Saturday, March 30, 2013

Random Records I Really Like

I've always been a big music buff.  I like almost all kinds of music from all eras and I thought I'd showcase some of the albums that I've really enjoyed through the years.  These particular ones run the gamut from rock 'n roll to soul to pop to orchestral to parody songs so I thought I'd try to turn people on to these records if they haven't been already.

The Beach Boys Pet Sounds
Many consider this the surfin' group's grandest achievement and I certainly agree.  It's a pop masterpiece from beginning to end, with all time great songs like Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows, Sloop John B, and I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.  Main songwriter Brian Wilson was influenced by the Beatles' Rubber Soul and wanted to write a record that stood up to that great album and he succeeded.  A must have for any 60's rock and pop fan.

Otis Redding In Person At The Whisky A Go Go
The soul master at his very best.  Recorded over a several night stand at Los Angeles' famous Whisky A Go Go nightclub in 1966, Otis and his band brought the power and energy of his Stax Records recordings to life in a way that the studio versions couldn't even begin to touch.  His cover of James Brown's Papa's Got A Brand New Bag is just about as good as the Godfather Of Soul's.  A great, great album.

U2 Achtung Baby
Without a doubt Achtung Baby is my all time favorite album.  It's amazing from beginning to end.  U2 has always been my favorite band and when they reinvented themselves for the 90's with this album, the results were astounding.  Songs like Love Is Blindness, One, So Cruel, Acrobat, The Fly, and Zoo Station are just a few of the gems on this seminal record.  It also bears mentioning that the tour in support of Achtung Baby, the wonderful Zoo TV tour of 1992-93 is my all time favorite tour and concert experience.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Hammersmith Odeon London 75
Along with the Otis Redding record mentioned above, this is my all time favorite live album.  Bruce and the E Streeters went to London for the first time in November, 1975 to promote the magnificent Born To Run album and the pressure was on to live up to the hype and they succeeded with flying colors.  The band cooked through classics like Thunder Road (in a wonderful vocal and piano version), Backstreets, Born To Run, and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.  It's a great time capsule of Bruce and the band at their very best.

"Weird Al" Yankovic Dare To Be Stupid
How much do I love Weird Al?  Let me count the ways.  Like A Surgeon, Dare To Be Stupid, One More Minute, Yoda, Slime Creatures From Outer Space, Girls Just Want To Have Lunch, Hooked On Polkas.  I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.  This record was a staple in my tape player in 1985 and it's one of his finest efforts.  One of my regrets in life is not seeing his wonderfully titled Stupid Tour back then although there was a show only about 15 minutes from my house.  Sigh.

Superman The Movie Soundtrack
I love movie soundtracks and I think that John Williams was the greatest film composer who ever lived and the Superman soundtrack is, in my opinion, his best work, although you can't go wrong with Star Wars, Close Encounters, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, or any of his other great work.  This particular version of the Superman soundtrack is remastered and contains the entire score, which earlier versions didn't have.  A must have for movie music fans.

Those are just a few of my favorites.  I'll try and post some more at a later time.  In the meantime, Happy Listening!

1 comment:

Todd Franklin said...

Great post Mike! That's a great line-up of music.