The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 23
Thu., Oct. 15. 2020 4:34pm 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:
155. The Kids Are Alright (Soundtrack) – The Who
I went to see this film at a special weekend showing at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, but I'd already borrowed the album from Michael Ranieri first. My favorite parts were the Smothers Brothers segment (on the album and in the film) and the part where John Entwistle used his gold records for skeet-shooting (only in the film).
156. Give the People What They Want – The Kinks
As I think back on this album now, it sure was noisy. "Destroyer" was the song that got the lion's share of the airplay, hitting #3 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. ApologetiX spoofed it in 2017. "Better Things" got some airplay, too, and it was one of the better tracks. My favorites at the time were the first two tracks on side one, "Around the Dial" and "Give the People What They Want." This was the album The Kinks were promoting when I saw them in concert at the Stanley Theater in January 1982.
157. Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin
I'd heard "D'yer Maker" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" a decent amount but didn't know much about the rest of the album. Then I heard "Dancing Days" blasting from back of the bus during my senior year in high school. That got my attention. I mean, how could anybody ignore it? ApologetiX has spoofed both "Dancing Days" and "D'yer Maker," but my favorites on this album are probably "The Rain Song," "The Ocean," "The Song Remains the Same" and "No Quarter."
158. To Our Children's Children's Children – The Moody Blues
I bought this album — and the next two albums on this list — in the "used" section of a local record store when that trend finally hit our area. My favorite tracks are "Gypsy," "Higher and Higher," "Eternity Road," "Candle of Life," and "Watching and Waiting."
159. Creedence Gold - Creedence Clearwater Revival
I didn't know anybody my age who was into CCR, but I'd liked "Proud Mary," "Bad Moon Rising," and "Down on the Corner," and this album had them all, plus "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Born on the Bayou," and "Suzie Q." Unfortunately, it didn't have "Green River," "Fortunate Son," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Travelin' Band," "Up Around the Bend," "Lodi," "Sweet Hitch-Hiker," "Hey Tonight," etc. And not even all of those songs made it onto the follow-up album, More Creedence Gold. Clearly, I'd have to find a better collection, which will appear later on this list. But this was a start.
160. Golden Biscuits - Three Dog Night
Released in 1971, this album compiled Three Dog Night's eight Top 40 hits (and four other songs) from 1969-70. They had 13 more Top 40 hits from 1971-75, so Golden Biscuits is not a career-spanning collection. The songs that made me want to buy it were "One," "Celebrate," and "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)." I still like those songs, but my favorites on it now would be "Out in the Country," "One Man Band," "Try a Little Tenderness," "Eli's Coming," and "Nobody."
161. Carnival – Original Cast Recording
This innocent-looking album changed my life. You've probably never heard of it, but it actually hit #1 on Billboard's album charts in 1961. I bought it after I somehow got the lead male role in our high-school musical my senior year. The role was perfect for me: I played a puppeteer, so I got to sing four solos and a duet as my character, plus do the voices for four puppets, who sang five other songs. Best of all, my character had a limp (he was a former dancer who had been injured), so I didn't have to dance! I praise God that my high school pal Dave Rider convinced me go through with the audition when I considered backing out at the last minute. Dave wound up playing my puppeteering partner in the show, and we had a blast. I had to kiss the leading lady at the turning point of the show, which means my first stage kiss with a girl predated my first real kiss with a girl. But being in this play eventually opened doors for that, too.
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).