Best of '90: Music

Paul Simon: The Rhythm of the Saints (Warner Bros.). Intricate Brazilian rhythms; complex, inward-looking lyrics. And something else too: good fun.

Beethoven: "Diabelli" Variations, Alfred Brendel, piano (Philips). The publisher asked Beethoven for one variation of a simple little waltz tune; he wrote 33, and a masterpiece. Brendel performs with style and insight, verve and elan.

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (Columbia). This isn't just music; it's American mythology, recorded in the mid-1930s and brought alive for the first time on two CDs. The blues found no deeper mystical expression than in Johnson's composing and singing.

Carlene Carter: I Fell in...

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