The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 20
Fri., Sep. 25. 2020 12:16pm 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:
134. Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy - The Who
I'd heard about The Who for a couple years and I liked "I Can See for Miles," but it was the song "My Generation" that finally got me to buy one of their albums. I can't explain why — if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand. There would be many more Who albums to follow in my collection, but this 1971 collection of their hits from 1964-70 was the first. The title supposedly refers to the individual members of The Who: Meaty (pugnacious lead singer Roger Daltrey), Beaty (chaotic drummer Keith Moon), Big (imposing bass player John "The Ox" Entwistle), and Bouncy (leaping guitarist Pete Townshend).
135. Permanent Waves/Moving Pictures – Rush
Rush fans will hate me for this, but I really only played side one of each of these albums back in the day … although I played those side ones a lot! But let's just keep that "entre nous," pardon my French. Chris Marsh was our neighborhood expert on Rush. He was into them years before the rest of us. But Permanent Waves finally got my attention, and Moving Pictures held it. I'd get more into Rush in later years and saw them in concert on December 16, 1987 on the Hold Your Fire tour. ApologetiX has spoofed two songs from side one of Moving Pictures.
136. Outlandos D'amour – The Police
We liked Zenyatta Mondatta so much that my friend Keith Cornell special-ordered this one from our local store, Rocket Records. I felt that was too much of a gamble at the time — boy, was I wrong. I'd heard "Roxanne" a couple years before on the radio and thought it was catchy, although a bit risqué and punkish for my 14-year-old ears. But hearing the full album at age 16, I ended up enjoying it even more than Zenyatta Mondatta. In fact, it's still my favorite Police album.
137. The Yes Album – Yes
I'm not a progger — and I don't play one on TV — but I love this album. My sister Jeannine had left behind a copy of the Yes album Fragile, but I hadn't gotten into it much, aside from "Roundabout." Michael Ranieri made borrow his copy of The Yes Album, and it really hit the spot. I eventually traded him my sister Gayle's old copy of In the Court of the Crimson King for it. Ironically, I think I may have repurchased that King Crimson album years later, and I wouldn't be surprised if Michael repurchased The Yes Album, too.
138. Seconds of Pleasure – Rockpile
This is another album Michael Ranieri exposed me to. Rockpile was a power-pop/rockabilly supergroup made of members nobody else in my school had ever heard of: Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, Billy Bremner, and Terry Williams. You may have seen them on the December 19, 1980 episode of Fridays (ABC's answer to Saturday Night Live), where they performed their only "hit," a song called "Teacher, Teacher" that went to #51 on the pop charts in early 1981. The individual members of the band all had greater success on the charts in other ventures. Dave Edmunds had a #4 solo hit in 1971 with "I Hear You Knocking" and a Top 40 hit in 1983 with "Slipping Away." Nick Lowe had a #12 hit in 1979 with "Cruel to Be Kind." Billy Bremner played lead guitar for The Pretenders on their #5 pop hit "Back on the Chain Gang" and their #11 mainstream rock hit "My City Was Gone" in 1982-83. Terry Williams played drums for Dire Straits on the intro to their #1 hit from 1985, "Money for Nothing."
139. Concerts for the People of Kampuchea – Various Artists
I'd never heard of these concerts, but when Michael Ranieri brought in a double album featuring live performances by The Who, Paul McCartney, Queen, and Rockpile with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, I was all in. Surprisingly, it was the performances by the other artists on this collection that I wound up liking eveb more: The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, and The Specials. Unfortunately, this one is out of print, so you can't get it on CD or iTunes.
140. Face Dances – The Who
Having become a Who fan the previous winter, I was thrilled when they finally came out with their first new album in nearly three years in the spring of 1981. Did I buy a copy for myself? You better you bet!
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).