December 28, 2009

Taking a break from the 80's with a few new discs: Paul Weller's As Is Now, Neil Young's Prairie Wind, Elvis & Crew strumming and goofing on The Complete Million Dollar Quartet; some new books: World War Z, Dave Eggers' 2009 NonRequired Reading; and some hot buttered rum...

December 26, 2009

Best of the Dec80s (get it? " Decade" + "1980's " ?)

Ok, on to the 80's! My "expansion" decade, ages 14 - 23, of not only music but life in general -- girls, paychecks, cars, alcohol, even a touch of higher education. Heck, I think I even got married at some point during the decade...

New Wave/Alternative, New Traditionalist, Christian Rock, Live Aid and Do They Know It's Christmas?, mix tapes and The Monsters of Rock tour...

U2, The Replacements, Elvis Costello, Hoodoo Gurus, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Police, Waterboys, BoDeans, X, Prince, R.E.M., R.E.M., R.E.M. !

Charlie Peacock, Keith Green, Petra (no, not Stryper), 77s, Altar Boys...

Dwight Yoakam,  George Strait, Randy Travis, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Keith Whitley, Willie & Waylon...

day 2 of 80's quest: I'm noticing songs from my All-Time Album list don't always make the Song of the Decade list, and not all my favorite can't-live-without songs from just 11+ months ago have been included either... the 80's of course begot the compact disc and my first sound system, a 4 ft high stacked Panasonic system in a lovely faux-wood cabinet; cost me $1100 (which I always remember since my first truck a few months later was $11,000)... seriously debated for days what the inaugural disc would be -- Beatles or U2? Joshua Tree won the battle... fed up with commercials after every couple of songs leads to country stations that play "12 in row!" and a crush on Wynonna Judd... a crush on a blonde leads to roadtrips to the Coliseum for U2 and the Monsters of Rock tour... not sure exactly when I "discovered" Van Morrison but must have been towards the end of the decade...

Albums listened to the most in the 1980's:
  • Tunnel of Love, Springsteen
  • Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum, U2
  • Pleased to Meet Me, Replacements
  • Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. and Buenos Noches From a Lonely Room, Dwight Yoakam
  • Reckoning and Document, R.E.M.
  • Purple Rain, Prince & The Revolution
  • So, Peter Gabriel
  • 1984, Van Halen
  • Back in Black, AC/DC (daily in 1980 on cassette+boombox)
  • The Lexicon of Love, ABC
  • Rain on the Scarecrow, J C Mellencamp
  • Introducing the Hardline..., Terence Trent D'Arby
  • The Best Of..., Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  • In My Tribe, 10,000 Maniacs
  • Pontiac, Lyle Lovett
  • Songs From The Big Chair, Tears For Fears
  • Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty
  • Graceland, Paul Simon
  • See How Are We Are, X
  • Storms of Life, Randy Travis
  • Why Not Me, The Judds
did I miss anything?

December 21, 2009

Best of the Decade(s) -- 1970's

The 70's -- reggae, rock, disco, Captain & Tennille; Elton, Led Zep, Boston, Barry White and Al Green; "Grease" "Saturday Night Fever" and "Thank God It's Friday"; Clapton is God, Springsteen's The Boss, and introducing The Clash and Elvis Costello...

Update: This is a decidedly more mellow (and quieter) list than I would have made at age 13, which has now depressed me since doing the math reveals 30 years have gone by since I began listening to music.  Dang, I'm gettin' old. Fortunately my dad was the station manager for American Forces Radio in Europe, so I was able to escape his Barry Manilow LPs by exploring the world of 70's Top 40 radio, although I do confess one of the first albums my friend had that we played repeatedly was Shaun Cassidy's debut with the classic "Da Doo Run Run" (I couldn't even hum it now if I tried), and the Star Wars soundtrack.  The DJs used to make mix tapes for me, or I would sit right up close to the radio, fingers on the Play and Record buttons to record the song the second they stopped talking or before it faded into the next tune.

While I'm dialing down memory lane... first cassettes, received for 10th birthday with the tape player -- ABBA, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; first album purchased with my allowance -- either Earth Wind & Fire's Greatest Hits or The Commodores Greatest; introduction to both the Beatles (was it KPRI that did the "Beatles A to Z" weekends? I taped those too)  and Bee Gees -- Uncle Fred's scene-by-scene reenactment of the Sgt. Pepper's movie; the funky phase -- one of very few white boys trying to make the football team and introduced to Bootsy's Parliament, LTD, Con Funk Shun; finding 91X and KGB and the record collections of friends' older siblings (Hendrix! Zeppelin! Joplin, CSN&Y, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd!); the end of the 70's era (musically just temporarily, smoking out more or less permanently) for me comes in 1983 as a girlfriend sends me U2's War...

Which means it's time to put this edition of Best of The Decade to rest:

  • What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
  • Rocket Man, Elton John
  • Papa Was A  Rolling Stone, Temptations
  • Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Dylan/Clapton
  • Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
  • Born To Run, Springsteen
  • Night Moves, Bob Seger
  • Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry
  • Miss You, Stones
  • Here Comes My Girl, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

1960's Top 10

  • Love Me Do, The Beatles (62)
  • Ticket To Ride, The Beatles (64)
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues, Dylan (65)
  • Tired Of Waiting For You, The Kinks (65)
  • Good Vibrations, Beach Boys (66)
  • Monday, Monday, The Mamas & The Papas (66)
  • Respect, Aretha Franklin (67)
  • Son Of A Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield (68)
  • (Sittin' On The) Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding (68)
  • You Can't Always Get..., Rolling Stones (69)
I think even a "top 100" list would mean chopping off some great songs...

December 17, 2009

Best of the Decade(s) -- the 60's

Hmmm... the 1960's are turning out to be much tougher than the 50's.  A few that didn't make the cut: "It's Not Unusual", "Stop in the name of love", "My Generation" "Hard to handle" and "Good Vibrations"...

2 days under the headphones later... Narrowed it down to about 24 songs, hard to not let Beatles/Dylan/Stones dominate. And which "Respect" -- Aretha or Otis?

December 16, 2009

Best of the Decade(s)

In order to warm up before deciding on the best songs and albums of 2009, and to give "shuffle" time to cycle through the 2000s playlist, I went back a few decades:

The 1950s
  1. "Bo Diddley" by Bo Diddley
  2. "Fever" by Peggy Lee
  3. "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" Nat King Cole
  4. "Great Balls of Fire" Jerry Lee Lewis
  5. "Johnny B. Goode" Chuck Berry
  6. "Lonely Teardrops" Jackie Wilson
  7. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" Bill Haley & His Comets
  8. "That's All Right"* Elvis Presley
  9. "What's I Say" Ray Charles
  10. "You Send Me" Sam Cooke
*or is it "Alright"?

Songs are listed by year; no complicated formulas, sales figures, or critical/historical evaluation other than do i like it and will I continue to play the song?  Lists are in no way set in concrete, so if I forgot a tune that must be considered, let me know!

Ok, on to the '60s...

hello? hello? Is this thing on?

Daaaang... haven't done any blogging in a long time. Football season, as in coaching 2 sons' teams, substitute teaching, and general laziness -- surprised it hasn't gone to "inactive" status.

Anyway, had to stop by to change comment settings, looks like I'm a leading advertiser for Dr. Hu's marital aids.

Ok, now back to research and debate on 2009's top albums and songs -- any suggestions?