In the Arena, 2/27

26 Feb


Mandatory event updates:  Monster Jam this weekend, Winter Jam March 8, Harlem Globetrotters March 16, Cats April 2 (on sale Monday at 10 a.m.), and Alan Jackson April 16.  Good seats are still available for all shows!

This week I have decided to focus on some of the most important albums to me over the years.  For those of you thinking “isn’t this a Facebook note?” the answer is yes.  Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places…

Ozzy Osbourne – Diary Of A Madman – Ozzy’s second solo album remains my favorite to this day.  The two opening songs (“Over The Mountain” and “Flying High Again”) are one of the best one-two punches ever.  I must have played side one of this album (how’s that for dating myself?) a million times as a teenager.

Van Halen – Fair Warning – Not their most commercially successful album but one of my all-time favorites.  Another great one-two sequencing example with “So This Is Love?” and “Unchained” closing side one and opening side two respectively.

Iron Maiden – Number Of The Beast – Can you tell that I was a metalhead in the early to mid-Eighties?  This is one of the records that I used to try to play along with as I was learning to play drums.  I should have picked something easier…

R.E.M. – Reckoning/Life’s Rich Pageant – OK, I’m cheating by putting two albums together but that’s how I made the cassette back in the day.  This was great jingle-jangle (how’s that for a technical term?) pop music.

The Replacements – Pleased To Meet Me – Recorded in Memphis and produced by the legendary Jim Dickinson this was the last great album made by the Minneapolis quartet.  It veered from pretty ballads like “Skyway” to rockers “The Ledge” and “Red Red Wine” (no, not the hideous UB40 song).

Led Zeppelin – Houses Of The Holy – It’s really hard to pick a favorite Zeppelin album but this is the one I have played the most.

Better Than Ezra – Surprise – Their cassette-only debut from 1990.  It’s even better than Deluxe in my opinion.  Great songwriting and performance from a young band.

Blind Melon – Blind Melon – It’s a shame that these guys didn’t get a chance at a longer career.  Their first album was phenomenal but I do admit that I can’t listen to “No Rain” anymore (thanks a lot commercial radio!).

Smashing Pumpkins – Gish – A great album from beginning to end.

The Beatles – Abbey Road – Like with Zeppelin it’s hard to pick a favorite Beatles album.  This is the one with the most spins in my life so it gets the nod.

I’m quite sure that I am leaving out some very important albums but I do have another job that needs my attention.  Feel free to comment on my picks or to add your own.  Now if only I could put together a concert featuring all of these acts on the same bill.  That would be something!

Until next time,


4 Responses to “In the Arena, 2/27”

  1. sheenabarnett February 27, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    Rad, Todd! Thanks for doing this. Even though I’ve already done mine on Facebook, I’ll post ’em here too…

    “Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness,” Smashing Pumpkins – Ah, the one that changed everything. When I was in high school, I’d come home every single day and put this album on. Amazing from start to finish.

    “Grace,” Jeff Buckley – The Pumpkins are incredibly important to me, but Jeff Buckley’s music keeps me sane, alive, etc. I’m afraid there are days I couldn’t exist without him.

    “The Beatles,” The Beatles (White Album) – As Todd says, yeah, it’s hard to pick a Beatles album, but this one definitely has the most listens for me.

    “Pet Sounds,” The Beach Boys – I know, this one is cliche; every music lover has this as a favorite album. But The Beach Boys were so incredibly important to me growing up – and they’re still so important. Gorgeous album.

    “Viva! La Woman,” Cibo Matto – At about 14 I started really getting obsessed with music and Cibo Matto and Cornershop (see below) were the first non-mainstream bands I listened to. Their albums blew my mind away…I’d never heard anything like it. I still love how funky and fun this album is.

    “When I Was Born for the 7th Time,” Cornershop – See Cibo Matto (above).

    “Arular,” M.I.A. – After hearing the weird/beautiful noises made by Cornershop and Cibo Matto, I didn’t think music could surprise me anymore. Then I heard this album. Amazing.

    “Sound. Color. Motion.” Farewell Flight – I have no idea what this album will be for me 20 years from now, but right now, this is my security blanket. I want it with me all the time. I am so fiercely attached to this album right now.

    “Picaresque,” The Decemberists – Art can be anything the artist wants it to be, but I love it when music tells stories. The Decemberists do that better than anybody right now. See “Eli the Barrow Boy.”

    “Bleed American,” Jimmy Eat World – My “security blanket” record for my first three years of college. So many important moments of my life happened to this record, and it’s still so important to me. Very well-crafted record.

    “Imagine,” John Lennon – This album, really, is simple: it’s about the truth. Still refreshing and packs a punch all these years later.

    “Harvest,” Neil Young – Songs like “Out on the Weekend” and “Heart of Gold” are so beautiful.

    And then I have several ties… I love stuff too much.

    “Siamese Dream” by the Smashing Pumpkins and “Revolver” by The Beatles are tied for me – I love them both because they both changed the way I heard music…but in different ways.

    “She’s so Unusual” by Cyndi Lauper and “Tension & the Spark” by Darren Hayes – Both taught me the importance of an artist being themselves on an album. Hayes’ album would probably edge out Lauper’s, just because he went to some really dark, uncomfortable places, all in the name of art. “Tension” is considered his masterpiece yet it cost him his record deal (stupid labels!).

    On Facebook I tied “Purple Rain” by Prince and Weezer’s blue album – but actually I think I should round out this list with Poe’s album “Haunted.” It was my other security blanket album during college and it gave me so much strength and courage.

  2. farley662 February 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    Maybe I’m odd, but I just don’t like the Beatles or Smashing Pumpkins. I know, I know.

    • sheenabarnett February 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

      ha ha! No, Farley, not odd at all. 🙂 I think, a lot of times, what music is important to you is important to you because you heard it at a certain time. I know I needed the Pumpkins when I heard them, and that’s why they’re so important to me. If I were to listen to them for the first time, now, they definitely wouldn’t have such a big impact on me.

      Share your list!

  3. farley662 March 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Nirvana-“Nevermind” This was probably the first CD I bought that I got for me, not just because the parents liked it too.

    Garth Brooks-“The Life of Chris Gaines” I know most people bash this CD, but it’s actually pretty good. My first real job I got this CD and listened to it almost nonstop.

    Marilyn Manson-“Antichrist Superstar” I don’t know what it is about this CD, but I love it. I guess it’s the rage in the lyrics.

    Elton John- “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” Another one that I just love. Something about Elton John’s voice just makes me mellow

    Norah Jones- “Come Away with Me” It’s just great from start to finish

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