1001 Albums: Tommy

#145

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Artist: The Who

Album: Tommy

Year: 1969

Length: 75:15

Genre: Hard Rock/ Rock/ Rock Opera

“See Me
Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me

See Me
Feel Me
Touch Me
Heal Me”

Here it is. THE Rock Opera. The rock opera of the ages. The Rock Opera to end all rock operas. The Rock Opera so big it completely overshadowed what was considered the first Rock Opera (S.F. Sorrow) and was often considered to be the first despite having been inspired by SF Sorrow. And by The Who no less. Who would have thunk that these crazy rockers with their penchant of smashing their equipment at the end of sets and generally giving no fucks would be the ones to create something as sophisticated as this? No one I’m sure and it definitely came as a shock when it first came out with people screaming to the heavens “THE WHO DID THIS?!?! LORD I NEED AN ANSWER!!!”

Only The Who can take the rather ridiculous story of a kid who goes deaf, blind and dumb and becomes a master of Pinball and turn it into a successful Rock Opera. Honestly, reread that, a kid who goes deaf, blind and dumb and is a master of pinball… what… the… fuck… How in the hell did an idea like that somehow become one of the most famous Rock Operas of all time? How did they make this freaking work??? I think in part the success of it comes from the fact that it’s such a ridiculous premise that you have no choice but to just go along with it. We really get a whole journey from start to finish, Tommy’s birth to his older age, where he eventually exploits people using his fame (fantastic isn’t it?). It’s no wonder a lot of people did make parallels with SF Sorrow, but other than the fact that both tell the story of a boy growing up and are structured similarly, the similarities end there between the two.

I can only speculate but I think in part why it made such a splash is because it was quite an ambitious project for a band that was known for it’s proto-punk attitude. They hadn’t really shown any interest in playing to that level of musicianship and although their cleverness and maturity does shine in previous efforts (The Who Sell Out in particular) they come across more as smart-asses there. Here there’s a level of sincerity and genuine feeling (despite the subject material) that The Who hadn’t really shown before and which would open the gates for their future endeavours shying away from their Hard Rocking young years into musicians growing and perfecting their craft. Here The Who finally showed what they really could do and created something that felt bigger than anything they had before. It was an ambitious project on their parts but they pulled it off with the utmost skill and craft. There really is a charm to the whole album and even though you’re hit with one ridiculous story after another in this poor boy’s life, it’s charming affect really shines through and instead of making you cringe or shut it off it has you playfully laughing along with it.

If there was one thing I could say I didn’t like about it was that it’s wayyyy too long. As I was listening I kept asking myself when is this going to end? It felt like it kept going on and on and on and when I finally saw the time length it all made sense to me. It’s 75 minutes long and fuck, it feels 75 minutes long. It’s quite bloated as an album and there’s probably a lot that could have been cut here that didn’t really serve any purpose to the whole story. I know what you might say… but it’s a Rock Opera, it’s a shows length hence why it’s so long! and to that I say, yeah, true. Also, as a listening experience I do find it kind of underwhelming especially since there’s no distinctions between the characters voices as it’s all sung by the same person essentially. I find, just like any Rock Opera I suppose, it’s meant to be seen LIVE as a show. I saw it once produced for stage and it was a really fun experience! Seeing all the characters come to life and having some blanks be filled that could have only been filled through visuals really helps with the whole presentation of this album. It is OK on record but should be seen visually I feel (which they did make a movie version, so Yeah!).

Pinball is such a weird arcade game. Never really understood the appeal to be honest. I enjoy a good game of pinball and I guess the flashy lights and fun little things that pop up are enough to keep any young person entertained for a solid minute and a half. Especially when you play themed pinball machines that have tidbits and fun “events” from your favourite movies and pop culture media. I guess there’s a joy to unlocking those and finding all the references… but… if you suck at pinball it’s not really fun at all. You get increasingly frustrated as he ball keeps dropping in between the paddles, especially when it falls directly between them and no matter what you did you could never hit the ball which isn’t fair and is just pure bad luck and has nothing to do with skill. For the more competitive types, I guess the appeal comes from trying to have the highest score and getting the prestige of being a high score ranker (what an achievement, really aiming for he stars). I don’t know, I enjoy a quick round but will never run for the pinball machine. But then again I guess I don’t enjoy many things in general… so there’s that. But if you ever meet a deaf, dumb and blind kid, bring him to the arcade and see if he plays a mean pinball.

