I’ve been listening to a few albums each day as I work. Most I don’t have great listening notes for, but here’s what’s crossed my turntable this week:
REO Speedwagon: Good Trouble
Nothing special about this album. No memorable songs; just a good old 70’s rock album. Maybe the biggest disappointment of the week, other than Bon Jovi New Jersey which has a defect that causes a skip in Track 1 – at which point I turned it off and put it at the back of the line.
I was pretty excited to listen to this Mint Japanese pressing of this somewhat legendary Jazz recording. While the recording was phenomenal, the music was not all that inspiring to me. Just not my kind of jazz, I guess. I’ll take some raw New Orleans jazz over this any day….
John Cougar Mellencamp: Scarecrow
This was a great album. In addition to Rain on the Scarecrow, it has Small Town, Face of the Nation, You’ve Got to Stand for Somethin’, and R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. This was probably what i would consider almost one of the Anthem Albums of my youth, even though I never owned it. I grew up in a small town, and all my friends were so small town…
Peter, Paul, & Mary: In the Wind
Great musical talent and some real classic songs. Most striking was the Christian Hymn All My Trials. Just incredible to hear that type of song from a main stream artist. Perhaps more impressive was this 62 year old album was in amazing shape. It’s probably a reissue, but it was with a lot of 60’s contemporaries, so it has still held up very well. In “Vitaphonic Stereo”, and Made in U.S.A. Sweet.
Robin Trower: In City Dreams
Trower is known as a guitarist, and while there is some nice music in here, it’s not the same impact as say Clapton, Santana, or even Frampton. But, it’s sort of cutting edge, because I thought for sure it was an early 80’s album, but it’s from 1977. I guess the cover art scream late 70’s… cool album. Glad I stumbled across it.
The Byrds: The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Ok – this one’s from early in the week, and I honestly don’t remember it much, so i guess that says something about this album, at least as far as my musical tastes goes. In fact, I remember what the physical condition of the album looks like, but not the music. Notorious? hardly. How can you be notorious and not be memorable. Maybe it’s notorious because it isn’t as memorable as some of their other work? Anyway, not much more to say.
Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
If you like the title track, you’ll love the album; it seems to show up t least three times in various forms. It’s not really a collection of songs as much as it is a musical storyline. And the album cover and insert are just as enjoyable as the music. I’ve got another copy of this in the playlist somewhere; this one’s a little rough, but playable. Looking forward to the next one for a second listen.
Peter, Paul, and Mary: (Ten) Years Together
Classic folk music. But what I came to appreciate during the course of this album was their amazing harmonies. Sometimes I feel like perhaps I was born too late. I’m not a huge fan of these three, but I can appreciate their music, that’s for sure.
Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
Holy Cow! This was an amazing 2-album set! I didn’t really know any of the songs, but Mr. Wonder is truly a musical genius. I found it most interesting that I heard many riffs and little melodies that have been sampled by other artists through the last 20-30 years or so. I’m looking forward to hearing this one again some day.
Well, the title of the album is really creative, and luckily the musical content holds up as well. Carry On Wayward Son is a rock classic, but unfortunately this album seems to be less highly regarded. But it’s a great musical experience.
Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac
This 40 year-old album is in great physical condition. Songs like Rhiannon and Landslide made Stevie Nicks’ career, but overall this was an ok album. Most impressive was the condition and clean sound.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Street Survivors
So this album came out when i was about 5 years old, but I really enjoyed it. Half the songs are very familiar, and as a guitar player I really appreciated the music on this album. It’s also in really great condition – looks almost new. I really dig the tube socks and jean shorts, too….
Neil Young: Everybody Knows this is Nowhere
Every once in a while, there’s an album that just captures my emotions, so I pull it aside and put it in my favorites collection. This one joins Frampton Comes Alive, Are You Experienced, Boston, and Willie Humphries New Orleans Clarinet in that small grouping of albums that just blew my mind. This is one incredible album that I’ve never heard of. I’ve heard some of the songs, but almost every one of these is extremely well done. This 40 minutes just flew by, and i listened to side 2 twice…. I know there’s another copy in the collection somewhere, but I probably won’t wait for it to surface before I spin this one again.
I know my cousin Tim has some Kiss albums growing up, and I’ve heard a few of their songs before, but this is virtually my first Kiss album. It was really enjoyable, and I could see why people are such fans. I Was Made for Lovin’ You is an awesome song that sounds incredible on vinyl.