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the winner of week 2 is quite easily ziggy stardust... no one in particular convinced me. the number of recommendations is what did it. i will find the album tomorrow.
so i've now had a week to soak up my first sample of bob dylan. that's right, i'd never heard any before. what's most obvious to me is how audible his influence is in bands that i'm already familiar with. something else that i found obvious... it's good music. there's no question about it. he's done so little, if anything, wrong. i'm really glad that i bought it. thanks to... was it rocky raccoon who recommended it to me? anyway, thanks.
now for this week's albums:
Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley - From Elvis in Memphis
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Van Morrison - Moondance
so there is it. quite boring... it's the same as last week, but the next 5 albums.
I would say "Songs In The Key Of Life"
It's an amazing album
Stevie had no problem to fill a double LP in the mid '70s, and he went in all directions from jazz rock to latin, from moving ballads to fantastic dance tunes like the brilliant Another Star, from love songs to social commentaries. And with impressing vocal and instrumental skills
A lotta crap in that 10.
I'd stick with Stevie Wonder or Elvis Costello.
I'd say What's Goin' On. Stevie is the better, more consistent artist of the two. Songs In the Key of Life hits some incredible highs. But What's Goin' On is a defining statement... the only time where Gaye's output matched his potential.
Out of that lot, my first pick would be This Year's Model. If not that, either Stevie Wonder album will do.
Elvis Presley's s/t is undeniably historically important, but it's reeeal creaky. It's a good rule of thumb that rock and roll (NOT jazz) prior to 1964 is best experienced on a song-by-song basis (i.e., a Greatest Hits or maybe a live album). Just as Alan Freed intended.
I'd go with Innervisions rather than Songs in the Key of Life as far as Stevie goes. The high points of Innervisions are actually better than the high points on Songs, plus it's far more cohesive and way more digestible.
It also does all those things that have been mentioned previously regarding great music: moves your mind, moves your heart, and moves your ass. Sometimes all at once, which is really quite a feat.
Apart from the fact that 1) it can’t be confirmed if you’re really buying the albums that have been recommended, 2) there’s nothing in it for us, and 3) it’s upsetting that you haven’t heard these already, I’ll put aside by chronic pessimism for a second, give you the benefit of the doubt and selflessly recommended:
sonofsamiam is right – it’s much more cohesive than “Songs..”, plus (iirc) it’s the highest rated Stevie album on RYM. I’d list a few highlights, but the entire record is a collection of highlights. (I think it was jonmarck who mentioned during the album poll that it’s the one SW album that plays like collection of his best moments – and it’s true). You want pop? It’s there. Funk? You got it. Political commentary? Done. Instrumental virtuosity? The record is packed to the gills with it – Stevie plays every instrument! (just try not to bob your head along with the clavinet intro on “Higher Ground”.)
Above all, do you want an album that is great from start to finish? Look no further than Innervisions.
Do yourself a service a get this record. Now.
(The album is so good, I can't even talk about it - just look at my poor typing!)
Those are all love it or hate it albums. Moondance is probably the most accessible with some really great songs. I'd go with Elvis Presley-Elvis Presley to hear Elvis at his very best and the only Elvis album anybody really needs to own...and everybody should really own one Elvis album. Sure, everyone should have a few scattered singles as well but I don't think any other Elvis album embodies the phenomenon that was Elvis.
IMO nothing beats the Sun sessions and his 56-58 RCA hits (hound Dog, heartbreak Hotel, Jailhouse rock..)
I just read "Mystery Train" by Greil Marcus about those sessions
Half of "Elvis Presley" are Sun recordings
Although the Sun Sessions is a nice album for fans or historians I think Elvis Presley is the album to own. The Sun Sessions is more of a history piece. Plus, the reissue has a few those Sun singles on it.
I prefer both the "Sun Sessions" and "Elvis" to "Elvis Presley".
No real favorites of mine in that list, I guess I'd pick "My Aim Is True".
I totally agree Anthony about "Innervisions".
It's definitely the best Stevie Wonder album and there's no single bad track on it. You can buy with eyes closed.
I prefer "Songs in the key" because it has great great songs (all my favorite SW songs except Superstition) like "Isn't she lovely", "Sir Duke", "another Star" or "As" and moving ballads like the opener
Of course it's a little more messier than "Innervision"
but I love great double LPs where you find everything. That's why I love the White album, Exile, London Calling (a little more focused is that one), they're like cellars.
It is much more eclectic than Innervision and has a pop flavor, whereas Innervisions (a masterpice too) is more cohesive
As a work of Art, Innervisions may be more perfect
BUt it's like chosing between a good Bordeaux and a good Bourgogne, if you allow me this patriotic comparison.
1) if i wasn't actually buying these albums, then there would be nothing in it for me.
2) i thought that some people might actually like helping me. if not, then well... don't. but since you have, thank you. i mean that too. because you even took the time to try to convince me, rather than just mention an album.
3) yes, it is upsetting that i haven't heard these already. that's why i started this topic. it motivates me to get out and buy them. anyway, give me a break, i've music has only been an interest for about 3 and a half years. if you ask me, i'm not doing too bad.
anyways, thanks again Anthony (and to everyone else, of course).
I'm gonna make it strike 3 by recommending 'Astral Weeks'. Lyrically it's oblique and poetic, but emotionally rich at the same time. Musically it's beautiful, timeless and pretty much uncategorisable.
Chances are you've never heard anything off it, as it's one of those records that occupies the hinterland of 'critics' favourite'. 'Astral Weeks' never even registered on the top 100 albums chart in the UK, making it a late 60s masterpiece (a la 'VU & Nico' or 'Forever Changes') too singular, too otherworldly, just too bloody brilliant for mass consumption.
Go with Astral Weeks. Its stunning and has so much emotion in it that it still makes me shiver.