Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Robert Rouse's "Album" Project.....the TOP Seven ( random order)of all times...


Border Explorer, bless her lovely heart, requested that I contribute to Robert's Album Project ,- and many nights I have been up searching for the long lost Albums I no longer have- but remember with great tenderness...From an early age as a young little baby hippy with a love for all music, all the albums remind me of different ages, phases and different memories, they are a part of me just like old tattered jeans and my favorite flip flops....and to be very honest now that I have an ipod and Itunes, I had almost forgotten the Wonder of Albums....in another life , if I had it to do over, I would be a DJ and have lines open at night so people could talk to each other..and I would play songs to heal souls and hearts......So here are the BEST Seven I could come up with....it was so hard to narrow it down and pick the ones that really melted my heart and my soul and still are a part of me...I even had to go back and change it at 3am....

( this was Sooo hard, there are so many great Musicians and Bands that interwoven into my life....from the Eagles to JT to Beatles to the Stones to the Boss to Fleetwood Mac to Genesis, to Peter Gabriel to John Lennon's Imagine to Etta James to Billie Holliday to Supertramp to Little Feat to Aretha and Issac Hayes and Blues to Motown to Marvin Gaye to Leonard Cohen to U2 to Steely Dan to Bruce Hornsby to The Band to Eric Clapton .....but having to remember the actual albums that is where it got so tricky....I hope I did this right). And by the by I do HOPE Someone asked Skippy to do this too, he too has amazing taste and memories of Music. I have tried to choose the Albums that shaped my life, but also that were able to be shared with those around me. I believe that all music is healing, and that it is a Gift to be shared.
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"Taking the Long Way Home" , by the Dixie Chicks, and yes, especially the " Not Ready to Make Nice " song was my anthem and has been posted on this blog since 2006, because it was what kept the fire in my soul burning. It's funny I started listening to the Dixie Chicks by accident, I rented a car to go to a EPA Water Hearing in 2002. I had to rent a car to go to the Meeting. I made a deal with the JD, I refused the Federal Marshall protection ( mostly because I thought it would intimidate my small town from the meeting and on another level I thought it was too dramatic, but they told me rent the car or be ready for the Marshals to pick you up.......So of course I rented the car, and oddly enough I learned ALL the Officials at the meeting had also rented cars....so that was an interesting little twist...) So I rented this Kick ass beautiful Orange Nissan ( like that was so subtle, I even joked well shit if Logging trucks run me off the road Nobody will miss this Flaming Nissan), and on the front seat somebody left Dixie Chicks CD"s, and I got hooked, especially "Wide Open Places". I listened to that CD and felt like I could walk through Fire.....ironic eh ? But then Alot has happened since 2002.....and they went on their Own Journey Speaking Truth To Power, so in a way I somehow feel like our pathes musically crossed.....and how we found Our Courage and Our Voices are not that far apart......( and yeah I linked "Not Ready To Make Nice to the Title", because I realized we may have New Leadership on the Way, but I am still not ready to Make Nice.....not at all). And it is one of the few CD's that gave me hope and fueled my anger to keep fighting on, it 's odd it was one of the first Youtubes I posted back in late 2006...and now that song has over 4 million views......So it connected to alot of souls and angst, not just mine.And when I am done writing Silent Fallout, it will be the first song I play.....I still listen to it everyday.....it has made my soul stronger.
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Emerson,Lake and Plamer, I was hooked on them from the time I was about 10 or eleven, and saw them in concert ( I think I was about 15 ? ) Not sure how I got hooked on them, I know it was summertime, and late on Sat Nights, the local Baltimore DJ would play them in sets....I loved ALL their greatest songs, but also some of the more obscure. by the time I was in Nursing school I had ALL their albums and had seen them live 3 or 4 times....I thought Greg Lake was the hottest thing to hit the earth....watching him sing "Lucky Man" and "Still You Turn Me On",he had this way of chewing gum that was beyond sexy, and left me craving chiclets at odd moments.....closest I have ever come to having my heart just about damn near stop.....whoa....Lightening in a Bottle....( Now I had ALL their albums and a bunch of Bootleg Tapes, this album has most of their most beautiful songs... click here to see the actual List of songs.By the time I was 14, full of braces and nicknamed the stork, I thought for sure I would lose my virginity listening to Greg Lake sing "Lucky Man" ( that is a story for another day....but that song gave me hope that True Love was other there somewhere....tragic and sweet and better than Shakespeare).
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The List magical list from Red Rocks Concert in 1992. So here is the other band that melted my heart at an early age.....Moody Blues, I was hooked on them from the time I was 10 ( actually any band that had a symphony or an array of instruments really mesmorized me from an early age...probally because my household was ruled by the music of my mother- awful Ray Conniff singer albums - groan). but the year I was nine I got a radio and a record player for my room, and then everything changed, especially after I got headphones.
For many years "Days of Future Past" was my favorite Humming Music ( especially "Nights in White Satin, which I even painted a Painting for my room , of KNIGHTS in White Satin on white stallions.....)By the time I was in highschool I had most of their albums, and again like ELP, and snuck out and to many concerts. ( When you live hear Beach towns or DC, you can get to those concerts, especially when they used to be like SIX dollars....oh those were the days.) and YES, I was very much a little hippy by 12......But then in 1991 I had my son, and as baby, I would rock him to sleep to Moody Blues ( on tape), and then summer of 1992, they played the Red Rocks Concert and I had the tape, for many nights that year, we would watch the tape when I got home from work, he loved that tape and watching them play- and he loved all their songs, he still does..... and I would rock him to sleep to all of those songs....especially the "Other Side of Life".It was also a tape that I copied over and over for many of my AIDS patients and friends that year......it was a shared joy.
