Sweetheart of the Rodeo – The Byrds (1968)
This is a VERY country album, thanks to Gram Parsons. It’s one of the Byrds’ best and it very well with its heavy strings and slow twang.
Cold Spring Harbor – Billy Joel (1971)
Amazing. Billy Joel’s first studio album and second best to The Stranger (1977) IMO. It is not only the atmosphere that the music creates, but the album’s name and cover that really initiates the cold feeling. What’s really great is how slow piano ballads like “tomorrow is today” are offset by quicker, upbeat pop songs like “everybody loves you now”. Also, I dig that mustache he used to sport.
Tapestry – Carole King (1970)
I’d really like to know if there is a better album for today. So perfect, so soft and sweet. Starts with a bang in “I Feel the Earth Move” only to be followed by a collection of heart wrenching originals. This is easily one of my favorite albums ever and a must listen above all else. Tapestry is at the pinnacle of the singer songwriter genre.