He honestly probably won’t…

Favourite Tune: Pinball Wizard

-Bosco

 

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1001 Albums: Abbey Road

#144

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Artist: The Beatles

Album: Abbey Road

Year: 1969

Length: 47:23

Genre: Rock / Pop Rock

“He say I know you, you know me
One thing I can tell you is
You got to be free
Come together, right now
Over me”

I’m about to say something utterly shocking. You might want to hold on to your hats for this one. Strap yourselves in because it’s a doozy. Brace yourselves for this nuclear blast of a statement. Here it goes:

I actually enjoyed this Beatles Album.

There I said it. I finally got to a Beatles Album since Rubber Soul that I actually enjoyed. I always find it interesting how I react to big albums, the ones that have made it’s way into the pop culture historically important lexicon. The formula usually seems to be, if it’s overly praised by everyone chances are I won’t like it very much. I know it sounds like I’m being contrarian for the sake of it, I’ve been accused many times for disliking things purely because they’re popular (which is absolutely ridiculous as a statement, because it implies I’m supposed to like something that popular just because everyone does? Like I’m supposed to be part of some hivemind, mob mentality and not have feelings and opinions of my own? Horse shit). That being said, I now have proof that I’m not contrarian for the sake of it and all my opinions are genuine because here it is, just for you lovely people, a Beatles Album I LIKED! And that’s no lie, I found myself actually enjoying it from start to end and was thoroughly satisfied with my Beatles experience. If someone had given this album to me first, maybe my feelings would have been different but for now, it is what it is (and what it is is it and it is what it is and what it is is it indeed).

It’s kind of perfect timing that this one came around when it did. You see, my friend recently shared a Beatles album with me that I should listen to. Just some context, for the past year we’ve been sharing albums with each other as a way to expand our music listening and discover bands we may not have ever thought to listen to or would have never even heard of if it weren’t for sharing with each other. A vast majority of the albums I’ve shared have been int he range of late 70s and early 80s and his have majorly been in the 2000s (which is great for me because it’s an era of music I barely know). Up to now we’re coming up to 50 albums we’ve shared with each other, which makes the whole thing quite the success I think. Either way, Luis is a huge fan of the Beatles, he even guest wrote on my post about Sgt. Pepper sharing his thoughts, as that is his favourite Beatles album. I am more than shocked that it took him this long to share a Beatles album with me. Although, to be fair I did mention to him that I had already sat through their entire discography, so it makes sense why he didn’t, also he introduced the share by telling me not to scream at him… so there’s a lot of factors here. For those curious (I bet none) it was The Magical Mystery Tour, apparently a double EP (really? just call it an LP at that point).

It’s nice to see The Beatles come together (durrhurrr) in solidarity for one last album (technically Let It Be is their last album but this was their final album released when they were together). Despite all the tensions and hate towards each other they somehow managed to put their differences aside and actually create a coherent piece of work. Say what I will about The Beatles but I do find something rather admirable about that. Coming from the big mess that was The White Album to this is a huge step forward in terms of working together and it could not have been easy. But in a sense I’m glad they did for one last Bru-haha as it at least delivered a Beatles Album that I can honestly say I really liked. (All personal obviously, it’s not like my feelings are above everyone’s. Their previous albums are completely beloved by so many people and that’s great. I’m just happy I got to finally enjoy one of their albums in a way that so many other people do, something I felt I was missing out on).

Sure, just like any Beatles album it has it’s fair share of stupid songs, but unlike their previous efforts, the dumb songs blend in very well with the solid songs here and it’s a little harder to notice if you’re not paying attention. Of course, my favourite tunes were all penned by George Harrison himself (musically he’s always been my favourite one) but Lennon and McCartney seem to be in top shape here as well, seamlessly blending their different styles, personas and sounds together. Listening to this it’s hard to imagine this is a band on the brink of destruction, on the edge of separation. Here they sound incredibly tight and in harmony with each other. It was even a smart decision on their parts to include a medley of sorts of shorter songs, which easily could have been their own 3-minute songs on previous albums. At their time length they’re nice little snacks and it prevents the album form becoming overbloated like The White Album was.

