The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 25
Thu., Oct. 29. 2020 12:20pm 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:
169. Escape – Journey
Our senior prom theme was "Open Arms." If I wasn't in the midst of my first-ever real romance, maybe I would have thought that song was mush, but I still like it. I wasn't a big fan of the first single from this album, "Who's Crying Now," but I loved "Don't Stop Believin'" (although I'll be OK if I never hear it again now) and "Stone in Love." ApologetiX has spoofed both of those songs. And I thought that album cover art, especially the use of numbers and fonts, was very cool.
170. Tug of War – Paul McCartney
Some people bought this album for its first single, "Ebony and Ivory." I bought it in spite of it. Loved the message and the imagery, but the tune didn't do anything for me. No, the two songs that made me purchase this album were the second single, "Take It Away," and another song I'd heard on the radio, "Ballroom Dancing." I still like both of those tunes.
171. 16 Greatest Hits – Steppenwolf
Of course, I liked "Born to Be Wild," but it was "Magic Carpet Ride" that really got me into Steppenwolf. ApologetiX has spoofed both of those songs. I also knew "Rock Me" and "The Pusher" before buying this cassette. Other standout tracks for me included "Hey Lawdy Mama," "Sookie Sookie," "Move Over," "Monster," and "Snowblind Friend."
172. Shake It Up - The Cars
I thought the title track was catchy enough (and ApologetiX eventually spoofed it), but it was "Since You're Gone" and "Cruiser" that finally got me to buy this one. Other highlights included "A Dream Away," "Victim of Love," and "I'm Not the One," which would be remixed and released as a single in 1986. And don't miss the little in-joke for oldies lovers at the end — back-to-back tracks with the same titles as Buddy Holly songs — "Think It Over" and "Maybe Baby."
173. Hooligans – The Who
Who can say how much Who is too much Who? This collection contained a lot of songs I already had elsewhere, but it also included some hard-to-get singles like "Join Together," "Let's See Action," and "The Relay." Ironically, even with all that Who under my belt, I still had yet to hear their two most famous albums. But that would happen soon enough.
174. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – 1982 Original Broadway Cast
I first heard some of the songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back in grade school, and my sisters owned a songbook with a number of the selections in it. The main ones I remembered were "Jacob and Sons" and "Joseph's Coat," but I didn't hear the full production till my parents went to see it on Broadway and brought this album back with them. I soon had it memorized, and it definitely influenced the way I tell Bible stories through songs. Many years later, my oldest daughter, Janna, got to play the narrator in her high-school production of it.
175. Beauty and the Beat – The Go-Go's
When I started hearing this album's first single, "Our Lips Are Sealed," on the radio, I thought it was ABBA and that they were singing, "Alice, I See You." Then along came "We Got the Beat." And what a great beat it was. My favorite non-single on this album was "How Much More." And who could resist a song with the title "Skidmarks on My Heart"?
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).