The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 18
Fri., Sep. 11. 2020 8:59am 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 are this week's entries:
120. Greatest Hits Vol. 2 – Bob Dylan
I'd wanted this one for a while, because it had "Lay, Lady, Lay," but I didn't know any of the other songs, and it was a double album, so that was a lot of money to pay for one song. Thank goodness for the Latrobe flea market! My sister Gayle and I (and later my friend Keith Cornell and I) would go there on Sundays to sell leftover paper from my dad's printing company, and one day I found a copy of this at a greatly reduced price. It further cemented my appreciation for Bob Dylan — and the delight I took in imitating his voice — but this was all still before the flood that would occur many years later.
121. The Blues Brothers - Original Soundtrack Recording
My sister Gayle and I went to see the movie The Blues Brothers while our family was on vacation in Myrtle Beach in 1980 with the Partridge Family — that was Jim and Marge and their sons, not Shirley and her brood). We didn't have high expectations for it, and we couldn't believe how entertaining it turned out to be. The soundtrack was amazing, so I bought it later that summer. It wasn't "Gimme Some Lovin'" that drew me in so much as "Peter Gunn Theme," "She Caught the Katy," "Think," "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," and "Theme from Rawhide." ApologetiX has spoofed two Blues Brothers songs, which shouldn't surprise anybody. After all, we're on a mission from God.
122. British Gold – Various Artists
Oh, man, this was an incredible collection — 20 songs by big-time British artists from the 60's and early 70's, including six #1 hits. Unfortunately, in order to get The Beatles and Elton John on there, they had to use obscure tunes like "Ain't She Sweet" and "Rock and Roll Madonna." But all the other tracks were legit hits. Well, technically, even "Ain't She Sweet" was a hit; it went to #19 on the pop charts. And "Rock and Roll Madonna" was used in the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Many Americans may not recognize "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac, but it was a #1 hit in the U.K (and went to #104 on the U.S. charts). Here's the track list: https://www.discogs.com/Various-British-Gold/release/2176430.
123. Goat's Head Soup - The Rolling Stones
My first Stones album that wasn't a compilation. I got it in a trade with a classmate named John Mintus. I had purchased a Doors album called An American Prayer, which was really a collection of poems and ramblings written and recited by Jim Morrison that were anything but prayers, interspersed with music. I was eager to unload it, and John (an even bigger Doors fan than I) offered Goat's Head Soup. It's not a top-tier Stones album, but it had "Angie" and "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)," and the rest of the songs were catchy enough, although I couldn't believe what I was hearing on the final track. No need to elaborate here, Stones fans; you know what I'm talking about.
124. Morrison Hotel – The Doors
Now this was the kind of Doors album I was hoping for when I'd purchased An American Prayer. John Mintus let me borrow some of his regular Doors albums (I only had two "best of" collections), and I liked this one so much, I bought my own copy. It even had the full version of the one song I'd heard on An American Prayer that I actually liked, "Peace Frog." It also had "Roadhouse Blues," which I went on to sing in my first rock band, Terminal, and in ApologetiX (as a parody, of course). Other tracks I really enjoyed were "You Make Me Real," "Queen of the Highway," "Waiting for the Sun," and "Land Ho!" (which had also been on my first Doors album, 13).
125. Boston – Boston
The debut album by which all future debut albums would be judged. I can't remember when I finally bought it, but our local rock DJs played all of its tracks anyway (and still do). The boys in ApologetiX used to jam on several of its songs in our early practices. We eventually released a spoof of "More Than a Feeling" on our Future Tense CD in 2008. True story: I used to think Brad Delp was singing, "I see my derrière walkin' away." I had no idea how that was physically possible (and still don't).
126. More American Graffiti - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
This movie sequel can't compare with the original American Graffiti, but there's some great stuff on the soundtrack — 24 songs in all. Some of my faves were "Pipeline" by The Chantays, "She's Not There" by The Zombies, "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" by Country Joe & the Fish, "Cool Jerk" by The Capitols, "96 Tears" by ? and the Mysterians, and "Season of the Witch" by Donovan. All that plus nine intros/outros by Wolfman Jack. I was delighted when it hit the bargain bins as an 8-track. Speaking of tracks, here's the full list: https://www.discogs.com/Various-Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack-More-American-Graffiti/release/961884
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).