Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
59,729
as of April 12, 2024

<< Back to the fan club


Search Past News:

Sort by Relevance Date

Yesterday's News:

04.12.24Influential Albums: 1430-1436
04.12.24Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.12.24Over 1650 Tracks for $100
04.12.24USBs Include New CD & Latest Single
04.12.24This Week's Bible-Reading
04.12.24Unchained Medley CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Etc.
04.12.24How to Donate Online or by Mail
04.08.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.08.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
04.08.24This Week's News Builletin
04.05.24Five Months Till the Big ApologetiX Show
04.05.24New Story
04.05.24Influential Albums: 1423-1429
04.05.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
04.05.24ApX Fan Needs Lung Transplant or a Miracle
04.03.24This Week's News Bulletin
04.01.24New Single: Two-Hit Wonders
03.29.24Bible-Reading Ends Tuesday, Starts Again Wednesday
03.29.24Rock the Bible Finishes Up
03.29.24Easter Season Playlist 2024
03.29.24Influential Albums: 1416-1422
03.28.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
03.28.24Clues for 2024 Single #7
03.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.22.24Influential Albums: 1409-1415
03.22.24This Week's Bible-Reading
03.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.20.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.20.24New Single: Top-Five Hits by Four-Man Bands
03.16.24Influential Albums: 1402-1408
03.16.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.12.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.09.24Influential Albums: 1395-1401
03.09.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
03.09.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.05.24This Week's News Bulletin
03.03.24New Single: '74 Solo Smashes
03.01.24A Serious Problem We're Trying to Address
02.29.24All About Our Next CD
02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
02.29.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.29.24Clues for 2024 Single #5
02.25.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.22.24Get Ready for Our Next CD
02.22.24Influential Albums: 1381-1387
02.22.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.22.24Wayne Is Retiring, What's Next for Him and Us?
02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.19.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.19.24New Single: Billy & The Beach
02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
02.10.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.08.24New USB Thumb Drives on the Way
01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.23.23ApologetiX Updated Christmas Playlist
12.18.23This Week's News Bulletin

Influential Albums: 1388-1394
Thu., Feb. 29. 2024 6:08pm EST

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.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1388. Apol-acoustiX - ApologetiX
The 11th ApologetiX CD came out in March 2005, a mere four months after our 10th, and was unlike anything we'd attempted before. As the name suggests, Apol-acoustiX, featured acoustic renditions of 13 parodies — only one of which had previously appeared on any ApX CD. By then, I had a tremendous backlog of lyrics, and our busy touring schedule made it difficult to get the full band in the studio. So Karl and I decided to return to our roots. You see, after we first got together to jam in 1990, we'd played a lot of acoustic stuff at Bible studies before taking the name "ApologetiX" ... and at plenty of coffee houses afterward till the band started touring regularly. Of course, everybody who followed the music scene in the '90s remembers MTV Unplugged. We decided to do something along those lines, but in the studio rather than on stage. We recorded Apol-acoustiX in January 2005. With no bass or drums needed, Keith Haynie and Bill Rieger took to jokingly calling the CD "Bill and Keith Unplugged," although we'd gotten their OK before proceeding with the project. Keyboardist Bill Hubauer had also started touring with us by the time it came out. The songs we spoofed on Apol-acoustiX were primarily classics from 1954-70, with three newer tunes from the '90s and 2000s. The photo on the cover was taken in Dormont PA, the town where Andy, Jeff, Karl, and I officially made the decision to call the band "ApologetiX" back in 1992. In fact, there's a photo in the CD booklet of the actual place where I'd first suggested the name, the Dormont Eat n' Park restaurant. Believe it or not, immediately after that 2005 photo session, when Karl and I tried to get a local newspaper from the machine in front of the restaurant, the headline read "Deja vu." Speaking of which, ApologetiX eventually recorded and released electrified versions of two of the parodies on Apolo-acoustiX in 2007 and two more in 2023.

