Sunday, September 27, 2020

My Favorite Albums of 1990

My latest of my album anniversary series. Also check out 1970 & 1980.  This time I focus on 1990.  A mere 30 years ago today.  Below are an A-Z listing of my favorite albums released in 1990.  Lots of genres, and most likely, even in 2020, lots of albums that I still haven't heard.  All are studio or live,  no greatest hits albums.

Alan Jackson - Here In The Real World
Alison Krauss - I've Got That Old Feeling
Ali Farka Toure - River
A Tribe Called Quest - People's Instinctive Travels
Beautiful South - Welcome to the Beautiful South
Bell Biv Devoe - Poison
Black Crowes - Shake Your Moneymaker
Chills - Submarine Bells
Civil War (Ken Burns Documentary) Soundtrack
Clint Black - Put Yourself In My Shoes
Depeche Mode - Violator
Digital Underground - Sex Packets
Dwight Yoakam - If There Was A Way
Eric B. & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em
Flatlanders - More A Legend Than A Band
Fugazi - Repeater
Garth Brooks - No Fences
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
Guy - Future
Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches
Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
Jeff Lynne - Armchair Theatre 
Joe Diffie - Thousand Winding Roads
Johnny Gill - s/t
K.T. Oslin - Love In A Small Town
La's - s/t
Lisa Stansfield - Affection
LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out
Madonna - I'm Breathless
Mariah Carey - s/t
Mark Chesnutt - Too Cold At Home
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Shooting Straight In The Dark
Matraca Berg - Lying To The Moon
Mazzy Star - She Hangs Brightly
MC Hammer - Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining
Monie Love - Down To Earth
Neil Young - Ragged Glory
Nick Lowe - Party of One
Patty Loveless - On Down The Line
Paul Simon - Rhythm of the Saints
Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour
Pixies - Bossanova
Prince - Graffiti Bridge
Randy Travis - Heroes and Friends
Reba McEntire - Rumor Has It
Red Hot + Blue - Various
Replacements - All Shook Down
Ride - Nowhere
Rosanne Cash - Interiors
Salt-N-Pepa - Blacks' Magic
Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Social Distortion - s/t
Sonic Youth - Goo
They Might Be Giants - Flood
Tony Toni Tone - Revival
Travis Tritt - Country Club
Uncle Tupelo - No Depression
Van Morrison - Enlightenment

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Playlist for 9/23

Women New Wave (Spotify Playlist)
Tessy Lou Williams - s/t
Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom
Charley Crockett - Welcome To Hard Times
Colter Wall - Western Swing & Waltzes
Mavericks - En Espanol
Luke Bryan - Born Here Live Here Die Here
Opry Live From Nashville (Circle TV)
Top 10 Revealed (AXS TV) 
Psychedelic Furs - Made of Rain
Can - Ege Bamyasi
Heaven Adores You (Elliott Smith Documentary)
Spin Magazine's 50 Best Rock Bands Right Now (Spotify Playlist)
Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle Verzuz Battle (Special Episode)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

My Favorite Albums of 1980

Here's a follow-up to my Best Albums of 1970 list. Below are an A-Z listing of my favorite albums released in 1980.  Lots of genres, and most likely, even in 2020, lots of albums that I still haven't heard.  All are studio or live, no greatest hits albums.

AC/DC - Back in Black
Adam and the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
Bob Marley - Uprising
Brothers Johnson - Light Up The Night
Bruce Springsteen - River
Captain Beefheart - Doc at the Radar Station
Carlene Carter - Musical Shapes
Chaka Khan - Naughty
Change - Glow of Love
Charley Pride - There's A Little Bit of Hank In Me
Chic - Real People
Clash - Sandinista
Cramps - Songs The Lord Taught Us
David Bowie - Scary Monsters
Devo - Freedom of Choice
Diana Ross - Diana
Dolly Parton - 9 to 5
Donna Summer - Wanderer
Echo & The Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Elvis Costello - Get Happy
Emmylou Harris - Roses In The Snow
English Beat - I Just Can't Stop It
Feelies - Crazy Rhythms
Gap Band - III
George Benson - Give Me The Night
George Jones - I Am What I Am
Hazel Dickens - Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People
Jacksons - Triumph
Jermaine Jackson - Let's Get Serious
Joan Armatrading - Me, Myself & I
Kurtis Blow - s/t
John Anderson - s/t
John Lennon - Double Fantasy
John Prine - Storm Windows
Joy Division - Closer
Kendalls - Heart of the Matter
Kenny Rogers - Gideon
Merle Haggard - Back to the Barrooms
Motorhead - Ace of Spades
Police - Zenyatta Mondatta
Prince - Dirty Mind
Psychedelic Furs - s/t
Pylon - Gyrate
REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity
Rockpile - Seconds of Pleasure
Rush - Permanent Waves
Shalamar - Three For Love
Smokey Robinson - Warm Thoughts
Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight
Split Enz - True Colours
Squeeze - Argybargy
Steely Dan - Gaucho
Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July
Sugarhill Gang - s/t
Talking Heads - Remain In Light
Teddy Pendergrass - TP
Urban Cowboy - Soundtrack
Wanna Buy A Bridge - Various
Warren Zevon - Stand In The Fire
Willie Nelson & Ray Price - San Antonio Rose
Willie Nelson & Family - Honeysuckle Rose (Soundtrack)
X - Los Angeles
Xanadu (Soundtrack) - Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra 
XTC - Black Sea
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth
Zapp - s/t

