My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Original Album Tracks 1-6
Brief Background: Recorded from during the beginning of 1970 and released in July of the same year, John Barleycorn Must Die was initially to be Steve Winwood’s first solo album.
What I think: When I think of genre mixing or genre bending music and albums I usually think of releases from the 1990’s on, but this album is certainly that. It makes for an interesting mix, because I enjoy some of these genres and others I don’t. When they are mixed throughout the same song it can be great or frustrating. I really hear a lot of rock, soul, folk, jazz fusion, and prog-rock here. I really enjoy it all except for the jazz fusion, which is primarily highlighted by the use of a flute.
I would say I like portions of every song here, with the exception of the title track. My favorites are “Empty Pages”, “Stranger to Himself” and the exceptional Give-It-All-They-Got jam at the end of “Freedom Riders”.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I like it just enough to give it a pass. You can see Winwood’s pop side come out a bit and highlight his later solo albums.
Rating (Out of 5): 3
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (163/208)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 78%