1389. The Best of Roxy Music - Roxy Music
This album came out on June 11, 2001, but I ordered my copy through Amazon on April 15, 2005. Like New and Used Hits, the collection ApologetiX had released five months earlier, The Best of Roxy Music featured the group's hits (although not all of them) in reverse chronological order (from 1982 through 1972). That worked out well for me, as I was more familiar with their newer material anyway, so it allowed me to get acclimated as I waded into water. The first three tracks were songs I already knew and loved: "Avalon" (#13 U.K., #59 U.S. mainstream rock), "More Than This" (#6 U.K., #102 U.S. pop, #58 U.S. mainstream rock) and "Jealous Guy" (#1 U.K.). I only had to wait to till the sixth track to get to another old favorite, "Oh Yeah" (#5 U.K., #102 U.S. pop). I was also eager to repeatedly listen to "Out of the Blue," a great non-charting tune I'd loved instantly when I'd first seen the group perform it on the Midnight Special TV show. Their were 18 tracks in all. Additional standouts for me are "Virginia Plain" (#4 U.K.), "Pyjamarama" (#10 U.K. and the tune that helped inspire the name of '80s girl group Bananarama), "Do the Strand," "Both Ends Burning" (#25 U.K.), "Mother of Pearl" (did not chart), "Dance Away" (#2 U.K., #44 U.S. pop), "Angel Eyes" (#4 U.K.), "Street Life" (#9 U.K.), and "All I Want Is You" (#12 U.K.). Of course, no Roxy Music compilation would be complete without their only U.S. Top 40 hit, "Love Is the Drug" (#2 U.K., #30 U.S. pop) from '75, and that's here, too. The Best of Roxy Music featured at least one song from all eight of their studio LPs. The only bummer for me about was that it didn't include "In the Midnight Hour" (#106 U.S. pop) and "Take a Chance With Me" (#26 U.K., #104 U.S. pop). But once I imported the CD into my computer, it was easy enough to buy those two on iTunes and them to my playlist.

1390. Retrospective - The Animals
This 22-track 2004 Animals anthology has everything a hits-oriented U.S. fan like me could want ... aside from the group's 1983 comeback single, "The Night" (#48 U.S. pop, #34 mainstream rock), which I used to own on a 45 anyway. Reptrospective starts with their 1964 #1 hit "The House of the Rising Sun" and ends with the 1970 #3 hit "Spill the Wine," which was actually attributed to (Animals lead singer) Eric Burdon and War. In between, is every U.S. hit — major or minor — from the group's R&B/blues era (1964-66) and their psychedelic era (1966-68). This inclusive approach is perfect for yours truly, because I was a fan of all of those songs, including "Spill the Wine." That's 19 Hot 100 hits, 15 of which also reached the U.S. Top 40. Not only that, you get their debut single, "Baby, Let Me Take You Home," which bubbled under at #102. It's actually one of my favorite Animal tracks (I first heard it in college, thanks to my friend Rich Cade), along with "Gonna Send You Back to Walker" (#57 US.), "I'm Crying" (#19 U.S., #8 U.K.), "Bring It On Home to Me" (#32 U.S., #7 U.K.), "We Gotta Get Out of This Place (#13 U.S., #2 U.K.), "It's My Life" (#23 U.S., #7 U.K.), "Don't Bring Me Down" (#12 U.S., #6 U.K.), "San Franciscan Nights" (#9 U.S., #7 U.K.), "Monterey" (#15 U.S.), "Sky Pilot" (#14 U.S., #40 U.K.), and "White Houses" (#67 pop). But I also liked the other hits. "White Houses" includes this all-too-accurate couplet: "They put a Bible in the drawer of the motel room, and it's crying out to be read — but it stays right there, collecting dust, no one understands what's being said." Preach it, Eric.

1391. Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time - Various Artists
If you've been reading these "albums that influenced me" entries since the early days, you may have noticed that there were plenty of novelty records mentioned. I loved them as kid, and years later I sought out some of them to share with my own kids on car rides, especially morning trips to school. When I was looking for digital versions of old favorites to add to their playlists, I found many of them on Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records of All Time. Released in 1991, this double-disc set featured 36 tracks, about two-thirds of which had helped to mold (or mutate) my musical sense of humor in grade school, high school, or college. The ones that proved most popular with my progeny were probably "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" by Allan Sherman, "Star Trekkin'" by The Firm, "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes, "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvus, "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" by Napoleon IV, "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashman, "Beep Beep" by The Playmates, "Witch Doctor" by David Seville, "Gitarzan" by Ray Stevens, "Earache My Eye" by Cheech & Chong featuring Alice Bowie, "Dancin' Fool" by Frank Zappa, "King Tut" by Steve Martin, "Der Fuehrer's Face" by Spike Jones and His City Slickers, and "Eat It" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Others I cherished from my childhood included "St. George and the Dragonet" by Stan Freburg, "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley, "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" by Shel Silverstein, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bestpost Overnight)" by Lonnie Donegan and His Skiffle Group, "Junk Food Junkie" by Larry Groce, "Cocktails for Two" by Spike Jones and His City Slickers, "The Time Warp" by The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast, and "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt Kickers. For a complete track listing of Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection, go to https://www.discogs.com/master/6122-Various-Dr-Demento-20th-Anniversary-Collection-The-Greatest-Novelty-Records-Of-All-Time

