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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fifteen of the Ones I Left Behind

          How can I only pick fifteen albums?  For that matter, how can I pick 50 or 100?  In yesterday's post, FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES, I chose fifteen of the albums that I would want if they were the only ones I could ever listen to for the rest of my life.  It's an absurd premise as I would have to pick across genres and there are so many to choose from. 

              Continuing from the original plan where classical music is not being included, here are fifteen more in my original picks of albums.  These I decided to eliminate from my top thirty because my first fifteen just seemed more important to me.  But this list can change from week to week or even day to day.  Listening taste can be fickle and the more I think about the question the more the list gets changed.  For what it's worth, here are fifteen that are next in line for the time being:

Today! (1965) by the Beach Boys--- One side is a collection of those bright sounding beach music hits that kept the "Boys" on the charts so often in the 1960s.  The flip side of the record (of course it's all on one side of the CD) is the lush beautiful romantic ballads the Brian Wilson does so well--those are my favorites.  Harmony vocals that are some of the best to be found.  This album carried me through adolescence and sounds even better now.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968) by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
It was the beginning of my senior year in high school in Maryville, TN. On a Sunday evening sometime in the Fall of 1968, I was listening to an FM station that was identified as coming from St. Louis. Fade in the incredible CCR version of "Suzy Q", one of the finest rock and roll recordings of all time, and I was blown away by eight and a half minutes of something quite different to the music I had been listening to previously. I soon owned this great album of roots rock psychedelic soul music. This album had a big influence on much of the music I would begin listening to.

Seals and Crofts (1970) by Seals and Crofts--This was their first album before they became slickly commercial.  Here they harken to traditional roots with some fun rock influence.  The songs are spiritual and mystical as they sing about their Bahai faith.  The vocals are absolutely beautiful and the instrumentation is fine.

Watertown (1970) by Frank Sinatra -- Not one of his better known albums, Watertown is a concept album--it could be the soundtrack for a movie.  The story is of a man whose wife leaves him and his children.  This is not the classic Sinatra with whom we are all familiar, but the songs are excellent and well sung.  I always enjoyed listening to this album when I was in my twenties and, though I do not have a copy at the present, I still recall the songs and long to hear them again.

Deja Vu (1970)  by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young  --- I really liked the first Crosby, Stills, and Nash album, but the addition of Neil Young gave the group a more varied sound.  There are such great songs on this album and the album captures my college years of the early 70s so well.   Young's "Country Girl" suite is some of his best work in my opinion.

Blind Faith (1969)   By Blind Faith --- I was already a Cream fan when this new "supergroup" began to get hyped.  They were a great group.  Classic rock and roll with the soulful Stevie Winwood on vocals.  Eric Clapton's guitar work weaves in and out of the music with the tribal drumstyle of Ginger Baker laying down the beat.  The songs are all classics with "Presence of the Lord" being my personal favorite.

                     Thank Christ for the Bomb (1970)  by the Groundhogs-- How do I describe this album?   Some articles say they are blues-rock and I guess they are kind of like Cream.  This album has an almost acoustic feel to much of it.  I might call it acoustic metal or progressive, but I'm not that good at labeling music either.  All I know is the songs are catchy, the vocals are very British accented, and the instrumental jams are quite good.  It's a good rock and roll album and that's enough said I guess.

       Autumn (1968)  by Don Ellis Orchestra-- This is highly arranged big band music filled with intricate rhythms and complex instrumentation.  However it all comes together flawlessly in very listenable musical pieces that range from classical sounding, smoky sultry film noir, rock, and even a tad of country.   Simply amazing when I first heard this album and it remains amazing.


  Time Circle(1968-1972) by Spirit---One of the best rock bands from the California psychedelic period, Spirit plays tightly arranged tiny musical epics.  They don't get into the long drawn out jams and I always wish the songs were longer.  They are sometimes jazzy and at times very commercial.  Well crafted songs that are performed by expert musicians in well-produced recordings.

   Eat a Peach (1972)  by the Allman Brothers-- The Allmans were definitely the main soundtrack of the early 70s in Tennessee.  Everybody was playing the albums and the local bands all played the music.  The Allmans play some nice country tinged rock songs and extended rock blues-rock jams with plenty of dual guitar action. 

   Future Games (1971)  Fleetwood Mac --- This is Mac before they became the commercial hit machine with Buckingham and Nicks.  This incarnation of Fleetwood Mac has Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch.  The songs are excellent and the sound of the band is often sad and ethereal, but extraordinarily beautiful.  I love this album.

     The Ultimate Prophecy (1970)  J.D. Blackfoot -- On the original vinyl, one side was a collection of well executed heavy rock songs.  The other side had the spiritual psychedelic tour de force called "The Ultimate Prophecy".  I guess you would call it a rock and roll song cycle in which each separate song blends into the other and the entire cycle tells a story.  It's a pretty cool rock and roll epic.

Crowded House (1986)  Crowded House--- Really good well crafted catchy rock songs is about all I can say.   "Don't Dream It's Over" is on of my favorite songs.

