November 05, 2008


This is a continuation on a vexing thought that has kept me wondering on why we, as adults, tend to lose contact with music the older we get.  While we all love the stuff we grew up on, we tend to not attach to the more current stuff.  Now, I’m speaking as a person aged at 51 but it does seem to be a common malady for many of us.  There are some very rare birds that can hold with today’s music as deeply as they did back in the ‘70s, but that is one rare bird indeed.  It isn’t me although I wish I could say that it was. 

Over the years, we have brought this up time and again.  And I’ve received many excellent schools of thought as to why this happens.  Some of those are still hold plenty of water.  One wise email that I received once stated that it was a monetary thing.  When we were younger, we had to choose which albums we wanted to buy.  The rest were not as deeply held as those that we spent hard-earned dollars on.  I agree with that.  But since it still piques my thinking, I’ve noticed something that is true of me and offer it today as another thought as to why we can’t hold today’s music as closely as we held bands ‘back then.’

I remember, after purchasing an album, we provided it an uninterrupted allotment of time.  We pulled the album from its jacket, looked over the inserts, and inspected the artwork and read the lyrics, etc on the sleeve(s).  When we finally put it on the turntable, we sat back and played it through, no talking or anything.  It had our full attention.  And then we played it again.  And again.  We invited people over to hear it, we discussed it, we praised it.  Sometimes we even tried to sway others to listen to the ‘great’ album by the even ‘greater’ band.  In short, it had our rapt attention.  We spent time with it.  It became us.

As we grew older, we became sidetracked by other things.  Life gets too busy after the ‘20s.  One of the things that suffer is that music thing.  It may not be that we have stopped buying any of it but we have likely quit giving it that quality time that we used to provide for those earlier produced, and loved albums.  After a time and without that ‘soul-drop’, we just kinda forget about it overall.  I now find that when I spend serious time with an album, it takes on that shine that many of the earlier music in my younger years did…and still does.  And so now, when I find a band that I really like on first listen, I investigate further (like I did when I was younger by reading up on the band and asking questions at record shops).  If I’m hooked by this point, I now go and buy the album (that cash outlay that just seems to endear you to a band more).  And then, like I used to, I revel in the album.  It gets my full attention.  I take it to work.  I listen to it in the car.  I’m excited about it and tell friends about them.

But I’m also learning to tone it down some.  There is only so much time for those things.  Now, I’ve begun to limit my time to enjoying old favourites, hunting down some fascinating music, and getting back into re-building my LP collection.  (What a revitalizing blast that is, buying all of my old LPs back to play – so satisfying).

On TAP, my goal has always been to find those new releases that I used to pore over in the local record shop with Jeanne (Art’s Record Shop, for those readers who know the spots I speak of).  Having built those relationships, it was then natural to connect with fans who shared the same love of music that I do.  There is a fantastic community of readers and friends here at TAP.  I respect every individual who writes in and keeps me in line, whether that be to alert me to a missed upcoming album, to correct me in mistakes (I make a lot), and to otherwise make themselves a vital part of TAP.  My ultimate goal is to provide insights that might help to enhance your own enjoyment of music.  That’s why we revisit the old favourites in Polls; it gets us to remember those great times.  It’s why I think and puzzle aloud in the opening of many posts (like I did today).  If I can help to solve a piece of a puzzle, I’ve passed something of value on to people.  When I find a good album, I post a review.  I rarely do albums that are bad to begin with; I haven’t the time to rag on something in a time-consuming write-up.

Coming up on Friday, I have an interesting experiment having to do with our Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! requests.  But we’ll bring that up on next post.  I think that it will be immeasurable fun to see how it comes out.  Stop by for that one.

We’ll see you then.

For the long promised Albums You MUST Hear Before You Die! list (#6), I will be posting a letter each post until exhausted (there were only 17 21 25 emails).  Some were only a few titles, some only one.  But there were more than a few that were massive and a few extended, well-detailed lists.  I’ll post them as I received them.  Today, I have another well thought out 'tick-off' list of 10 albums but with commentary to underscore the choices. There are a few entries that I might have wished for better selections (songs in stead of albums. multiple entries in a single slot, and 'pick any' selections). But the list was passionate and not to be avoided. Thanks to Mark for his list.