1392. Disco Jews - 2 Live Jews
2 Live Jews were two young Jewish men (Eric Lambert and Joe Stone) acting (and singing and rapping) like two old Jewish men. In an earlier entry for Fiddler on the Roof, I mentioned a 1991 comedy album of theirs I owned called Fiddling with Tradition, which featured rap versions of songs from the famous musical. For that project, the individual members of 2LJ identified as MC Moisha (Lambert) and Easy Irving (Stone). Later, I came across (and bought) their next LP, in which they portrayed a couple of aged Jewish disco pioneers named Morty and Herschel. Released in 1994, Disco Jews featured 11 polyester parodies of mirror-ball music from that era of excess. My favorites were "Stayin' Inside" ("Stayin" Alive" by The Bee Gees), "The Herschel" ("The Hustle" by Van McCoy), "Bargain Town" ("Funky Town" by Lipps Inc.), "What Did You Say" ("YMCA" by The Village People), and "Mama Stein" ("Lady Marmalade" by Labelle). Other artists spoofed included Wild Cherry, Chic, The Baby City Rollers, Oliva Newton-John, Amii Stewart, and Johnnie Taylor. There was also an amusing interview segment at the end, "Live at Studio 54 With Morty & Herschel," that lasted about 12 minutes. Joe Stone's father, Henry, was a famous record executive who actually did play an important role in disco history as the president and co-owner of TK Records, which distributed the second #1 disco song ever, "Rock Your Baby" by George McCrae, plus a slew of hits by K.C. & The Sunshine Band. And get this: The last single on TK Records was none other than "Another One Rides the Bus" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. For a complete track listing, go to https://www.discogs.com/master/603449-2-Live-Jews-Disco-Jews

1393. Katy Lied - Steely Dan
Steely Dan's fourth LP may be my favorite of theirs overall as far the marriage of music and lyrics. Released on March 1, 1975, Katy Lied saw the five-man Dan down to a duo — Donald Fagen and Walter Becker — plus a ton of top-notch studio musicians. It also featured the notable addition of Michael McDonald on backing vocals. He had joined Steely Dan's touring band in '73, but this was his first appearance on one of their albums. McDonald would continue to sing on the next three Steely Dan LPs, even though he officially joined The Doobie Brothers in April '75, a mere month after Katy Lied. The first single, "Black Friday," made the Top 40 with just three slots to spare (#37), and the second single, "Bad Sneakers," missed the Hot 100 by the same amount (#103). It includes one of the best opening lines to any song ever: "Five names that I can hardly stand to hear — including yours and mine and one more chimp who isn't here." I love both of those tunes, but there are four others on Katy Lied that I enjoy at least as much, if not more: "Dr. Wu," Rose Darling," "Any World That I'm Welcome To," and "Your Gold Teeth II." Fagen and Becker wrote about the some strange characters capable of despicable deeds, but I was frequently fascinated by their storytelling style. Katy Lied sold a million copies in the United States and was equally successful on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching #13 on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts.

1394. The Royal Scam - Steely Dan
On May 31, 1976, Steely Dan released their fifth LP, The Royal Scam. It yielded two U.S. singles, neither of which made the Top 40 — "Kid Charlemagne" (#82) and "The Fez" (#59). When I worked in the corporate world back in the '90s, I used to occasionally go out to lunch with a fellow employee named Mark who liked to quote from "Kid Charlemagne," especially this line: "Is there gas in the car? Yes, there's gas in the car." Ironically, we never drove to the restaurant where we dined, and it was only a few blocks away, so it didn't really matter if there was gas in the car anyway. Another track on The Royal Scam, "Haitian Divorce," became the Dan's highest-charting U.K. single (#17). It's quite a catchy and amusing tune, as are the first two I mentioned. A fourth cut, "Don't Take Me Alive," is no laughing matter but also received airplay on American rock radio stations, thanks in part to the powerful guitars of stellar studio standout Larry Carlton. Of the remaining five tracks, I gravitate toward "Sign In Stranger," an interplanetary sci-fi saga about fugitives from the law seeking new identities on a far-off world with no police officers. In fact, that number is neck and neck in a heated competition with "Kid Charlemagne" (also about an outlaw on the lam) for my favorite track on The Royal Scam. "The Caves of Altamira" is also interesting and "Green Earrings" might as well have been called "Green Earworm." Finally, I should mention "Everything You Did," told from the perspective of a jealous husband accusing his wife of infidelity. It contains the outlandish line, "Turn up The Eagles; the neighbors are listening." Eagles singer/guitarist Glen Frey later acknowledged it as the inspiration for the line "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast" in the title track of his group's Hotel California LP, released just six months later. Both bands had the same manager, Irving Azoff. The Royal Scam sold a million copies in the United States and reached #15 on the Billboard 200. It also hit #11 on the U.K. albums chart, a decent showing, but Steely Dan's next LP, Aja, would become their biggest on both sides of the pond (#3 U.S., #5 U.K.). I already wrote about that one long ago on this list.