contains "Heart of Glass", their first (and definitely not their last) #1 single in the U.S.
Unlike most other pop groups in the 70ís, Big Star made songs with sensible harmonies as well as catchy hooks. Band mates Chris Bell and Alex Chilton shared guitar and vocals for most of the record.
After the demise of his first band, Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams went solo with the album "Heartbreaker", to much critical praise. But it was his "Gold" album that broke him out into the mainstream, earning him crossover success and new legions of fans.
1997's OK Computer is Radiohead's third release and marked the bands move toward a more experimental sound. Produced by Nigel Godrich, the albums themes included rampant consumerism, social alienation and political stagnation.
Sly Stone and his group sounded different than the hippie bands coming out of San Francisco in the late Sixties. But the integrated group's message was still one of peace, love and understanding. Their funky sound earned them a bunch of hits, including the album's title track.
After Interscope rejected her album as not commercial enough Aimee Mann bought back the rights to her songs and in 2000 released it via the Internet. Its success led her to release it on her on SuperEgo label and helped inspire the film Magnolia.
Loretta Lynn had been performing for more than 40 years before releasing "Van Lear Rose". The album was produced by White Stripes guitarist Jack White, who was also the band leader in the recordings.
For Dar Williams' long time fans, hearing this album must have been rather shocking, like when Dylan went electric.