Among many other Amazon MP3 deals, each new month brings a new list of 100 Albums for $5 Each. It’s always a hit and miss affair, with a few bargain treasures mixed in among the discounted debris.
Here are the albums that jump out at me for November:
- The Ultimate Blue Train, by John Coltrane — Blue Train was John Coltrane’s favorite of his own records, and his first as a leader. It captures him as his tenor saxophone powers are first fully blossoming, during a key moment in the evolution of jazz. This Ultimate release features digital remastering and adds two alternate takes that further enhance this landmark album.
- Highway 61 Revisited, by Bob Dylan — Bob Dylan’s first full rock album begins with the epic “Like a Rolling Stone” and tears through a rollicking cycle of songs, including “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,” “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.” The album’s recording sessions bookended Dylan’s controversial appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, catching him at a time when his own identity and creativity were reborn and redoubled — along with the entire course of rock and roll.
- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, by Lauryn Hill — This 1998 release debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for 10 Grammys and won 5. Not bad for a young artist’s first solo album, and clearly a hard achievement to follow. Tracks include the smash hit “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Everything is Everything” (with the first commercial appearance of John Legend), and “To Zion,” featuring a guest performance by guitarist Carlos Santana.
In addition to these monumental albums, there are a number of $5 greatest hits collections this month, which can be an inexpensive way to round out your music library or expand your tastes. Among these:
- The Band’s Greatest Hits
- Heart’s Greatest Hits
- A Decade Of Steely Dan
- Glen Campbell’s Greatest Hits
- The Greatest Hits Volume 1: 20 Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys
Do any others among the November 100 strike you as must-haves?