10 career-altering third albums from bands in the 1960s and '70s

Things changed for these groups with their third full-length releases.
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DIXIE CHICKEN by Little Feat (1973)

From Bill Payne’s opening piano motif of the opening title track, you know you are in for something special on Little Feat’s third album. The band had grown out of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, with whom band leader Lowell George had played in the late ‘60s. By the time of the third album, George had decided to expand his sound with the addition of a second guitar player, a second percussionist, and a new bass player. The results were immediate and immediately fantastic.

Dixie Chicken could be funky (“Fat Man in the Bathtub”) or country (“Fool Yourself”). It could serve up haunting blues (“Kiss It Off”). And it could do it all with the best of the specialists in any genre.

Several of the newcomers could sing too, and the band’s harmonic attack took a leap forward as well, bolstered on several Dixie Chicken tracks by the Bonnies...Bramlett and Raitt. Dixie Chicken was not an immediate commercial success, but it clearly set the table for a string of top 40 albums that would follow it. That is until George’s death in Arlington, Virginia due to a heart attack at the end of the decade.