Sunday, January 29, 2006

REDISCOVERING ALBUMS FROM THE PAST

Every now and then, I dig deep into my 200 plus disc CD collection for something to make the commute to work more pleasurable. It's not an easy task. First, I run past all the obvious choices--the CDs that have had so much play time that I've memorized the liner notes, let alone the lyrics. No, those won't do, because they're so old hat that I'll end up ignoring them and wasting my trip. After culling them out, then I skip past the discs which I probably should trade in or sell. I honestly have a lot of those in my collection, possibly because I liked one song from the disc, or someone has given them to me along the way, and I just haven't done anything with them. I'm the kind that doesn't like to get rid of any CD.

So once I'm past those discs, I look at the remainder. What I'm really looking for on these occasions are great albums that I've almost forgotten I have...something that I can pop in, listen to, and say "wow, I haven't heard that in years."

Occasionally, I even run dry on that, so I have to go to the used CD store to dig up something else. So it was with this mission in mind that I dug through the used bin at the local Cats store a couple of weeks ago. Usually I don't find much, but this time, I managed to grab three CDs that I've been wanting to get for a while. My drive time was taken care of!

The first of these was Candy Dulfer's Saxuality. It might seem an odd choice at first, but some days I'm really feeling the need for some jazz. Just one listen to "Lily Was Here," is enough to put me in the zone for a few hours. The rest of the disc is also worth a listen, and it ranges from funky jazz pop to smooth saxophone music. While it definitely suffers the least little bit from early 1990's urban pop influence, most of the tracks have aged well.

The second was Taylor Dayne's Can't Fight Fate. Granted, it's pure 80's pop fluff, but honestly, who can listen to the whole CD without at least tapping a foot? The first part of the CD plays like a greatest hits collection with "Heart of Stone," "With Every Beat of My Heart," "Love Will Lead You Back" and "I'll Be Your Shelter." However, the rest of the non-radio songs on the album are equally as good. It's nice to hear a pop diva who actually has a solid voice and doesn't feel the need to sing through her nose a la Britney Spears. Taylor Dayne's voice reminds me of a simpler time in my life. If I close my eyes (not while driving, mind you) I can picture myself sitting outside in the South Carolina summer sun on a Sunday afternoon while listening to Casey Kasem tell me the Top 40 on the radio.

The third was definitely my favorite though. Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue was practically the soundtrack to my youth. My high school years were my metal-head years, and my cassette collection read like a who's who of rock n' roll: Scorpions, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Queensryche, Cinderella, Slaughter, Dokken, Firehouse, Poison, and most importantly, the Crue. I had more Motley Crue than any of the others. I had bought Theatre of Pain and Girls Girls Girls from my girlfriend's sister and rocked out to them constantly, but the crowning jewel in my collection came in 1989 with the release of Dr. Feelgood. I played that tape so much, it finally wore out. For some reason, I'd never gotten the CD until a few weeks ago. Putting it in the car, I felt like I was a teenager again as the opening licks of the title track pulsated from the speakers. Most of the album is fun stuff, but I still get a little misty-eyed when I hear "Time for Change," which brings me back to high school graduation every time. "Without You" was my first "our song" that I shared with my high school sweetheart. And there's no getting past the driving forces behind "Kickstart My Heart" and "Same Ol' Situation." And I've broken up with more than one girlfriend to the sound of "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)."

So...it's audience participation time, boys and girls...what albums have you rediscovered in the past couple of years? Your comments here!

2 Comments:

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous michael said...

Wow my iTunes collection is about to expand tonight thanks to this. Dr. Feelgood is one of the ultimate guilty pleasures.

Here's a few I might suggest:

Dire Straits - Greatest Hits
Steely Dan - Gaucho
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kiss them for Me
Blondie - Best Of
Billy Joel - Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Cars - Greatest Hits
Cranberries - No Need to Argue

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger Sailorcurt said...

I'm obviously not "into" music as much as you and I can't say I've "rediscovered" anything recently. I know what I like and I already have most of the CD's or LP's from the groups that I prefer (and, yes, I still play the LP's. I even like the places where the couple of scratched ones I have skip every time). Tapes don't last as long...I've still got a couple, but they are unplayable.

I will relate that the crowning achievement of my life (I am, of course, being overly dramatic) was when I took my kids to a Boston concert years ago. Once they experienced that classic rock concert experience first hand, they were hooked. They both fell in love with several of the groups from that era. I am proud to say that my kids were the only ones in their respective classes that could sing all the lyrics to "Don't look Back" and many others as well.

They still like the newer stuff as well...much of which I can't stomach...but I hope they'll never lose their love of the music that I introduced to them.

By the way, my wife is the music freak. Her collection dwarfed my meager selection when she moved in. Her father was a DJ (parties and weddings, not radio) and she learned the love of all things music from him.

 

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