Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 15
Fri., Aug. 21. 2020 2:31pm 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:

99. Three Hearts – Bob Welch
I liked Bob's previous album, and I really liked the lead single from this album, "Precious Love," so much I ordered it from Columbia House, too. It's not as consistently strong as its predecessor, but I enjoyed "Three Hearts," "Oh Jenny," and "China."

100. Caught Live + 5 – The Moody Blues
Not the record most fans would pick when recommending a second Moody Blues purchase, but we decide which is right … and which is an illusion. This 8-track was dirt cheap in the bargain bin, and it was a double album! The first three sides of the album featured live versions of their best-known songs from 1967-69, but side four comprised five previously unreleased studio tracks from that era, and they're surprisingly good.

101. The Long Run – The Eagles
This is another album my friend Dave Rhodes owned first. I already knew the hits from the radio. My favorite track was a throwaway they stuck on the flip side of "I Can't Tell You Why" — a rude little ditty called "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks." In fact, I bought the single just so I could get that song. Later, I bought the whole album from Columbia House. Although it was the first Eagles album I ever owned, and I'd wind up buying all of the original six, it's my least favorite. I love "The Sad Café," though, and not just because the critics say I'm supposed to.

102. Anthology – Diana Ross and the Supremes
A triple album with 12 songs that hit #1, two songs that hit #2, four other Top 10 hits, and seven other Top 40 hits. Yeah, this album screamed "Come see about me!" And it was reasonably priced, especially by Columbia Record House standards. You never know what kind of bargain bonanzas you'll find when you shop in the name of love.

103. Real Life Ain't This Way – Jay Ferguson
I liked Jay Ferguson's big hit single "Thunder Island," from his previous album, but I liked "Shakedown Cruise," the lead single from this follow-up album, even better. So when that album finally hit the bargain section of my monthly Columbia House catalog, I pounced. "Shakedown Cruise" was a song that ApX keyboardist Bill Hubauer and I bonded over. He'd liked it, too. The big difference is that I used to pretend to play air keyboards on it, and he could do the real thing. I later became a fan of some of Ferguson's earlier endeavors with Spirit ("I Got a Line on You" and "Mr. Skin") and Jo Jo Gunne ("Run Run Run").

104. Days of Future Passed – The Moody Blues
This is probably the closest I ever got to buying classical music. The hits on this album, "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin," were just the beginning. Well, actually, they were the first and last songs on side two. What kept drawing back to The Moody Blues? Those gentle voices I hear explain it all with a sigh. The front cover of the album says the orchestra was conducted by Peter Knight. I wonder if he wore a white satin tux while conducting. I can imagine Justin Hayward nudging John Lodge and saying, "Look! Knight's in white satin!"

105. The Cars – The Cars
I kept seeing this strange-looking band in my Columbia Record House catalog, and I'd heard "My Best Friend's Girl" on the radio. I figured it was worth a listen, and it turned out to be just what I needed. Wow, what a great album! Come to think of it, I bought the "Let's Go" single (from their follow-up album) even before this, so I was all mixed up. ApologetiX has spoofed four songs off of this album, plus two other Cars songs.

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).