The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 14
Fri., Aug. 14. 2020 12:24pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Back in May, two friends asked me to share 10 albums that influenced me on Facebook. I narrowed it down to 365. I post the cover art for a different album every day with a brief explanation of how/why they influenced me. Fans have asked me to include them in the newsletter, too. Here's are this week's entries:
92. Greatest Hits – Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt sure knew how to interpret a song. She's covered a lot of other people's tunes in her career, and I almost always prefer her version to the original. If she couldn't make your melody marvelous, you're no good at songwriting. "Different Drum" (written by The Monkees' Mike Nesmith) was the biggest incentive for me to buy this album in the first place, but I immediately recognized there were many other great tracks, so I guess it doesn't matter anymore.
93. Retrospective – The Buffalo Springfield
For what it's worth, even though I got my copy of this from Columbia House Record Club, I first saw it (and taped a few songs from it) in my brother-in-law Bob's record collection. Buffalo Springfield featured Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Richey Furay, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Martin, and (eventually) Jim Messina. They only lasted a couple of years, but that's a lot of talent and personalities to be expecting to fly in the same direction for long. Besides, if they hadn't broken up, we wouldn't have CSN, CSNY, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Poco, and Loggins & Messina.
94. Untitled (a.k.a. Led Zeppelin IV, a.k.a. Zoso) – Led Zeppelin
Ever heard of this album? You have? What a coincidence! I know it backwards and forwards. ApologetiX has spoofed three songs from it. The first time I ever encountered "Black Dog," I couldn't decide if I was frightened, amused, appalled, or smitten. If you think *I* was dazed and confused, get a load of what my sister Gayle told me when I asked her what band did that "Stairway to Heaven" song I'd recently heard on the radio: She wasn't positive but thought it might be The Moody Blues! It had apparently been a long time since she'd rock and rolled.
95. Made in the Shade – The Rolling Stones
My friend Jeff Henry owned this little collection of Stones hits from 1971-75. I know … The Rolling Stones are old … but I liked it. It made for a nice companion piece to Hot Rocks, with the only overlap being "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses." I still hadn't listened to any Stones albums that weren't compilations at the time, but I was happy with what I'd heard thus far. Doesn't that look like David Bowie on the cover?
96. In Search of the Lost Chord – The Moody Blues
OK, so they didn't do "Stairway to Heaven," but my brother-in-law Bob really liked The Moody Blues. I'd seen their albums in his library, and when I heard "Ride My See-Saw" on the radio, it piqued my interest enough to spend $3.99 on this cassette from the discount section of my Columbia House monthly catalog. The Moody Blues weren't considered hip at the time — just hippy-dippy. They were still a long-distance voyage away from becoming popular again. There would be much more Moody music to come, but I gotta go now.
97. Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits – Bob Dylan
I first saw and heard Bob Dylan when he appeared on Saturday Night Live in October 1979, singing "Gotta Serve Somebody." At the time, I could not have been less impressed. "It ain't music, babe," I thought. But the times they were a-changin' and not too long after that, I saw a rock-and-roll documentary featuring the oft-imitated clip for "Subterranean Homesick Blues" that showed him with the cue cards. Now he had me! This cassette would be the first of many Dylan purchases on my part.
98. The Best of Tommy James & the Shondells - Tommy James & the Shondells
My first exposure to the song "Crimson and Clover" was in a medley of all the #1 songs from 1964-78. Then my friend Brad Immel played me an old 45 version of it. What a cool tune! Throw in "Hanky Panky" and "Mony Mony," and I knew I had to get this album. And that's before I knew about "Crystal Blue Persuasion," "I Think We're Alone Now," and "Sweet Cherry Wine." Tommy James was born Thomas Gregory Jackson. I'm happy to remain a Jackson, but we did name our son Timothy James.
Note: The albums are not listed in order of preference or excellence, but in chronological order of when they influenced me. Also, just because the albums on my list influenced me back then doesn't mean I give them all a blanket endorsement now.
I started actively listening to music in the early 70's and didn't become a born-again Christian until early 1988, so it's going to be a while before we get to the Christian albums, but there will be many of those when the time comes (literally).