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Playlist for 9/17

This Is Toots & The Maytals (Spotify Playlist)
Elizabeth Cook - Aftermath
Linda Ronstadt - Canciones de mi Padre
Courtney Marie Andrews - Old Flowers
Rumer - Nashville Tears
Light in the Attic Records Sampler (Uncut Magazine July '20)
Rolling Stones -  Brussels Affair (Live 1973)
Bob Stanley Presents 76 in the Shade - Various
Jump Blues (Spotify Playlist)
Cool Town Athens (Spotify Playlist)
Fleetwood Mac - Before the Beginning 68-70
Fleetwood Mac & Others - Blues Jam In Chicago Vol. 1 & 2
Justin Townes Earle - This Is (Spotify Playlist)
Other Music (Documentary)
Creem (Documentary)
2020 ACM Awards 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Acts Missing A Greatest Hits Album

"Unlike proper albums, which typically have some measure of artistic pretense about them, a greatest hits compilation exists purely as a commercial proposition: all the hits in one place, perfect for casual listeners and newbies. The worst of them feel like hastily tossed-together cash grabs, but the best are so well curated in presenting a fertile period of a career that they are arguably an artist's definitive work — Madonna's The Immaculate Collection, Bob Marley and the Wailers' Legend, Squeeze's Singles 45's & Under, ABBA's Gold and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Greatest Hits all immediately come to mind. The format is a gift to artists who are better at producing singles than coherent album statements, and for cash-strapped consumers who can't go from zero to completist for any given pop star who sparks their interest." - NPR's Matthew Perpetua (7/24/19)

Up until the 2010's, you could always count on a current hitmaker to release a Greatest Hits/Anthology/Compilation album. There were still hold outs.  From the 80's, Metallica and AC/DC have never released a compilation.  From the 90's? Beck, Phish. Sure, European labels continue to release compilations on acts that came before the 1990's.  But the streaming era has ended the need for listeners to seek out a hits album.  Even in the case of Metallica & AC/DC, you can now stream a playlist of their most popular songs. Spotify has This Is & Essentials playlists for most acts.

Record companies love Greatest Hits albums.  An easy way to repackage old songs into a one-stop shop for fans and casual record buyers.  There was a reason so many were released around Christmas time.  

My own record collection is full of Greatest Hits albums.  Even by acts that produced classic albums.  But it has been a few years since I added a 2000 era acts' greatest hits to my collection.  In 2019, Spoon put out a compilation, which is where I got the opening paragraph review from NPR. Finally in 2020, the White Stripes put out a hits collection. And in February 2021, The Weeknd, released a compilation. 

A recent Twitter thread started by Chris Payne asked what modern day artist should have a hits compilation?  Below are some of my picks.  I've also included acts that were popular before the streaming age. And acts that have Greatest Hits sets, but whose last anthologies were years ago (e.g.Willie Nelson).  

Animal Collective
Anthony Hamilton
Arcade Fire
Ariana Grande
Avett Brothers
Black Keys
Bruno Mars
Daft Punk
Damon Albarn (a compilation of all his Blur side project bands)
Darius Rucker (solo Country hits)
Ed Sheeran
Eric Church
Fall Out Boy
Florida Georgia Line
Fountains of Wayne & Adam Schlesinger (music outside of FOW)
Frank Ocean
Gillian Welch
Good Charlotte
Jason Aldean
Jason Isbell
Jenny Lewis
John Prine (post 00’s)
Kanye West
Katy Perry
Kings of Leon
Lady A (Lady Antebellum)
Lady Gaga
Lana Del Rey
Lil Wayne
Little Big Town
Lori McKenna
Lucinda Williams
Luke Bryan
Mandy Barnett
Mavericks (post 00’s)
Mayer Hawthorne (including Tuxedo)
Miranda Lambert
Missy Elliot
My Morning Jacket
Neko Case
New Pornographers
One Direction
Raphael Saadiq
Rilo Kiley
Steve Earle (post 90's material)
Taylor Swift
TV On The Radio
Vampire Weekend
Van Hunt
Willie Nelson (post 00's)


Friday, September 11, 2020

Music Years of My Life: September 11, 2001

First posted in September 2016

We all seek comfort in music when tragedy strikes.  One of the things I remember most about September 11, 2001, was going to Borders to buy the new Bob Dylan album, "Love and Theft" in the late afternoon.  9/11 was a Tuesday, which back then was New Release day, so I did what was normal for me and go to Borders (or Circuit City) and check out the latest CD's.  It was odd that inside this big store people were going about their daily business of browsing books, magazines, CD's, etc., while over the store's speaker system was a newscast of 9/11 events.

