The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 46
Fri., Mar. 26. 2021 7:48pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020. They are not listed in order of preference or excellence, but in chronological order of when they influenced me, as best as I can recall.
316. Smash Hits – Jimi Hendrix Experience
Here's another album that should be earlier on my list, but I have no idea where it belongs. The first Hendrix song I ever heard was "Foxy Lady," probably sophomore year in high school. Of course, I can't hear it now without thinking of a certain silly sequence in Wayne's World. ApologetiX has spoofed three of the songs on Smash Hits — "Purple Haze," "All Along the Watchtower," and "Fire." Other favorites for me were "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Crosstown Traffic." Another Hendrix song I liked that didn't appear on this compilation was "Are You Experienced."
317. The Best of The Guess Who Vol. II – The Guess Who
After memorizing The Best of the Guess Who and The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits in college, I was dying to know what the songs "Albert Flasher" (#29) and "Rain Dance" (#19) sounded like. I would eventually find out that they sounded great! I borrowed and taped The Best of The Guess Who Volume II from Debbie Small, the bookkeeper at the printing company where I worked before, during, and after college. The other nine tracks didn't hit the U.S. Top 40, but six of them hit the Hot 100. And 10 of the 11 tracks hit the Canadian Top 40. Aside from the aforementioned "Albert Flasher" and "Rain Dance," my favorites were "Runnin' Back to Saskatoon," "Orly," "Broken," "Sour Suite," and "Heartbroken Bopper." But even after all that, there were still more Guess Who hits to be had, as we'll see later on the list.
318. Instant Replay – The Monkees
Ah, the elusive seventh Monkees album! Tom Dellaquila bought me this one as a gift after Rhino Records reissued all nine of The Monkees original LPs. Two songs on it stand head and shoulders above the rest for me. Not surprisingly, they were released as the single — "Teardrop City," which hit #56 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "A Man Without a Dream." Originally recorded in 1966 as a potential debut single for the band, "Teardrop City" has a similar sound to "Last Train to Clarksville," which eventually achieved that honor. Micky sings lead on that, and Davy sings lead on "A Man Without a Dream." I wouldn't put any of the other tracks here on my Top 50 Monkees songs. Mike's three songs are pleasant enough, but not his usual best. Micky's "Through the Looking Glass" is decent, as is Davy's "You and I." Honorable mention for sheer bizarreness goes to Micky for "Shorty Blackwell."
319. Especially for You – The Smithereens
Yeah, I was smitten by the Smithereens and their scintillating 60's sound. I'd heard others raving about "Blood and Roses" before I bought this, and that's a cool tune, but my favorites on this album were and still are "Strangers When We Meet," "Groovy Tuesday," "Behind the Wall of Sleep," "Hand of Glory," and "Time and Time Again."
320. All Over the Place – The Bangles
The Bangles before they hit it big. I thought the song "Hero Takes a Fall" was simply superb, and my thoughts on the matter haven't changed. Other magic moments included "Goin' Down to Liverpool" "Tell Me," "Live," and "James." I never owned another Bangles album, but I bought the 45s for "Manic Monday," "Walk Like an Egyptian," and "Hazy Shade of Winter." And I purchased the digital singles for their other big hits, "Walking Down Your Street," "In Your Room," and "Eternal Flame." ApologetiX spoofed "Walk Like an Egyptian" in 2016 with the lead vocals shared by Keith's daughters, Sarah and Abby, and my oldest daughter, Janna.
321. Polka Party – "Weird Al" Yankovic
My college friend Ray Haluska is a comedy connoisseur who used to do a show called "Honest Ray's Used Cars" on IUP's radio station, WIUP. I met him there while I was co-hosting an oldies show called "Back Tracks." Ray's the guy who introduced me to this album. After I graduated, he visited me at my house in Greensburg and played me the title track — a polka medley of pop hits from 1985-86, complete with sound effects that seemed to come straight out of old Warner Brothers cartoons. I have seldom laughed so hard in my life. I'm pretty sure he also played me "Living with a Hernia," Al's hilarious parody of James Brown's "Living in America." I later bought the album for myself. "Here's Johnny," the parody of El DeBarge's "Who's Johnny," is very clever as well.
322. Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits – The Rascals
If I'm not mistaken (and I'm not), this is the first greatest hits collection by a rock band ever to hit #1 (unless you count The Supremes as a rock band) on the Billboard album chart. In fact, it's only the third greatest hits album by any artist to hit #1. The Supremes had the second (in 1967); Johnny Mathis had the first (in 1958). I already owned some old Rascals records when I bought this cassette. Released in June 1968, it contained all of their major hits up till that point. Unfortunately, they had one more humongous hit to come, "People Got to Be Free," which went to #1 for five weeks in August and September 1968, so it doesn't appear on this collection. Nevertheless, Time Peace contained their two previous #1 hits ("Good Lovin'" and "Groovin'"), three more Top 10 hits ("A Girl Like You," "How Can I Be Sure," and "A Beautiful Morning"), three additional Top 20 hits ("You Better Run," "I've Been Lonely Too Long" and "It's Wonderful"), and six other great songs.
Note: 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. However, we are currently in the later stages of 1986, so you'll start seeing more Christian albums here soon enough