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Al Stewart " Year of the Cat"......this album was pivotal, and anyone that comes to my blog KNOWS that I have a real connection to the " On the Border " song, and yes, I also have a real passion for the lyrics of this song, but all the songs on this album.
I moved out when I was 16, I drove cross country with friends and also within monthes ended up living in a cottage and waiting tables.....On the Border was about freeing oneself...starting over, WHAT was on the Other side.....and I always connect that album to moving out with my little pumpkin colored Vega Hatchback hours after I graduated, I listened to THIS tape as I watched the sun come up in Rehobeth Delaware many hours later....that first sunlit hours of freedom. I sat on the roof of my car and shared Vinegar Fries with the Gulls......and said " I am never going Home, because this is heaven".
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I loved Peter Gabriel when he sang with Genesis, and then when he went on his own I still followed him, and had all of his albums ( I did also love Phil Collins, but watching them in concert- one could not help but notice the tension.....) Again the Concert days of the late 70's and early 80's bred a certain kind of loyalty, and there were many people that were JUST Phil people or just Gabriel people ( personally I thought that was silly. THIS album "So" to this day, for over 20 years is one of my favorites, ALL the songs have messeges. "Red Rain" to "Mercy Street" to " In Your Eyes". "In Your Eyes" is one of the most important songs to me, because I hold dear to Eyes being the window to the soul and if people can not look you in the Eye, they also can not tell the Truth , or hold it dear....it is a part of my code. The other song that he sings, is BIKO, in concert, especially concerts for Amnesty International he sings these songs together. I can remember him singing them to raise money to free Mandela, and how thousands of people would raise their fists to that song......but those two songs together would always make me cry, because they are about Freedom and Truth, and not one without the other.... in late 2003 we watched a Concert for Mandela and my son watched it with me, and I explained about the 2 songs, and we watched as the South Africans raised their Silent Fists and cried...and we watched Mandela cry on the stage....Free at Last, leading His People.
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NO NUKES is an amazing album .....an incredible amount of talent, from the FIRST live viewing of the Boss and the E Street band to Loggins and Messina to JT and Carly Simon to Jackson Browne etc.....Look at the List of artists and it takes your breath away. I had a bootleg version, a tape of that concert, and later the actual album and tape. The project was about 3 Mile Island, it came out in September of 1979 and was an offical album by May 1980...and when it happened I was hanging out in my Baltimore apartment studying with a friend, Laurie- and her boyfriend lived within miles of 3 Mile Island that awful day in March, 1979.....she called him every hour on the phone and tried to be reassuring, he wanted to get in his car and drive home, and leave college, but we convinced him to stay and shut all his windows and NOT drink the water...that is all we came up with. For a long time I would listen to that album and think of the two of them....and how scary that Incident was, and how little we knew. So the Album haunted me, but I loved it anyways....the songs are so amazing on it.
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It is amazing to me, that many of our Past Artists , were so talented and yet, we were so lucky to see them when we were young, we could see them LIVE in concert for under SIX dollars, and then buy the bootleg Live Tapes in the parking lot for 3 dollars and the albums were under 8 dollars ( some only 6 dollars). Dan Fogelberg was one of those Wonders, this album came out when I was a Nursing Student,his other albums "Netherlands" and "Captured Angel" are also just as beautiful, he was such a different artist than Jackson Browne or James Taylor, his songs all told stories , mostly true.Anyone that has ever heard his Auld Lan Syne Song about running into an Old Lover at Christmas KNOWS how true his songs are ...... The Innocent Age was an album full of stories that were timeless and so memorable, so real. So many of his songs I would end up singing to by baby, and to my patients and making them tapes of his music. Ironically I made many tapes of my albums over the years for my PEDS patients, Hospice and AIDS patients, especially of Dan and also Kenny Loggins. It is amazing to me that both of them would go on to have their own huge health battles, and sadly Dan did not win his, and died last year after battling Prostate Cancer at young age.....gone too soon. Amazing the healing strength and wisdom in all of his music. Truly a gift.
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I hope you made it through this list....and maybe have time to also savor some of these amazing artists.....thank you for letting me share....

6 comments:

Fran said...

Nice picks! Dcap has a good post up about album covers & art. CD cases just don't compare.

enigma4ever said...

I saw that dcap post..really brought so many memories back...so winderful.....

MandT said...

Great picks!!! How I used to love the Moody Blues in the old San Francisco days....

James said...

Oh wow, what a memory. Gil Scott-Heron, "We almost lost Detroit". What a song. Thanks for the jog!

Border Explorer said...

Enigma, this post really pulled at my heartstrings. Now I'm off to track down "On the Border" (which appeals to me simply from the title!). I, too, am a huge Fogelberg fan. And your musical maturity as a pre-teen amazes me.

Thanks a million for sharing your favorites...your life-changing music.

D.K. Raed said...

Your descriptions of what each album means to you made this really special. Very poignant choices.

The only one unfamiliar to me was No Nukes ... but I have to tell you, a few months after 3-Mile Island, a stray cat showed up to be part of my household ... she was a pretty calico manx and I named her "No Nukes"!