The comfort of entertainment in times like that can't be denied.  For some it's as much needed as family, faith.  On September 21 the first benefit concert was broadcast, America: A Tribute to Heroes.  An unplugged/acoustic show, which featured many notable performances.  On October 20, a bigger event was staged, Concert For New York City, which had many powerful moments.

There were also patriotic songs post 9/11, mostly from the Country field. Two I liked were Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" and Aaron Tippin's "Where The Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly".

Many people have noted Clear Channel's now infamous banned or not banned  songs, which came out a week after 9/11.  In the end, it's memo didn't say stations couldn't play, say "In The Air Tonight" or "Free Fallin'", but suggested use their own judgment.  Banned or not?

Music has always played a part in my life.  In times of stress and personal pain, music can soothe you.  We always go back to the songs we love.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Playlist for 9/10

Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 1
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 2
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 3
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 4
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 5
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 6
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 7
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 8
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 9
Bob Wills - Tiffany Transcriptions Vol. 10

Monday, September 07, 2020

My Favorite Albums of 1970

Music Anniversaries.   Don't you just love them?  Well if you are a list lover, like me, you do.  Below are an A-Z listing of my favorite albums released in 1970.  Lots of genres, and most likely, even in 2020, lots of albums that I still haven't heard.  All are studio or live, no greatest hits albums.

Al Green - Gets Next To You
Aretha Franklin - Spirit In The Dark
Badfinger - No Dice
Band - Stage Fright
Beach Boys - Sunflower
Beatles - Let It Be
Black Sabbath - s/t
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Bob Dylan - New Morning
Bobbie Gentry - Fancy
Captain Beefheart - Lick My Decals Off Baby
Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman
Charlie Rich - Fabulous Charlie Rich
Charley Pride - 10th Album
Chicago - II
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Pendulum
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis
Deep Purple - In Rock
Derek & The Dominos - Layla
Diana Ross - s/t
Dolly Parton - Fairest of Them All
Dolly Parton - Real Live Dolly
Donny Hathaway - Everything Is Everything
Doors - Morrison Hotel
Elton John - s/t
Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
Elvis Presley - On Stage
Elvis Presley - That's The Way It Is
Eric Clapton - s/t
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking
Fleetwood Mac - Kiln House
Free - Fire and Water
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead
Grateful Dead - American Beauty
Guess Who - American Woman
Hot Tuna - s/t
Insect Trust - Hoboken Saturday Night
Isaac Hayes - Isaac Hayes Movement
Jackson 5 - ABC
James Brown - Sex Machine
James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
Janis Joplin - Pearl
Jesse Winchester - s/t
Jesus Christ Superstar - Original Concept Recording
Jethro Tull - Benefit
Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys
Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Johnny Cash - Hello I'm Johnny Cash
John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band
John McLaughlin - Devotion
Joni Mitchell - Ladies of the Canyon
Kinks - Lola
Kris Kristofferson - Kristofferson
Lawrence Reynolds - Jesus Is A Soul Man
Led Zeppelin - III
Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can
Leon Russell - s/t
Linda Martell - Color Me Country
Loretta Lynn - Writes 'Em and Sings 'Em
Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
Moody Blues - Question of Balance
Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
Paul McCartney - McCartney
Randy Newman - 12 Songs
Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley
Rolling Stones - Get Your Ya-Ya's Out
Sammi Smith - Help Me Make It Through The Night
Santana - Abraxas
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Soft Machine - Third
Spirit - Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Stooges - Fun House
Tammy Wynette - Ways To Love A Man
Temptations  Psychedelic Shack
Tracy Nelson - Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country
Tyrone Davis - Turn Back The Hands Of Time
Van Morrison - Moondance
Van Morrison - His Band & The Street Choir
Velvet Underground - Loaded
Who - Live at Leeds
Wilson Pickett - In Philadelphia
Woodstock - Various

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Playlist for 9/2

Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption, Rock & Roll (2019 Documentary)
2020 MTV Music Video Awards
Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead (50th Anniversary Edition)
Dolly Parton - Real Live Dolly
Carlene Carter - Musical Shapes
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Dirt and the Stars
Sammi Smith - Help Me Make It Through The Night
Country's Comeback, Already In Progress July '87 (Spotify Playlist)
Honey Harper - Starmaker
Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can
Cramps - Songs The Lord Taught Us
Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight
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