The List, 2010, #80-71

Round three! Six of the following are new to The List.

80
The Smiths 1984
Hatful Of Hollow

It took me a long time to really get into The Smiths: 25 years, in fact. My friends in college liked The Smiths, so I got to hear plenty of them; but they were always too foppish for my taste. A couple of years ago, though, I decided to give them another chance, and so I bought this. It’s basically live versions of the songs on their first album, along with a couple of (at the time) new things: notably, “How Soon Is Now”. Being live versions, (most Peel Sessions) most of the songs have a bit more kick than the versions on “The Smiths”, which is why this album is here, and not that one.
79
The Doors 1967
Strange Days
I love the creepy slide guitar in “Moonlight Drive”, and “When The Music’s Over” is my favorite of all The Doors’ epics.
78
Spoon 2002
Kill The Moonlight
It was the one right after “Girls Can Tell” – with which it has much in common – so I expected more sublime greatness. It falls just short. There are plenty of great songs here, though. It’s solid start to finish, in fact. Definitely my 2nd-favorite Spoon record.
77
The Beatles 1964
Hard Day’s Night

My favorite of their early records. It starts with that chord, and the next 16.5 minutes are solid classic early Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night”, “I Should Have Known Better”, “If I Fell”, “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”, “And I Love Her”, “Tell Me Why”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. And that’s just side one. Until earlier this year, the songs on side two were unknown to me; and while they aren’t as strong as the first side, many are strong enough that I wonder why I hadn’t heard them before. I still haven’t seen the movie.
76
Wilco 2007
Sky Blue Sky
It’s a nice, mellow album. Good for driving around to. And excellent for close listening. Tweedy’s songs are fantastic, and his lyrics are some of my favorite ever. For example, the stinging “Hate It Here”: “I’ll check the phone I’ll check the mail I’ll check the phone again and I call your mom She says you’re not there and I should take care”; and the cryptic and mellifluous “You Are My Face”: “I remember my mother’s Sister’s husband’s brother Working in the goldmine full-time Filling in for sunshine”. It’s just fun to hear.
75
John Mayall 1966
Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton
I’ve had it forever, but for some reason, I’ve been listening to this one a lot lately. I guess it finally clicked with me. Clapton’s playing sizzling, of course, but the songs themselves are fun. I’m not much of a blues guy, but I think I’ll see if I can figure out where this stuff came from.
74
Rolling Stones 1971
Sticky Fingers

Yet another that I’ve only recently started listening to. A few years back, I got all the Stones’ records at once, and I’ve been slowly making my way through them. In that context, this one was kindof easy to overlook; flip through the Stones’ catalog and you’ll find a litle clump of three records, all from a three-year time span, that are stuffed-full with classic-rock ™ Stones songs: “Beggars Banquet”, “Let It Bleed”, and “Sticky Fingers”; and up until recently, I only had the strength of will to get through the first two. But I have persevered and now I know “Sticky Fingers”, too. It’s a gritty and often dark record, much more so than any of their other records (at least of those I’ve really listened to so far). I still have to skip “Brown Sugar”, but after that – good stuff.
73
The Breeders 1993
Last Splash

I could never get into Frank Black’s post-Pixies stuff, but I really dig what Kim Deal has done. This wasn’t their first, but this album was the first to catch my attention – and everyone else’s too – with a most unlikely hit, the oddly fun “Cannonball”. That’s one great thing about The Breeders, no matter what they’re playing, they always sound like they’re having fun – and that’s infectious.
72
The Breeders 1990
Pod

Two Breeders records in a row? Yep, that’s how the computer ranked ’em, and this time round I’m not going to argue with the computer. But, even though I was a bit surprised to see it here, it makes sense. I do like “Pod” more than I like “Last Splash”, but not a whole lot more. “Pod” is a very different record from “Last Splash”; it’s a bit less accessible, a bit rougher, more experimental, it has Tanya Donnely (of Belly) and Britt Walford (of Slint, on drums), it has Beatles cover. And it’s more like the albums that would follow “Last Splash”.
71
Alison Krauss & Union Station 1992
Every Time You Say Goodbye

I’ve told this story a million times on this blog, but to me, this album is the soundtrack to our leaving upstate NY, one dreary late winter, and arriving in NC where the flowers were out, trees were blooming and the grass was green – the heart of Bluegrass country.

The Histogram tells the tale:

4 thoughts on “The List, 2010, #80-71

  1. Cris

    I was surprised to see you say you didn’t know side 2 of Hard Day’s Night, so I had to glance at the track listing:

    Side two:
    1. “Any Time at All”
    2. “I’ll Cry Instead”
    3. “Things We Said Today”
    4. “When I Get Home”
    5. “You Can’t Do That”
    6. “I’ll Be Back”

    Jimmy Fallon asked Ringo to name his “favorite obscure Beatles songs” to which Ringo replied “there aren’t any obscure Beatles songs.” But this side comes pretty close.

    I wouldn’t have recognized “When I Get Home” at all until pretty recently. #1 and #5 I knew because they appeared on the compilation album Rock and Roll Music, and “I’ll Be Back” was on the Love Songs compilation.

    So what I want to know is, how could I have listened to this album — to Hard Day’s Night itself — for years without really hearing the last six tracks? Did we just never turn the record over?

  2. Mr Furious

    Sticky Fingers — Agree completely on skipping “Brown Sugar.” In fact I pretty much wore out side B of the vinyl, and would just start the CD on track 4.

    “Sister Morphine” is my favorite Stones track, and arguably one of my favorite songs of all time. After several comments this morning, it’s the first song I feel compelled to now play. Love it.

    Breeders: I go Last Splash over Pod, but that’s the order I discovered them. The Breeders a perfect example of my Alternative Enlightenment in the early nineties: NEw releases that had me scrambling for back catalogs of artists I missed the first time ’round (ie: Pixies) but ultimately never quite liking most of them as much as I hoped. I consider Last Splash the height of the Deals career—same for Tanya and Belly, circa Star.

    For the record, 4AD was leading the charge in album graphic design for me and influenced me in my career immensely.

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