The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 17
Fri., Sep. 4. 2020 6:50pm 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:
113. Dreamboat Annie – Heart
Was it the big hits "Magic Man" and "Crazy Over You" that compelled me to buy this album? Was it the "Nice Price"? Was it the Wilson sisters on the cover? Probably a combination of all of that at the time if I'm being honest. I was a teenage boy when I bought it, after all. But I figured I'd address the question straight on for you.
114. Middle Man - Boz Scaggs
Let me give you the lowdown on how I got this cassette: My friend Keith Cornell wasn't as diligent in sending back his monthly Columbia House Record Club cards, so he got stuck with it. Keith had no use for that kind of music back then (although it would fit right in with his adult-contemporary, Adele-listening tastes now), so I probably traded him some comic books for it. I already knew two of the songs from the radio; I really liked "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and thought "Jojo" was decent. The rest of the album grew on me, especially "Angel You" and "Middle Man." It's not Silk Degrees, but it was still good.
115. Head Games - Foreigner
This was the only one of Foreigner's first four albums not to have at least two Top 10 singles ("Dirty White Boy" went to #12, "Head Games" went to #14) and not to have at least three Top 40 hits ("Women" went to #41). It's sometimes regarded as not being as successful as the other three, but it sold 5 million copies, the same as their debut album. However, their first and second albums sold 7 million each, as did their fifth, Records, a greatest hits collection. The woman on the front cover is Lisanne Falk, who played Heather McNamara in the movie Heathers. ApologetiX spoofed "Dirty White Boy" back in 2015.
116. In Through the Out Door – Led Zeppelin
Hot dog! This is the closest I got to buying a Led Zeppelin album while it was still fairly fresh. In Through the Out Door was recorded at ABBA's studios in Sweden; maybe that's why it doesn't rock quite as hard as their previous efforts. Somebody stole my brown bag cover for this record during my freshman year in college. I ain't disclosin' no names, but …
117. Departure – Journey
Where were you when this album came out? I was a student at Greensburg Central Catholic High School. Speaking of people and places, my classmate Marty Katigbak bought it and spent so much precious time raving about it that I knew I'd have to get a copy for myself someday soon. I don't know if Marty had it on vinyl, but I had it on cassette, and now I have it on MP3. But it sounds good in all those formats, so listen to it anyway you want it. Journey's previous album contained their first Top 40 hit. This one had two of them, serving notice that they were going to stay awhile.
118. Glass Houses – Billy Joel
I bought this one while it was still on the charts. Its biggest hit was "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (which we have since spoofed), but the songs that hooked me were "You May Be Right" (which we have spoofed twice) and "Sometimes a Fantasy." With all that being said, my favorite track on this album may be "Sleeping with the Television On." Don't ask me why.
119. Octave – The Moody Blues
Yeah, them again. But it's the last you'll hear of the Moodys for a while. Released in 1978, this was The Moody Blues' comeback album ... before their real comeback album in 1981. We'll get to that one later on this list. Good ol' Columbia House had this one for $3.99, too. The "hit" was "Steppin' in a Slide Zone," but my favorites were "One Step into the Light," "Under Moonshine," and "Driftwood."
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).