  1. Allman Brothers at Fillmore East - Allman Brothers Band
    The musical equivalent of actual conversation. The closest that rock instrumental music has ever gotten to pure jazz and yet never straying from rock and blues. Indispensible dialogue from a band that has become the greatest instrumental band of its time. They are still on the road every year with a level of consistency and quality that puts almost every other band to shame. Today, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes are beyond worthy successors to Duane and Betts. They bring an originality and skill to the band that matches and on the best nights, exceeds, the founders.
  2. Bobby Blue Bland Anthology 2 - Bobby Blue Bland
    The voice, the arrangements, the sound, the guitar player who never misses, the energy, the band by which all others should be measured. Without him,  Motown, Soul, R&B, Ray Charles, James Brown, The Band, Van Morrison and many others would sound so, so different.
  3. Out of the Cradle - Lindsay Buckingham
    Lindsey Buckingham's  Out of the Cradle: Pure Pop For Now People who like other-worldly guitar and harmonies stacked as high as a cloud. At the end of the nineties, one reviewer singled this and Michael Nesmith's Tropical Campfires as the two best unheard CDs of the nineties. Soul Drifter is the best song to play at your own funeral. Leaves them dancing with a smile.  
  4. Sonic Boulevard - Thomas Bodin
    Find a Flower Kings' CD and they will remind you how exciting and challenging well-played progressive rock can be. From the Gilmour/Zappa shades of guitarist Roine Stolt to this guy, their keyboardist, The Flower Kings are a reminder of what was great about Close to the Edge. Bodin is one of the very few  keyboardists who takes what he listened to as a kid and makes something new out of it. Strains of Floyd, Emerson, Genesis, Wakeman, Oldfield and Crimson run throughout, but everything here is new to your ears. For a keyboardist, the album sparkles with incredible guitar.
  5. If I Could Only Remember My Name - David Crosby or The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Joni Mitchell
    The two best albums to ever come out of the Southern California rock scene. One brings California to the world, the other brings the world to California. Impeccable songwriting from both. Both artists were smart enough to not get in the way of what visiting musicians brought to the table. From Jerry to Jaco, everyone on each of these two releases shine with some of their best moments.
  6. Glass Harp - Glass Harp
    Hendrix, Clapton, Trower, Lofgren, Beck. Throw their names in a hat and any one of them will make almost anyone's list of guitar heroes. Where is Phil Keaggy? In one album, he and the band create a template for almost all classic rock over the next 5 or 6 years. Throughout the album, Keaggy's tone and control and emotion are a thing of wonder. While Keaggy is a stand out in the power trio format, you cannot discount the contributions of bassist Dan Pecchio and Drummer John Sfera as writers and instrumentalists. They match him step for step. Everything that these three do on this 1970 release is completely original and yet, with 40 years looking back on it, I can hear a million different albums and bands inside what they play. The one missing classic rock album that  everyone who loves rock from 1967-1974 should own.
  7. Rose of Cimmaron (Song) - Poco
    This song holds a thousand frames inside of a classic John Ford western. Like Ford's best, it reflects the majesty and potential held by the West. As the song starts you can almost see John Wayne silhouetted against a door frame and you are left with the same feeling when it ends. A beautiful song of regret and happiness and longing and thoughtfulness. A strong solo by Paul Cotton is followed by Timothy B. Schmidt's stacked falsetto and than the orchestra kicks in as Cotton drives it home for what you think is the end. Rusty Young closes it with the sound of his banjo as strings fade. The one band that got lost when The Burritos and Gram Parsons and The Eagles carved up the money and critical hosannas. True, Poco did not have the one strong writer or the one big star that the others did, but they were a real BAND. Bad management, bad record deals and a million other rock clichés kept them from the top. Still, when they were good, they were really good.
  8. Comfortably Numb (song - Pulse version) - Pink Floyd
    Rock's greatest guitar solo by its most taken for granted blues guitarist. Go ahead and say anything you want about the importance of Roger Water's lyrics, but it was Gilmour who quietly shaped the Floyd that a lot of people love. Go ahead and speak volumes about Syd's great songs. But for 90 percent of its career, Floyd was the atmosphere of music that fell from the brains of Gilmour and to a lesser extent, Richard Wright and Waters. Go ahead and cite me dozens of examples from Waters' solo catalogue that prove me wrong, but nothing he ever did can match the emotion of what Gilmour does on this song. ( A song that, like the best tracks on The Wall, they wrote together). Go ahead and tell me that The Division Bell wasn't really Floyd. Say anything you want but you will never convince me that this is not the culmination of something that started when Les Paul first put a few wires inside a piece of wood with strings. 
  9. Friends and Legends - Michael Stanley
    A California rock album filtered through Colorado by a guy from Cleveland. Joe Walsh, Richie Furay, Dan Fogelberg as well as half of Manassas drop in to help. Stanley's version of Help is one of the greatest Beatles covers ever. When Lennon heard it he commented that Stanley's version sounded like Lennon had first imagined the song when he wrote it. Let's Get the Show on the Road holds one of David Sanborn's earliest and most memorable solos. On Yours For Song you leave thinking it is a long lost Joe Walsh and Barnstorm classic. Today Stanley is still working with producer Bill Scymczyk. They just released a new CD last month! As strong as his songwriting is, Stanley still has a great touch with covers. Try to find a copy of his 2005 release The Farrago Sessions. It is another great secret from a man who, no matter what, has never stopped.
  10. Any title - Richard Thompson
    Pick one, doesn't matter, but let's go with the obvious choices, Shoot Out the Lights, 1952 Vincent Black Lightening or Can't Win. No guitarist or musician working in modern music has been more consistent in quality or more hard to describe to the average listener. He is the only writer that you could argue as being the equal of Dylan. And that includes Neil Young.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.






