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 22
Fri., Oct. 9. 2020 4:54pm 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:

148. Low Budget - The Kinks
At $3.99 from the Columbia House Record Club, this album lived up to its name. I was already familiar with all five songs on side one, plus the first song on side two, because I'd heard the live versions of them on One for the Road. But I liked the studio versions, too, plus the other five songs I'd never heard before. It's funny that such a hard-rocking album came out on Arista, a label more known at the time for Barry Manilow, Air Supply, and Melissa Manchester.

149. Voices Darryl Hall & John Oates
I bought this cassette near the end of my junior year of high school. I thought "Kiss on My List" was OK, I liked "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'," and I loved "You Make My Dreams." But I'd totally missed the first single from the album, which turned out to be my favorite — "How Does It Feel to Be Back," which went to #30, written and sung by John Oates. I also really enjoyed "Big Kids," "United State," and "Hard to Be in Love with You," although I liked the whole thing. Besides having four hit singles, this album also included the original version of a song Paul Young would take to #1 four years later, "Every Time You Go Away."

150. 4 Foreigner
As soon as I heard the song "Urgent" in the summer of '81 it was instantly my favorite Foreigner song ever. Ironically, I did not feel an urgent need to buy this album, but I eventually did. "Juke Box Hero" was amazing, too. And the forgotten hit, "Break It Up," which went to #26. It even had a fifth single, "Luanne," which went to #75. And besides all that, the opening track, "Night Life," rocked. Of course, the biggest hit was "Waiting for a Girl Like You," which spent 10 weeks at #2, almost exclusively thanks to Olivia Newton-John and "Physical." When she finally vacated the #1 spot, Foreigner could have moved up, but Hall & Oates said, "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)."

151. Long Distance Voyager The Moody Blues
The first time I heard this album's initial single, "Gemini Dream" (a #12 hit), I thought it was a new ELO song. When I found it was The Moody Blues, I was delighted that another "oldies" band I loved was finally putting out a new album. My brother-in-law Bob had it before I did, and I listened to his copy first. I'd heard "The Voice" on the radio, too, and liked it. That would become the second single and go to #15. My favorite track, however, was the forgotten third single, "Talking Out of Turn," which only went up to #67. I also loved "Meanwhile" and "Veteran Cosmic Rocker." I got to see The Moody Blues on their Long Distance Voyager tour on November 1, 1981, at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh with opening act Jimmy Swithers. I even reviewed the concert for my high-school newspaper.

152. Empty Glass Pete Townshend
I had really liked this album's big hit, "Let My Love Open the Door," and "Without Your Love" by Roger Daltrey, long before I realized they were solo hits by members of The Who. But I think Empty Glass is stronger from start to finish than the vast majority of Who albums. Michael Ranieri let me borrow his copy first, but I eventually bought it on 8-track. "Rough Boys," "A Little Is Enough," "Keep on Working," and "Cats in the Cupboard" were my favorites, but I liked them all.

153. Ghost in the Machine - The Police
When "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" was released as a single in late September 1981, it quickly became my favorite song. I bought Ghost in the Machine as soon as it hit the stores the following week. It took longer to grow on me than their first three albums, but my favorites were "Invisible Sun," "Demolition Man," and "Rehumanize Yourself." I got to see The Police when the Ghost in the Machine tour stopped in Pittsburgh on April 9, 1982. The opening act was Bow Wow Wow, who would have their biggest hit (#22 on the rock charts, #62 on the pop charts) with a cover of "I Want Candy," originally a #11 hit for The Strangeloves in 1965.

154. Time ELO
I attended my first big-time rock concert in Pittsburgh on October 16, 1981 — Hall & Oates opened up for ELO. The aforementioned openers were just three weeks away from scoring their third #1 hit, "Private Eyes." ELO, meanwhile, had just peaked at #10 with their latest hit, "Hold On Tight," two weeks earlier. That came from the Time album, which I had borrowed and taped from my old friend Dave Rhodes. My favorite tracks on that record were "Twilight," "Here is the News," and "Yours Truly, 2095."

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).