There’s nothing else that can really be said that hasn’t been said already with The Beatles but there you have it, I finally hit the end of their reign and I survived (However their solo efforts are right in the horizon). What a journey it has been listening to these four bowlcuts grow from poppy children to mature adults, growing and aspiring for more as every album passed through. It’s been an incredible journey of growth and discovery and if there’s anything I can truly admire about The Beatles is their strong sense of growth as musicians and a group. Growth, in life, is very important to me, as humans we can only learn from what we do and become better and evolve as individuals. I may be completely indifferent to The Beatles and their music but I can respect their journey and their want for growth, constantly pushing themselves to out do themselves and learn new things and try new things and take risks. That’s truly what makes them a great band. (yeah I said it, shut up).

So, since this marks the end of The Beatles on this list I figured I’d rank their later albums (Everything past Rubber Soul ) from my favourite to least favourite:

-Abbey Road

-Sgt. Pepper

-Rubber Soul

-Revolver

-The White Album.

There we go, it’s done, that’s it. The Beatles are officially done… a pe-a pedape…

porky pig

 

(Looney Tunes theme plays them off)

Song of Choice: Something

-Bosco

1001 Albums: Green River

#143

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Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Album: Green River

Year: 1969

Length: 29:25

Genre: Roots Rock / Swamp Rock / Country Rock

“Wrote a song for everyone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote a song For everyone
And I couldn’t even talk to you.”

Usually I’d complain about a band having two albums in such close proximity on this list. Honestly, sometimes you just want a sense of variety and when you hear the same band twice in a short amount of time it gives you a weird sense of Deja Vu and you go “Wait, haven’t I already heard this album? Did I put the same album on again by accident. Hold on, what’s going on?”. Usually, I’d complain, but I think I’ll make an exception this time around because it is CCR and I really like them (yes my personal bias is showing, so what, what you gonna do about it?! huh? Huh?! HUH?!?!?!?!)

It’s pretty amazing that this band was able to crank out as many albums as they did in such a short period of time. With all the material they had it wouldn’t have been crazy for them to release a double LP because they clearly weren’t lacking in any sort of creativity or musical possibilities. However, that being said I think it’s smarter that they decided to space out their catalogue of tunes over a span of multiple albums rather than have it all collectively on one album. This not only A) Makes them seem like a powerhouse of a band as they crank out albums quickly with such great material and B) Allows listeners to enjoy their work in shorter bursts rather than have to sit through 90 minutes of material. I enjoy a Double LP as much as the next person, but when you’re busy or on the go it becomes increasingly difficult to sit through an entire album in one sitting and requires multiple listens, which can break the flow of an album and your experience as a whole. This album clocks in at just under 30 minutes, which makes it a breeze to sit through and is great for when you have a little time to just listen to something quickly.

Don’t be fooled by it’s short time length, it’s doesn’t reflect the strength of the material, which is really strong. If you know CCR, it’s basically more of the same of what you’d expect from them. Its more an extension of their previous album than a completely new effort. Sort of like a DLC but in album format. Any of these songs could have easily fit on their previous album, however, they do up the charm here and feel slightly tighter and more refined as a whole while never losing their sound and style from Bayou Country (but when you release a new album in such a short period of time, you don’ really rise that much higher). I know this doesn’t seem to be selling the album all that well, but trust me when I say it’s still as enjoyable as Bayou County and debateably more so.

I never thought I would enjoy CCR this much, but part of the joy in this journey is that sense of discovery. Discovering new bands (well new to you/me) that I probably would have never listened to if I hadn’t decided to do this. CCR is another one of those bands being added to my now ever growing list of new favourite and/or really quite enjoyed bands/albums that I would love to own one day or keep digging deeper into. As I continue on this list it’s been an eye-opening experience in terms of being open-minded towards trying new things. I had already developed that idea with my sense of taste, I used to be a picky eater but now I’ll basically try any type of food, within reason of course and my new attitude has become “Well, you don’t know if you like it until you try it”. I often do go into these albums with pre-conceived notions and sometimes either low or high expectations which obviously greatly affects the experience of it and can easily sway my opinions, but that’s everyone, no one can be perfectly neutral about everything. I definitely started applying this to music as well. I used to be very picky, sticking to only a select amount of genres and avoiding anything else. It was like I was determined to become a master of one genre. However, like anything you exhaust the efforts of something and you seek for more, the only way I could was to start tackling music with an open mind and  boy has it really done wonders for me.