Time Out (1959)  Dave Brubeck Quartet--- I was familiar with the famous song "Take Five" for many years, but I did not really hear the album until the 90s.  Piano, sax, bass, and drums in classically cool jazz arrangements.  It's just totally cool and laid back.

Blinking Lights and other revelations (2005)  The Eels-- Terrific collection of highly listenable rock and pop sounds. There's like 33 songs on two discs.  They are short songs, but they are very good.  This is a very pleasing album.

       I could keep on going and naming many more albums, but that is enough for now.  However next Monday I will be naming Nine Nice Jazz Favorites.   If you'd like to join me let me know--I'll even start another Linky list if there is enough interest.

      And by the way, the participation in the FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES was fantastic.  Such an amazing diversity of musical selections in such fine presentation.  If you didn't check them all out, I encourage you to do so.  We had a really great time.  Thanks to all who joined us.


  1. Hi, Another great line up of albums,Some I know others I'd like to know.Yes it was fun, doing the Fantasy Island, I know nothing about Jazz only the modern jazz not traditional.

    Have a nice day.

  2. I could be perfectly happy with the albums you left behind – guess that gives away my age. I can only take jazz in small doses, so I have no clue about albums.

  3. Most of those I'd leave behind are older - although not as old as these!

  4. Crowded House! I remember that band.

  5. I'm going to have to over and check some of these out on itunes. :-)

  6. Yvonne -- I had a great time, but when it comes to music I become very interested. I'm not a real knowledgable jazz fan but I do enjoy some.

    Jane -- You and I are pretty much in the same generation I think. I don't much new music, but a fair amount from the 60s and 70s.

    Alex -- I guess I tend to be pretty partial to older stuff.

    L. Diane -- Crowded House did some great sounding music.

    Junebug -- I'd love to hear your opinion on the music.

  7. You are the music man Arlee. When I was about 8 or 9, on our trip to the city, I was really amazed at how my city cousin knew every song that played on the radio.

    We didn't have music radio in the village and I didn't understand the concept of hit songs. This story may not be relevant but I just felt like telling :)

  8. Wow, I don't really believe I can call myself a music aficionado anymore...another great post demonstrating very eclectic tastes!

    Well done Lee!

  9. Ocean Girl-- Actually I think it would be interesting to hear more about this--the village, the trip to the city, what music you were accustomed to hearing, how the "hit" popular music affected you-- the whole story of culture and memoirs of growing up sounds very interesting. You should post about it sometimes.

    Trudy--Thank you for the kind words, but your list showed some good taste in music too.

  10. Great additional 15. I love CCR. When and what is the next blogging challenge?

  11. Oh man, the Beach Boys and CCR! I know I only included one CCR, and I just didn't have a spot of the BBs. I could have left off one of George Jones but I just couldn't do it.

    I had the BBs on vinyl, 8 track and cassette.

  12. Again great choices Arlee. Picking only 15 would seem almost impossible. I am glad you kept going. I am interested in your Jazz choices. I love Jazz but don't have a great knowledge of it as I only became interested in it the past ten years or so! I do have some Jazz CD's. I experiment at the library. They have a lot that you can check out there.
    Love Di ♥

  13. Difficult choice to eliminate some of these.

  14. This is a great idea. I'd have to think a while to come up with my faves.

  15. Just read both posts -- if that's what you have when you're trying to be mainstream, then I am really out of touch! Glad to see Brubek! I got turned on this album a few years ago, and would love to know of more from this style of jazz: Minimal instruments & no vocals.

  16. CCR, Seals & Croft, Beach Boys.. all good stuff!

    Thanks again for hosting the hop, Lee - it was tons of fun to see so many different albums being discussed.

  17. I almost put Seals n' Crofts on my list. I saw them in concert; They were spectacular!

    I like Cream, so I am sure I'd like
    Blind Faith! Future Games, haven't heard of it, but will check this out and many others on your list!

    Crowded House is a fav as well; It is interesting mix! I could be truly happy with some of your selections!

  18. Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" is on of my favorite songs too! But I'd forgotten about it until I saw it on your list!
    I feel like I'm being reintroduced to some wonderful music!!

  19. Crowded House! Wow!!! My rockin parents played with them at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl for the Najee Rock Awards back in I think ... 1987?

  20. I made a similar list on my blog too. Though I didn't let myself be limited to 15. I must say, I don't know many of these albums, lots of the bands though. Thanks for this!

  21. I made a similar list on my blog too. Though I didn't let myself be limited to 15. I must say, I don't know many of these albums, lots of the bands though. Thanks for this!

  22. It's interesting seeing waht kind of music people like. You can never really tell by appearances. Would you have been able to guess what my 15 songs would be? Well, maybe you could have, but you get my point?
    I hate to say I only recognized five in the thirty you have posted (Monday and Tuesday).
    Almost at 50 followers (10 more)! And I hear Diana has a blog?

  23. Thanks to everyone else who commented on this post-- just realized I didn't make an acknowledgement. Sorry.

  24. crowded house - now that brings back some good memories :D


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