26 June 2008

3 x 13 Albums (Part 1, 1969)

Here's the music of my multiples of 13 so far. Picking 13 albums is harder than picking films, given the greater number of releases, but each of these years were significant times in music, each at a transitionary phase for pop music artistically. Obviously my choices are going to reflect my subjective personal tastes shaped through my subjective personal experience, so if you find these choices odd or off putting, screw you! Because of the extensive links, and more expansive descriptions of each title, this list will be split up into three parts, unlike the film list.

1969 (presented in no particular order, also noted whether or not you can download the MP3 from Zune.net and if it's available as part of ZunePass, screw iTunes)

(1)The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
I picked this album up sometime around the mid80s. It's my favorite VU album. I love the songs Pale Blue Eyes, Jesus, Candy Says, and even After Hours are some of their best songs. A very influential album, a good one to listen to start to finish. (available through Zune Pass)

(2)Tommy - The Who
Uggh, rock opera. Only 'rock opera' that doesn't deserve the 'uggh' designation. Great album by an amazing group of musicians at the peak of their form. Too bad it inspired so much crap in its wake. (unavailable for purchase through Zune or Amazon, guess you'll have to pick up the CD, instead)

(3)Santana - Santana
Makes the list, if only for the cover (also, the music is pretty good, too). (available through ZunePass)

(4)Monster Movie - Can
What can I say? I love me some Can. They do that thing that folks used to do back then in making the B-side of the album a single track. Pretentious then, pretentious now, but the song rocks in a German psuedo-fusion sort of way. Holger Czukay is a god of Bass, and Jaki Liebezeit was a great drummer, I came to know those fellas from their work in the 80s, but I sought out their earlier works, and wasn't disappointed with what I heard (http://social.zune.net/AlbumDetails.aspx?aid=875f4d00-0100-11db-89ca-0019b92a3933, but not available for ZunePass)

(5)Kick Out the Jams - MC5
The Jams do indeed get Kicked Out on this piece of vinyl. You owe it to yourself to download a copy today (available through ZunePass)

(6)Let it Bleed - The Rolling Stones
This is an excellent Stones album, with two of their best songs (Gimme Shelter, You Can't Always Get What You Want). I'm not the biggest Stones fan in the world, but I do like this album. (available through ZunePass)

(7)Donovan's Greatest Hits
This may seem a bit of a cheat to include a 'greatest hits' package, but it's an album I'm fond of, and he was pretty damn good at what he did (plus I totally had a crush on his daughter in Junior High). (available, except for one song, through ZunePass)

(8) New York Tendaberry - Laura Nyro
This isn't my favorite Laura Nyro album, but an album doesn't have to be my favorite of hers to still be a great album. She was one of the better singer songwriters of the period, if you haven't heard her before, best to start with Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, work your way to her cover album, Gonna Take a Miracle, and then delve into New York Tendaberry. But if you do all that, you won't be disappointed. She was a remarkable artist. (available through ZunePass, as well as the other albums mentioned)

(9)Clouds - Joni Mitchell
Is this her best work? No. Is it the best album she released in 1969, yes, so it belongs on this list (only Chelsea Morning and Both Sides Now available through ZunePass, but those are the best songs of the album).

(10)In the Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson
Not their best work, and a much different tone than what they'd become from the late 70s on, but as far as proto-prog psychedelia goes, this is one of the better efforts. Also, great album cover. (unavailable through Zune.net)

(11)Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin
The better of the two Led Zeppelin albums released that year. Became a cliche by the time I got around to listening to it, but it most of been an impressive album to come across back before they were something of a joke. The music isn't a joke, just the fans that grew up around this band through the course of the 70s and 80s. (available for purchase, but not ZunePass)

(12)Soul Shakedown - Bob Marley & the Wailers
Lee Scratch Perry and Bob Marley and the Wailers together for the first time. They'd get better later, but this one's pretty good in its own right. Not released in the USA originally, but I'm counting it so it can be included, and all the songs found their way on to subsequent albums. (unavailable, but all the tracks can be found on this huge compilation, here)

(13)The Stooges - The Stooges
Yeah, this is the stuff, alright. Raw, uncut, rawk. Way ahead of their time, greatly influenced a bunch of the stuff I enjoyed in the mid-80s. Sloppy, feral, angry, powerful, punk before punk, really seems out of place and out of time with the rest of the albums on this list. (Deluxe Edition available on ZunePass)

No comments: