The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 21
Fri., Oct. 2. 2020 3:06pm 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:
141. Misfits – The Kinks
This album was originally released in 1978 (about three years before I heard it), and some of the songs haven't aged as well as others, but the title track is timeless. Another highlight was the tune that brought The Kinks back to the Top 40, "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy," which predated Bad Company's similarly-titled-but-totally-different hit "Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy" by 10 months. Alas, The Kinks only went to #30, whereas BadCo went to #13.
142. Dream Police – Cheap Trick
I think I bought this album in the winter of 1979-80, so it should be about 40-50 slots earlier on the list, but I forgot to include it till now. I didn't like it as much as its predecessor, Cheap Trick at Budokan, but who could resist "Dream Police" and "Voices"? My other favorites were "Way of the World" and "I Know What I Want." ApologetiX spoofed the title track in 2016.
143. Making Movies – Dire Straits
I had bought the "Sultans of Swing" single in early 1979 but hadn't kept up with Dire Straits after that. Michael Ranieri insisted I borrow this, their third album. I wouldn't truly appreciate the genius songwriting of Mark Knopfler till many years later, but it was hard not to like an album that featured "Tunnel of Love," "Romeo and Juliet," and "Skateaway." And that's just side one!
144. Paradise Theater – Styx
I first heard about this album in early 1981 on some radio promo that featured selected cuts. I was a sucker for concept albums, and I loved the contrast between the front and back covers. Of course, our local radio station played "The Best of Times" to death. I borrowed a cassette copy from a high-school friend and bought my own copy years later. ApologetiX has spoofed two songs from this one, "Rockin' the Paradise" and "Too Much Time on My Hands," but my other favorites are "Half-Penny, Two-Penny" and the admittedly corny "Nothing Ever Goes as Planned."
145. Love Stinks – The J. Geils Band
This album's first single, "Come Back," was my introduction to The J. Geils Band, even though they'd been around for over a decade. The second single, "Love Stinks," was the one that got me interested enough to borrow the album from Michael Ranieri. Calling them "hits" would be a bit generous — "Come Back" went to #32 and "Love Stinks" went to #38. The real hits would come on their next album. My favorites on this one were "Just Can't Wait" (the third single, which went to #78) and "No Anchovies, Please" (the flip side of that third single). I bought my own copy in the spring of my junior year in high school.
146. Reggatta de Blanc – The Police
I'd enjoyed the Police's first and third albums, so I figured it was time to investigate their second one, and it became my second-favorite Police release. The opening tracks on side one and side two — "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon" — were The Police's first two #1 hits in the UK, but my favorite cuts were "Bring on the Night" and "On Any Other Day." We played one of this album's lesser-known tracks, "It's Alright for You," in Terminal (the first band I was ever a member of), and I think we may have played "Message in a Bottle," too. I know we spoofed it in ApologetiX.
147. The Who by Numbers – The Who
This album is relatively quiet by Who standards, but it contains two of my favorite Who songs, "Slip Kid" and "Success Story." "Blue, Red, and Gray" is a pretty little song, too. ApologetiX spoofed "Squeeze Box" back in our early days.
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).