All this to say, it’s bands like CCR that make me happy I’m doing this and prove to me that going into things with an open mind can pay off because I am now enjoyign things I probably wouldn’t have a few years ago and it’s a great feeling.

Favourite Tune: Bad Moon Rising

– Bosco

1001 Albums: At San Quentin

#142

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Artist: Johnny Cash

Album: At San Quentin

Year: 1969

Length: 33:59

Genre: Country / Rock and Roll / LIVE Album

“Wanted man in California,
Wanted man in Buffalo
Wanted man in Kansas City,
Wanted man in Ohio
Wanted man in Mississippi,
Wanted man in ol’ Cheyenne
Wherever you might look tonight you might see this wanted man”

 

How funny is it that I follow one Country album with another. After berating and hooting and hollering about how much I hate country music and how painful it is for me it’s almost as if fate was on my side to give me another one immediately after. As if the torture wasn’t enough the first time around. Well, Jokes on the music gods because I LOVE Johnny Cash!! This is the type of Country music I actually like, the outlaw country style. No annoying, whiny, nasally vocals, no cheesy notes, just pure hardened music about doing time. Heck, even when Johnny Cash pulls out a love song he makes it feel more sincere and genuine. it must be that deep, crooning voice of his that keeps me listening. Damn, it’s sexy. I could listen to him sing about heart break all night and not be annoyed in the slightest.

I enjoyed At Folsom Prison thoroughly from start to finish and there was some worry entering this one, feeling that it would just be a rehash of the album Johnny Cash (Or Mr. Cash as I like to call him) released just a year prior. It wasn’t. It was better. Not only was it leagues above his previous Live Prison album but it felt like a much deserved update. Mr. Cash went into this well-prepared, now knowing full well how the prison mates would respond to his music and antics. Here Mr. Cash comes fully equipped with a cool attitude and quippy remarks. There’s some great banter between songs where he curses at the guards and even gets upset when his guitar is out of tune and spends time tuning it (in a funny way of course). Throughout the show he has the prisoners int he palm of his hand, they hang on every word he says and they hoot and holler their way through, enjoying themselves more than they ever have. It helps too that Mr. Cash has chosen songs that pander to the crowd, even playing a tune he made just for them called San Quentin, to which the response was so great he immediately played it a second time. That takes a lot of nerve to do play the same song twice in a set and Johnny Cash pulls it off with ease. It might seem odd that a song is there twice, but it surprisingly never feels like a waste of time and feels just as fresh the second time around as the first, almost as if you’re supposed to listen to it a second time every time you do.

There’s even a nice tribute to his fallen friend, Luther Perkins, who died a few months previous to the recording of this album. Luther was Cash’s longtime collaborator and partner in music and played Lead Guitar for him. This was the first time Cash was playing without him on a recording and practically became a true solo piece as he took up the reigns himself, paying tribute to his good friend, which adds another layer to the whole performance as a whole, giving it more sincerity and a bittersweet quality that is hard to describe but permeates throughout. It’s subtle but as a listener you can feel it.

If all country music was like this, it would easily become one of my favourite genres (a shocking statement from me!) Sadly that isn’t the case, but amongst all the whiny, nasally cowboys and country bumpkins I know there will always be the outlaws there to save the day. Kind of funny that we’d be rooting for the outlaws over the good guys, the prisoners over the heroes. But you have to admit, int he world of country, they’ve got a swagger that cannot be beat. A cool and collected attitude that engages, that makes you shut up and listen and keeps you listening from start to end. I’d listen to Johnny Cash’s deep voice any day of the week before ever picking up another country rock album. I cannot stress enough how much this is the country music I want to hear and how much I despise the other type. I will constantly repeat myself (which I am known to do) but it just needs to be said.

Cash seems to have found the perfect niche for himself, prison albums. There’s just something about this one and his previous one that works really well. Both albums helped his career get back on track and he was killing it touring to prisons and playing for inmates. Johnny Cash just went needed to go to his roots (he spent some time in Prison himself) and cater to the law breaker in all of us.

Not that I break the law or anything… I don’t…

Uh oh…

Favourite Tune: Starkville City Jail

-Bosco

 

 

 

1001 Albums: The Gilded Palace of Sin

#141

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Artist: Flying Burrito Brothers

Album: The Gilded Palace of Sin

Year: 1969

Length: 37:24

Genre: Country Rock

“You may be sweet and nice
But that won’t keep you warm at night
Cause I’m the one who showed you how
To do the things you’re doing now
He may feel all your charms
He might hold you in his arms
But I’m the one who let you in
I was right beside you in the end

Here we go. Here we go again! My absolute favourite type of music! Country rock… mmmm how I missed it so much. Oh boy am I just thrilled and overjoyed that I got to listen to some good old Country Rock one more time.

I fucking hate Country Rock. I can’t stand it and I think I’ve made that very clear when I had to endure the painful sounds of The Byrds doing it in “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”, or is it at the rodeo? I care so little that I won’t even bother to check. I want to make it clear, as usual, that if you love this style of music, than great! Good on you, you’re allowed to love whatever you want and I am sure you have a myriad of reasons why and can greatly express those feelings. Sadly for you, I don’t, i just cannot stand it and I am pained that I had to sit through another album that just makes my ears hurt. Ad it’s not just my ears, it goes deep here, all the way down to the core of my soul. I feel it writhe in pain with every note and whiny vocal that comes through my headphones. It’s no pleasure, only torture.

I do want to like it, I really wish I could and I say that every time, but even going in with an open mind can’t change the feelings I get when I listen to this type of Country music. I just can’t, I just can’t help but feel the way I do when I listen to Country music. Every time it comes on it just evokes this deep aggravation I can’t shake off. I wince, I cringe, I cry, My ears bleed and I pass out in a pool of my own blood, shaking and helpless, as the cold hands of death slowly approach me. As I lay face down, wondering if I would ever come back to life, something magical happened. Could it be I wasn’t going to die after all. Could it be there was a light at the end of this tunnel that didn’t mean the end? Yes… yes it did. As the album came to completion and the sounds of people walking by me, pigeons cooing and the TTC rattling its way on its tracks came into my ears, I started to think there is life after Country. I too could survive a pain worse than death. I too can say I have survived the plummeting pain of Country Music. As my vision returned and I saw the beautiful face of a homeless man staring down at me, I realised how much I sometimes take things for granted around me. I faced death and only in doing so did I know there was so much to life than I thought. I had been a fool for wasting my time and its thanks to Country Music putting me to the brink of death did I finally wake up, revitalised, reborn, a new me.

Sadly, I had to relisten to this album and put myself through the same thing again because it had been so long since I first heard it that I couldn’t remember any of the tunes and I have to pick one as my Favourite tune, although here that’s using the term Favourite very loosely. This time though, i was prepared, I knew what to expect and I knew how it would be and I knew the effects were only temporary. I knew I could survive one more time. Second time around is always easier, my body was used to it now. As the cheesy guitar sounds played through and the nasally vocals whined and whined, I kept in control of my body. I could d this, I knew I could this time, I just had to make sure I didn’t let the music overtake me. I was in control. Every time I felt myself falter, I made sure I stayed in reality, looked around me at the kids playing on the bus seat, a mother yelling, a husband and wife holding hands, a dickbag blocking the door with his oversized schoolbag. I will not pass out, not again, not this time. Song after song played, I was doing it, slowly losing control but never fully. I was hanging by a string now and any note could be what snapped that string causing me to fall. I would not let that happen. God damn you Flying Burrito Brothers (Or FBB as I like to call them) your country rock sound will not overpower me. I REFUSE. As Hot Burrito 1 and 2 started I found solace because I started thinking of burritos and how delicious they were. Boy could I go for a burrito just about now. I surprisingly found a place of serenity thanks to the thoughts of burritos as the rest of the album just flew by. I took my headphones off and promptly bought myself a burrito and it was the best damn burrito I had ever eaten in my life.

I don’t care if this is a seminal piece of Country Rock music. I don’t care if this was the album that helped jump start the career of one Gram Parsons. I don’t care if this is one of the major albums that helped pave the way for an entire genre of music. I will never like or enjoy this style of Country music, ever, and having listened to more than enough of my fair share of it, I think I can finally legitimately say that,

But damn these boys do have style. Love those suits.

Favourite Tune: Hippie Boy

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: Blood, Sweat and Tears

#140

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Artist: Blood, Sweat and Tears

Album: Blood, Sweat and Tears

Year: 1968

Length: 45:36

Genre: Rock / Jazz Rock

“Now you’re gone girl
And the lamp posts call your name
I can hear, them
In the spring of frozen rain
Now you’re gone girl
And the time’s slowed down till dawn
It’s a cold room and the walls ask
Where you’ve gone
Sometimes In Winter”

WOWIEE!!!!

What a treat! What a Joy! What an Almond Joy! How can I describe such positive feelings I had listening to this wonderful album? How can I express all the good emotions I had while track after track of delicious tunes played after another? How is it possible to still find new music that I enjoy after everything I’ve listened to? Just when I thought listener fatigue was starting to kick in, this beautiful album comes along and turns that all around. Like finding candy under the sofa that hasn’t been unwrapped yet or eating pizza that is fresh from the oven, this album is the sweet and tangy flavour that woke up my tastebuds after experiencing the fatigue of all the music I was listening to. OH WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME!

I love a good horn section in music and this band doesn’t fail in that department. The horns blare their way through every tune without ever being too overpowering. It’s a well utilised horn section and they’re given their chance to shine loud and clear in an incredibly supportive way throughout the album. Something about horns that bring joy to my ears. Either I find it quite a pleasant sound or it gives me a dopamine rush every time I hear that toot, but horns, especially when used to their fullest potential, are just majestic instruments.  If I could learn the Trumpet, I would, but the one thing in my way is I live with a bunch of people and me badly blaring a trumpet late in the night would definitely piss them off.

Something I really like about this album too is how there’s a theme that bookends the entire album. I always enjoy an album that opens with a theme song especially when it also concludes with it because it gives the album a nice sense of completion, like you’ve listened to something in it’s entirety, a beginning, middle and end. And although there isn’t a story being told here, this bookend theme wraps up the whole album in a nice little bow as a gift I didn’t even know I deserved. Even then the album goes from one jazzy rocking song to another that culminates to a 12 minute instrumental that just grooves you into it. One might think 12 minutes seems long, but there’s enough changes within the song that keep you entertained, it eve breaks into the riff from Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” at one point which was a pleasant little surprise. There was even a song that reminded me heavily of the “Going the Distance” song from Disney’s Hercules. The two choruses sound eerily similar and I’m wondering if there was some inspiration there somehow or merely pure coincidence. Probably coincidence, but what a reference that would make! Despite it being an album full of covers, they bring a lot of new life to each tune that makes it very much their own and manage to create a cohesive album that is a blast from beginning to end.

Oddly enough, I actually own an album by Blood, Sweat and Tears (or BST as I like to call them). I own their third album. Not out of choice though, let me explain. Long time ago, someone I knew was giving away two full boxes of vinyls. Me being a vinyl collector, he offered to give them to me and I obviously ran for them. Within the box was a massive collection of so many different things. From albums that were great finds, some that added to my collection in splendid ways, albums I didn’t know I’d love and have, some albums actually on this list that I was happy to now own and a lot of Barbara Streisand. Out of this collection was BST’s third album cleverly titled Blood, Sweat and Tears 3, which is confusing because this album is called Blood, Sweat and Tears but is their second album, yet their third album isn’t called Blood, Sweat and Tears 2 to follow suit, actually there is no Blood, Sweat and Tears 2, it goes straight from 1 to 3 with no 2. It goes Child is Father to the Man, Blood, Sweat and Tears and then Blood, Sweat and Tears 3. Why would they do this? This just adds so much confusion tot he chronology of their albums. If there’s one fault here, it’s that. Name your albums in a less confusing way!

Now I’ll end this off with my very own trumpet solo:

“Toot toot toot toot prout prooooout toot prout prout toot tooooooooootototototototoot proutprout tootprout tootoot prout toot proooooooooout”

You’re welcome.

Favourite Tune: Smiling Phases

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: Crosby, Stills and Nash

#139

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Artist: Crosby, Stills and Nash

Album: Crosby, Stills and Nash

Year: 1969

Length: 40:52

Genre: Folk Rock / Soft Rock / Blues Rock / Jazz Rock

“You are living a reality I left years ago
It quite nearly killed me.
In the long run it will make you cry.
Make you crazy and old before your time.
And the difference between me and you.
I won’t argue right or wrong,
But I have time to cry, my baby
You don’t have to cry,”

I have been a busy man with a busy schedule with busy things to do in my busy life. What these busy things are would be way too long to list and would make this whole thing seem way too busy with words (although to be fair that hasn’t stopped me int he past). It’s fair to say the busyness of my life has forced me to push this whole project (I guess I can call it that) to the side. I keep telling myself I’ll get back to it but I never do and it’s time I finally accept that this is no longer a priority for me, at least until I’m able to manage it as a routine in my absolutely busy life. This is it folks, this is me accepting that this is taking a back seat for some time, sadly, and won’t be a common, recurring thing like it used to be. I Used to crank one out a day when I started, not anymore. But that’s life. I will never stop, heck I keep listening to the albums, I’m about fifty albums ahead now, but chronicling this journey has become more difficult than I expected, especially as each album goes on I feel like I have less and less to say and it delays me more as I struggle to come up with words to write that don’t sound like me repeating myself post after post after post. It was inevitable when I hit a period of the same genre over and over… what else can you really add, right? Not much… possibly… I don’t know, I’m not the music expert remember?

Honestly, nothing wrong with being busy. I haven’t been busy in a negative way but in a positive way, with a job in my field, multiple projects going on, being active in the improv community. It’s the best kind of busy you can have.

So, I listened to Crosby, Still and Nash (Or CSN as I like to call them). Listened to them a few times actually and it seems to be one of those albums that gets better upon each listen. Not sure why but I’m willing to bet it’s because it’s a layered album, one of those that you don’t really notice certain nuances until you’ve had multiple listens, which is always a positive experience. I mean, I’ve never heard anyone angrily yell ” I DID NOT NOTICE THIS THE FIRST TIME AROUND! JESUS CHRIST! WHYYYYYYYYY?!”

Now there’s always some confusion as to when Neil Young was a part of the band because he wasn’t with them from the beginning and only joined later on. It’s a little difficult to know at first but there is a very distinct distinction that once you know it it’ll give you an easier time being able to tell. I discovered this on my own and want to share it with you. Very simply, when Neil Young was a part of the band, the band was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (or CSNY as I like to call them). It’s a pretty subtle difference but now that you know believe me you will always know from here on out. This one does not include him as the band was still called Crosby, Stills and Nash. Now you know and knowing is half of a battle you didn’t even know you were fighting.

Crosby, Stills and Nash also has to be one of the most uninspired names for a band ever. For those who aren’t the most observant, it’s basically the three band member’s names… yeah. It’s hard to even call it a band name and feels more like a marquee of performers. These three dudes are great performers who aren’t lacking in any sort of imagination, they could have come up with a halfway decent name for their super group/ power trio that wasn’t just their names listed in a random way (it’s not alphabetical, believe me I checked). It’s just a boring name for a not boring band, a name that lacks in inspiration for a band that is very inspirational. The one good thing that does come out of the name (other than making it easy for the listeners to know who exactly is in the band) is that it lends itself great for an Improv Troupe name: Bangers, Stills and Mash. That’s mine, I take credit for that one (unless someone else has already come up with it than GOD DAMMIT!).

When you get three incredibly strong performers together to create an album usually that would be a recipe for disaster. A lot of fighting as each member tries to take the spotlight. It happens to every group. And although they would become known for their major disputes as a group, it seems they were able to come together and create something that’s quite wonderful. With beautiful harmonies and excellent guitar picking from each of the band mates. It’s nice to see David Crosby going on to do bigger and better things after leaving The Byrds, they may have started to fall but he showed that he still had a lot left in him to produce something great. I’m happy to see it didn’t end poorly for him… or maybe it did, just not yet.

What else can I really say about this? It’s three super powered musicians coming together to make a super powered, folk and blues inspired album. It’s good and that’s about all I have to say.

Favourite tune: Marrakesh Express

-Bosco