Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Classic Album of the Moment

Are you of a generation that can remember buying vinyl records? Or even cassettes? If you are, then you probably can recall getting home with your new record or tape and playing it to death again and again until every word, melody, riff have permeated your mind. You will have sung along to the singles, but more deeply appreciated the album tracks, and if it was one of those albums that had no singles, then you could lose yourself in discovering the new music. I'm sure this is still possible in the post CD era of i-tunes and MP3 players (and probably gadgets that I don't even know about...God I'm getting old) but with so much music free (or cheap) to stream on apps like Spotify and youtube the mystique of buying an album seems to have disappeared.

Anyway, true to my younger self, I'm going to indulge in discovering some albums that I wished I'd have bought when I was younger but never did. Yes, they will be on CD, but I will listen to them again and again until I have immersed myself in every thing they have to offer. There'll be no Greatest Hits Albums here, though I have nothing against them. I want to hear some album tracks, some tracks that are new to me.

My favourite Beatles album (from beatlesbible)
So where to start? I've got about 50 years worth of popular music to choose from and some of the albums I may have heard before, but not for a long time. I recently lost myself in Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. I must have listened to it 100 times this year, with Tangled Up in Blue possibly my favourite Dylan song. Time to move on. I've played the Beatles Revolver a few times recently. It really is a fantastic album with some beautiful songs, and was an early popular psychedelic creation. It's easy for us in 2013 to forget how innovative and trend setting the Beatles were. However, Revolver was released before I was born (only just!) and I was thinking more of my own recollections from when I was starting to buy records, or at least ask for them as presents.
The Jam's 1978 Album
I started secondary school in 1978, which was a pretty exciting time for music. Besides the fact that rock music was becoming more accomplished (Pink Floyds's 'The Wall' was released the year after) punk and new wave were taking over. An album that I wish that I owned but never did was The Jam's All Mod Cons. (Coincidentally, the Jam used The Beatles 'Taxman' guitar riff for their number 1 hit 'Start', Taxman being the opening song on Revolver).

The album was apparently influenced by British 60's invasion music which is most notably seen in their cover of the Kinks track, David Watts. As I could also listen to the Kinks and that brand of 60's music, this is the perfect album for me to start reminiscing about. According to Q Music, All Mod Cons is the 50th greatest British album of all time. The list is headed by Revolver!

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