Monday, August 02, 2004

Essential Jams: The Readers Write
A few Ofergodsakeses back, I asked readers to nominate the five essential, pre-1986, non-Beatles (because haven't they all been used in TV commercials?), non-country (because country music sucks ha ha just kidding) albums Ben should own. Well, being the contrary chip-off-the-ol'-block I love so much, Ben went right out and bought both Abbey Road and a Johnny Cash collection CD, putting me in my proper place. (He likes them both!)

But y'all sent in a bunch of great lists, and here they are:


Joe W, a man who can do things with a guitar that you must hear to believe, sent a great list, indicating excellent taste in music as well as an inability to count. After reading his list, check out his site, where you can buy the Las Vegas Body Snatchers CD, shop at the Store of Impractical Things and buy some of Crazy Nickademus's Theological Combat Gear. Joe writes:

Jim! Great topic for the music fanatic that is buried in all of us -- or all the music fanatics buried in me. In no particular order:

This Year's Model by Elvis (the one and only) Costello and the Attractions
Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits
Symphony No 3 by Charles Ives (the one conducted by Tilson)
Fresh by Sly and the Family Stone
If I Should Fall From Grace With God by the Pogues (this is an absolute must have)
Paganini 24 Caprici by Itzhak Perlman
Funky Kingston by Toots and the Maytals
Catch a Fire by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Full House by Wes Montgomery
Circle One by The Germs India by John Coltrane
Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths
Nefertiti by Miles Davis
The Clash (U.S. release) by The Clash
Murmur by R.E.M.
The Persian Set by Henry Cowell
Regatta de Blanc by The Police
War by U2

Unfortunately, time will not permit me to go on and on and on with this list as I'd like. There are many, many more records to be had--that must be had (I've already added two records while writing this sentence). One minor point about the Clash: I think London Calling defined the Clash. The Clash had an enormous hand in defining punk as we know it (I prefer the US release because it has Clash City Rockers and (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais). But The Germs' Circle One is THE best punk album period. May the musical spirits of the universe excuse all the omissions. I must stop before I go insane...


David O writes:

The all time must-have of course is Fleetwood Mac's Rumors. I would also force the gag reflex a bit and make him listen to some Linda Ronstadt – even if she didn't like it her own self. When I was Ben's age (the year he was born) I went through a bit of a Krokus phase, which oddly enough I still like. Gotta throw in a little Clapton – Willy and the Hand Jive, mmmm. Please introduce him to our own one-hit wonder Henry Lee Summer and "Wish I Had a Girl." Then I would have to say 38 Special is good for a toe-tappin grand time – as is Bad Company – Oh, I got it, Billy Squire's "The Stroke" (my first rock concert if you don't count the Fixx, and who would). When he's ready for the country thing, I always like the Outlaws (Waylon, Willie and Jessi Colter). I am in complete lock-step with you on the "classic rock" thing, but if I were to go there how about the Firm? I know I named more song titles than albums – sorry. Well, that was fun little tiptoe down memory lane. Take care.


Ponge takes me to task for dissing Rush in my classic-rock rant:

Although I've heard the album a few times, when I really want to bang my head and tear ligaments in my vertebrae, Rush "2112" does it. Ex-specially the II section of side 1, when he's "learning" to play the guitar. Every air guitarist's dream: pick up a fiddle and be an expert in 15 seconds. Besides, these days I can equate the priests to W's henchmen.

Neil Pert is the man on drums (with Keith Moon a close second). He's like banging out six different rhythms with four appendages. I can say that Rush only needed one album, though. Everything before was practice and since was redundant.


Leisa, who is an excellent judge of both music and character, sings the praises of a surprising number of artists who released albums named "Anything":

NON-COUNTRY????? Sheesh. Elitist.

Little Feat: Waiting for Columbus
Anything by Gram Parsons or the Byrds or Flying Burrito Brothers
Anything by the Ramones
Anything by the Clash
Gotta have some blues---Etta Baker


Paul, a man who may or may not be kidding with Rock n Roll Over, as evidenced by his invention of flesh-colored duct tape and his adamant refusal to use his computer's Shift key, sent this inspired list:

gang of four - entertainment
sex pistols - never mind the bollocks
bob marley - (you name it)
neil young - rust never sleeps
kiss - rock n roll over
beach boys - pet sounds



Scott, a man who won't be found wearing a smiley face button, writes:


I wish I could waste the entire day on this... but I only have a few minutes. Enough time, however, to insist that Tom Waits make the list. Both "Swordfishtrombones" and "Rain Dogs" meet your criteria... but I have to give the nod to "Rain Dogs" Also, I just picked up a copy of Dead Kennedys' "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables." It may not make your final list, but when you've got a jones for such classic anthems as "Kill the Poor" and "Let's Lynch the Landlord" there's nobody better than Jello Biafra. This one and "Frankenchrist" should probably go on Ben's list of albums to shoplift.)




Jody paints a lovely picture:

You are, by the way, the devil! I'm swimming in nostalgia and desperate to jump in the old Bonneville with beer, pot, and some cute boys, and head for Floyd's Fork.

Jethro Tull: Aqualung
Little Feat: The Last Record Album
Bonnie Raitt: Give It up
Taj Majal: Giant Step
CSN&Y: Deja Vu


Bush (no, not THAT Bush) refuses to take any crap off The Man by violating both my number and no-Beatles rules with this list:

I want to submit my list of "essential" music but I see you have made rules. Well, I haven't obeyed a rule I didn't want to since I was at that Purdue football game about fifteen years ago and the nice policeman in plainclothes explained my options in no uncertain terms as he led me out of Ross-Ade Stadium. Having said that, I begin my list of fifteen Essential Albums (in no particular order) with:

Revolver by the Beatles
Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
Led Zepplin's first album
Exile on Main Street by the Stones
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
The Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell
Pearl by Janis Joplin
What's Going On by Marvin Gaye
Retrospective by the Buffalo Springfield
Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols
Live at the Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers
American Beauty by the Grateful Dead
20 All-Time Greatest Hits by James Brown
Quadraphenia by The Who
Legend by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Pick any five you want. It was difficult narrowing my list down to fifteen. Consider some of what I left out: Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Sly and the Family Stone, John Prine, Jimmy Buffett, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, the Clash, Aretha Franklin, I could go on.

Two more thoughts:

If only Golden Earring had released a live album.

Don't EVER buy anything by the Eagles--I hate the fucking Eagles!



Patty came up with a lost classic: Uriah Heep. I had to immediately get out the vinyl and play it LOUD. She writes:

It is not easy to pick only 5, so I will give you the ones that most influenced me when I was pre-college:

Genesis - Selling England by the Pound
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Leo Kottke - My Feet Are Smiling
Uriah Heep - Live or Demons and Wizards
Jeff Beck - Blow by Blow



So, what did I finally decide to send Ben off to college with? From the previous OFGS picks, he's been jamming to: Blonde on Blonde, Dark Side of the Moon, London Calling, Moondance, and After the Gold Rush.

Before he packs his bags for UK, I've decided he should also own Rain Dogs, This Year's Model, and Never Mind the Bollocks. As we speak, he may or may not be out shoplifting some Dead Kennedys.

But even better, he now has your loving lists, so he can buy whatever he wants from them. Thanks a million to all who contributed toward this important step in childhood development. And for restoring my hope in my generation. Ya bunch of fuckin' criminals.

No comments: