The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 16
Fri., Aug. 28. 2020 12:15am EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.
Back in May, two friends asked me to share 10 albums that influenced me on Facebook. I narrowed it down to 365. I post the cover art for a different album every day with a brief explanation of how/why they influenced me. Fans have asked me to include them in the newsletter, too. Here are this week's entries:
106. Gotta Take That One Last Ride - Jan & Dean
Did you really think I'd be content with just one Jan & Dean double album? As the title says, you gotta take that one last ride … especially when it's only $3.99. Most of the big hits were on this one, but I think my favorites wound up being some of the goofiest ones — "Vegetables," "Shlock Rod, Pt. 1" and "Shlock Rod, Pt. 2."
107. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
I owned this album but didn't play it nearly as much as Rumours. But I loved the opening tracks on each side, "Monday Morning" and "Say You Love Me." Ironically, ApologetiX has yet to spoof any songs from Rumours, but we've already spoofed two from this one — "Rhiannon" and "Landslide" — so it definitely made an impact. Many people attribute this album's success to the new members, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, but of the three Top 20 hits on it, two were sung by Christine McVie, who had already been part of the band for over five years. In fact, she sang the first of those three hits, "Over My Head," which also was Fleetwood Mac's first U.S. Top 40 hit ever.
108. Comedy is Not Pretty! – Steve Martin
I liked Steve's first two albums so much that I bought this one pretty soon after it came out in 1979. I'd heard "The Cruel Shoes" played on my local radio station, and I couldn't wait to have my own copy. The rest of the album may not be as strong as his first two, but it still has some memorable bits.
109. Greatest Hits Vol. 2 – ABBA
I bought this the first time I ever saw it in the record store in 1979, right after it came out. My friend Jeff Henry had owned Arrival and my friend Dave Rhodes had owned The Album — those two albums supplied eight of the 14 tracks on Greatest Hits Vol. 2 — so it wasn't hard to take a chance on it. As it was with Elton John, I liked both volumes of the greatest hits but preferred Volume 2. My favorites are "Knowing Me, Knowing You," "Summer Night City," "Eagle," and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" but there were some many great tunes on it.
110. ELO's Greatest Hits - Electric Light Orchestra
I already owned two ELO albums when Greatest Hits came out, but it still contained eight songs I didn't have. Anybody who thinks ELO is wimpy needs to hear "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle." Ironically, they put that song right after "Telephone Line" on this album. Back then, we didn't get to choose our telecommunications carrier, so you had to have Ma Bell if you wanted a telephone line. I don't know if the record company did that on purpose, but they did lead off side one with "Evil Woman" and side two with "Sweet Talkin' Woman."
111. Seventh Sojourn – The Moody Blues
More Moodys from the Columbia House discount section. They called it Seventh Sojourn because it was their seventh album with Justin Hayward and John Lodge (who had taken the band in a different direction after replacing future Wings-man Denny Laine and Clint Warwick), but it was my fourth. The big hits on it were "Isn't Life Strange" and "I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)." My faves wound up being "You and Me" and "For My Lady." I also liked "Lost in a Lost World," "New Horizons," and "The Land of Make-Believe."
112. The Best of Bill Cosby – Bill Cosby
Now that the world has heard the worst of Bill Cosby, it's tempting not to mention this album, but I can't deny its influence in my life. The routines were clean, and the skits about Noah and Adam got me thinking outside the box in regard to telling Bible stories. It's a shame the comedy will always be tainted by the tragedy of the real-life events that came to light later.
Note: The albums are not listed in order of preference or excellence, but in chronological order of when they influenced me. Also, just because the albums on my list influenced me back then doesn't mean I give them all a blanket endorsement now.
I started actively listening to music in the early 70's and didn't become a born-again Christian until early 1988, so it's going to be a while before we get to the Christian albums, but there will be many of those when the time comes (literally).