To capitalize on the upcoming film, Cadillac Records, Geffen Records, in conjunction with Chess Records (whew…say that one fast), will release a collection called The Best of Chess Records.  It will feature a Various Artists lineup with songs by Etta James, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Walter, and Howlin’ Wolf.  These songs are the real tunes mirroring the ones performed in the film.  There will be 16 tunes in all.  The release date is set for December 2.

The Various Artists soundtrack to Cadillac Records will arrive in several forms.  On December 2, you can get the soundtrack on either CD (1CD and 2CD) or LP.

Experience Hendrix will release a Jimi Hendrix DVD and a separately available CD/DVD set called At Last…The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland.  This set documents the creation of one of Hendrix’s strongest albums and was shown on Classic Albums back in 1997.  What sets this DVD apart is the inclusion of 40 minutes of unseen footage.  This is released in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the release of Electric Ladyland, and Axis: Bold As Love.  A great addition to Hendrix fans’ libraries.  Both sets are pegged for a December 9 release date.

A&M Records and Octone will release Call & Response from Maroon 5, scheduling that album for December 9.

We mentioned the upcoming release of The Very Best of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin several posts before.  The album, of course, highlights the best from Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.  This 2CD set provides a full disc dedicated to each songwriter with their respective compositions showcased in a Various Artists compilation. With songs as sung by Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Mel Torme, Kate Smith, and others, this set from Fuel Records should be a treat for fans of the old school.  This is planned for December 9.

Hip-O Select in conjunction with Motown, has scheduled the release of an Expanded Edition of Surrender, the 1971 album by Diana Ross.  In addition to the original eleven tracks, this set is expanded by the inclusions of nine bonus tracks.  In those you’ll find alternate vocals and mixes of several songs found on the album, as well as the unreleased Surrender sessions tune, “Baby, I’ll Come.”  One of the tunes in the bonus disc is a demo with vocal track by songwriter Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson, both of whom were major song contributors to the album) of “Remember Me.”  The booklet contains a new essay, photos, and a song-by-song commentary.  This re-mastered album is planned for December 9.

In 2009, Motown will be celebrating 50 years of existence. That's an amazing feat. To help celebrate, Motown is releasing a 10CD Box set with 200 Number One songs from 50 Motown Artists. This Various Artists compilation is planned for December 9.

Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to the upcoming December 12 re-make film, The Day the Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer ConnellyTyler Bates, who had composed the score for The 300, is the author of this score.  It is slated for release on December 9.

Varese Sarabande will also release the John Ottman film score for Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise, on December 9.  The film itself is slated for release on December 25.

Fania Records will release a 4CD, 58-track Various Artists collection of Salsa favourites called Salsa: A Musical History.  This collection will be made available on December 9.

Reprise Records has two Stevie Nicks titles coming on January 13 of 2009.  The first title is a CD called The Soundstage Sessions.  The other is a DVD called Live in Chicago.

Remember that Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 by Neil Young is scheduled to hit stores on December 2Reprise Records is the releasing label.  

There are a couple of Playlist: The Very Best of xxxxx series titles coming on December 16.  Those include ‘best of’ discs for Bob Dylan (‘60s); Brooks & Dunn; and Martina McBride.  Those are coming from Legacy Recordings.

Epic Records is releasing the new Brandy album on December 9.  It is called Human.

UMe has announced a CD from Elvis Costello and the Attractions called Live at The El Macombo planned for release on December 23.

There are even more LPs coming.  We have reported on a lot of those vinyl reissues in the Back to Black 60th Anniversary of Vinyl series, including the one that I have on my list for Christmas, Quadrophenia from The Who (releasing December 9).  The new rack is:

Virgin has a new Red Jumpsuit Apparatus album coming in the first quarter of 2009 as does Liberty Records with a new one from Dierks Bentley, and one from Keith Urban (same time frame).




Review - Bloc Party - Intimacy - CD

Bloc Party left a lasting impression with their first album, 2005's extraordinary Silent Alarm. It was followed up with an album that some enjoyed but many more were shocked by. However, lost ground was made up by this new album, Intimacy, with its wide selection of excellent songs. Welcome back, Bloc Party.





Review - The Stills - Oceans Must Rise - CD

James Hrivnak offers a review of Oceans Must Rise by The Stills.



Review - Ry Cooder - Anthology: The UFO Has Landed

Ry Cooder's importance is underscored by the release of this 2CD Anthology, The UFO Has Landed. There are many representative songs within that make this package a thanksful one.





Review - Hunter S Thompson - The Gonzo Tapes

The good Doctor has left behind some endearing and fascinating legacies that will live forver. This Box from Shout! Factory is filled with the musings and thoughts of Hunter S Thompson, all spoken, all filled with insight. The Gonzo Tapes is a 5-disc offering that will have you smiling...and chuckling...and laughing. Great stuff!







Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
All rights reserved.All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: various news pieces may state a specific media publication or program as a source. All other news is considered 'rumour' only. That goes double for release dates.

212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
" best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)