The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 33
Sat., Dec. 26. 2020 2:25pm EST
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 the entries for the past month:
226. The Greatest 64 Motown Original Hits – Various Artists
I was already a big Motown fan, having purchased a three-record Supremes anthology and a number of Motown reissue 45's while in high school, but this was a four-album set loaded with goodies — many of which I already knew and loved but didn't own, and others I'd heard of but hadn't heard. Thanks, Tom Dellaquila, for letting me borrow and tape it. I have a feeling Tom probably inherited/borrowed it from one/some of his older siblings. I listened to this a lot in early 1984. Then in the summer of '84, the big Motown 20th Anniversary television special reignited the general populace's love for that music. Of course, The Big Chill soundtrack album in the fall of '83 didn't hurt, either. For a complete track listing, go to https://rateyourmusic.com/release/comp/various-artists/the-greatest-64-motown-original-hits/
227. War – U2
I should have mentioned this one quite a bit sooner, too. We're in early 1984 here, and I first heard it in early '83. I already knew and liked the song "I Will Follow" from U2's debut album, thanks to Gerard Dominick. Then I heard "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day" and loved 'em both. I bought the latter tune on a 45. That summer, I heard "Two Hearts Beat as One" and even learned it on bass. Eventually, I'd hear the whole thing. My favorites are "Surrender," "40," and "Seconds."
228. Changesonebowie – David Bowie
I was late to the Bowie brigade, although I'd always loved the song "Changes." What finally did it for me was watching an HBO concert special of his Serious Moonlight tour, which aired in February 1984 and included many of his previous hits. I borrowed and taped this compilation of 1969-76 Bowie hits from a friend at college. I thought "Golden Years" was exquisite, and I still do. ApologetiX has spoofed three songs off this album, "Suffragette City," "Rebel Rebel," and "Ziggy Stardust."
229. "Weird Al" Yankovic In 3-D – "Weird Al" Yankovic
I didn't own this album, but it obviously influenced me. The guys in my apartment sophomore year all loved "Eat It," "King of Suede," "I Lost on Jeopardy," and "Brady Bunch" on the radio and in the videos we'd see on HBO. I had already been writing parodies for many years by the time this album came out, but I probably never would have considered it a viable career if Al hadn't blazed the trail first. I'm still not sure it's a viable career, but I've been told it's a valuable ministry. Sleeper pick on this album: "That Boy Could Dance." Irresistible.
230. K-Tel's Out of Sight – Various Artists
I can't remember where and when I picked this album up, but I think it was in a bargain bin, probably at a department store, while I was in college. Released in 1975, this record featured 18 Top 40 hits by various artists, including the #1 hits "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (BTO), "Rock the Boat" (Hues Corporation), and "Kung Fu Fighting" (Carl Douglas). It also had such standouts as "I Got the Music in Me" (Kiki Dee), "Beach Baby" (First Class), and "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)" by Reunion. And don't miss the rollickin' "Kings of the Party," Brownsville Station's lesser-known follow-up to "Smokin' in the Boys Room." For a complete track listing, go to https://hercsktelalbums.blogspot.com/2013/10/out-of-sight-1975.html
231. Cool for Cats – Squeeze
My third Squeeze album was actually their second. I found a used copy of this record at Backstreet Records at IUP. It contained four of their U.K. hit singles: "Goodbye Girl," "Cool for Cats," "Up the Junction," and "Slap and Tickle." As was the case with Argybargy, the non-hits like "Hop, Skip & Jump," "Revue," and "It's Not Cricket" are generally just as catchy.
232. K-Tel's The Beat – Various Artists
K-Tel released this collection of 14 new-wave selections in 1982. I found and bought it used at Backstreet Records at IUP, probably in 1984. The big hits were by "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls, "We Got the Beat" by The Go-Go's, and "Hot in the City" by Billy Idol. Those were all great tunes, but I'd already heard them countless times by then. My favorite tracks were "Dreaming of Me" by Depeche Mode, "Kids in America" by Kim Wilde, "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow, and "I Predict" by Sparks. For a complete track listing, go to https://hercsktelalbums.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-beat-1982.html
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).