Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My All-Time Favorite Albums

I love music. Music has made me do stuff I wouldn't normally do unless otherwise influenced by a pretty girl or hunger for food. I wanted to to a favorite albums roundup for two reasons, one, I very seldomly make album reviews, and seeing that I am a heavy music fan, I should do such more often, two, I haven't done a decent countdown list in a long time. I'm pretty sure you can relate to some of the albums I have listed below, you may even want to add a special album of your own, or most likely, you won't give a crap and just look at the pictures amd click on the links. In any case, It would be an honor to present my My All-Time Favorite Albums.

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The Best Of Chuck Mangione If I were to go to a shrink right now and he would ask me to lay on his couch for a session of regression therapy, I would hear "Feels So Good" in my mind's ear once he would ask me to reach my 4 year old subconscious. I could still remember my dad playing this great bugle player's albums as my mom fed me Cerelac and spanked my butt with her sandals for peeing on the floor.

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Kenny G "Live" Okay, I probably get beaten, given a wedgie and shoved in a locker for this, but what can I say? Kenny G was the only music I cared to actively listen to when I was 8. I especially enjoy how he hits that high D in that one part of "Sillhouette" for an entire 2 minutes. I would try to hold my breath along with him to see if I could do it, in case I do learn the saxophone. One time I had to grab my nuts because I thought they dissapeared at one point.

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Nirvana "Nevermind" I hate Kurt Cobain for what he did to me. He made me love loneliness and dissolusionment. I blame the apathetic outlook in life i developed so early in my life to this person. Its so sad it's not even funny. Undeniably though, Kurt and Nirvana make great music. That's why they were solely responsible for the explosion of the alternative movement and turned music upside down. Their gross disconcern for melodic perfection was what made them cool. It was like the punk era in the 80's all over again. When Kurt died, I wasn't sad. I just felt sorry for him. His songs in Nevermind were already begging for him to break out and "burn out, not fade away". I'm a Negative Creep, and it's all because of him, and we fed from his unhappiness.

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Dream Theater "Images and Words" When I first heard the opening tracks of IAW, I thought I was listening to the soundtrack of The Transforemers Movie. This is what they called Progressive metal. A new type of music composed of 12 minute songs with odd time signatures and the fastest, most difficult guitar, drum and bass playing you can hear anywhere. I wasn't much of a guitar player back then, but I thought I was 'da man' cause I could play Skid Row and Metallica, then I heard these guys and everything just went out the window. I didn't even know how to begin to learn their songs, they were just too hard. So I ended up just listening and listening and listening...

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Pearl Jam "Ten" When the so-called 'Seattle Grunge' movement came about, it produced a horde of very talented (and not so talented) musicians and the consuming public, hungry for something new, bought into the trend. Pearl Jam, an unsuspecting new Seattle band just barely got into the scene, got thrusted into the limelight as the poster boys for grunge. Just like ther fellow Seattlites Nirvana, they shunned their superstar image and retained their a greased down flannel-wearing slacker image, much to the delight of rock purists.
Ten, is simply, a breakout album. Something the boys iof PJ wanted to come out with to be accepted, making it, in essence, their most commercial album. Their following albums consisted of deliberate attempts to sound uncommercial or just plain crappy, but nonetheless, statements of independence and abhorrence to the music industry's corporate demands. Ten was PJ in its purest, most innocent stage. Although they didn't sell out after that, at least they weren't so freakin' pissy.

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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe This was my first trip album. Progressive rock was not a term i was familiar with when I was 11. I just knew that their songs were long and freaking beautiful! I get into a trance whenever I hear their songs and see places like the set of Labyrinth or The Never Ending Story. Only later, as a musician, did I learn that these songs were difficult to replicate. I would listen to this tape and lie dow in my bed giving myself dreams of unknown lands and strange creatures. And my mom thought I was just being lazy.

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Joe Satriani "Surfing With the Alien" I learned about Joe Satriani years before I could play guitar. I was already familiar with his melodies even before I could play chords. I thought it would be cool to learn how to play, but I was so good with my air guitar that I didn't bother picking a real one up until I was 15. Then I learned how hard it was to do the solo for "Always With me, Always With You". With my fingers calloused and peeling, I had to listen to it one more time...

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Craig David "Born With It" There was a point (believe it, or not) when I was sick of all the angst and heaviness of rock. I looking for something more upbeat and melodious (Translated: I wanted to impress chicks). Craig David was cool and relatively unknown when i bought his first album, and until now, I define him as what R&B should sound like. His ladie's man persona i one I always wanted to emulate. the bonnet and leather jacket deal was just too cool to be left to the videos, I had to get myself one of those. Until this day, I'm still baffled as to why they won't work on the ladies...I guess, I wasn't "born with it".

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Daft Punk "Discovery" I wasn't into chillout or trance before I heard "One More Time" and saw the anime video series. Then I discovered Daft Punk, the enigmatic techno duo from England who never show their faces..How cool is That?
Their eclectic mix of disco beats and '80's Herbie Hancock-style tunes and odd time signatures make them a thinker's dance music group. Their album is one of the very few I listen to from beginning to end. The flow is just irresistable and it leaves you wanting for more all the time.

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Beatles "Revolver" In my opinion, Revolver is probably the best album ever made...period. All elements of a good rock, pop and R&B album are in Revolver, There's the token dance track (Taxman), the depressing love song (Eleanor Rigby), The happy song (Got to Get you into my Life) and the weird, trippy song (Tommorrow Never Knows). I have reason to believe that all other pop albums henceforth, even if the artists themselves aren't aware, have elements taken or borrowed from Revolver. Those who have listened to it know what I mean. Give it a listen and bear in mind that this stuff was written in 1966. You'll be suprised how modern it sounds.


Anonymous aleq said...

God..I love Daft Punk...I even have their first album with tracks that include "Da Funk and Daftendirekt. DAFT means dogs, androids,i forgot f, tomatoes.

2:59 PM

Blogger El Vox said...

I'd recommend listening to: King Crimson's In The Court of the Crimson King, Soft Machine's 2nd album (the cover displays a sand woman on the beach), the Yes album, Close to the Edge, something by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Joni Mitchell's album, Ladies of the Canyon, David Crosby's album, If Only I Could Remember My Name, and there's many to recommend.

I enjoyed reading the albums that inspire you. We used to play a Chuck Mangione tune back when I was in a junior college jazz band--Feels So Good. It was a pretty big hit back then along with the tune from the first Rocky movie. Fun times. Good luck with your new baby.

11:20 PM


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