Sunday, November 11, 2012

Formative Albums

Formative Albums I’ll start at the beginning: Albums didn’t exist in the modern sense until the early 1960s. Before that a Single would be released and then another and another. Then a Compilation Album. In 1963 The Beatles came along and they had the idea to release all of their songs at once…and even write specifically for a collection of songs. Yellow Submarine, Let it Be, The White Album and my favorite….

Abbey Road. A track by track essay would take forever so I’ll leave that for my afterlife career in writer’s purgatory. For now, the highlight is the first track, “Come Together”. The octave sliding bass line played by Sir Paul McCartney is priceless and locks you into the music. The Lennon-sung lyrics are proto-rap and risqué for the time. “I know you, you know me, one thing I can tell you is you got to be free.” This was the basic advice the Fab Four had at the end of the 1960s. Somehow the Oceanic gap between London and New York had preserved the group’s originality and soul. They were not folk and they were not rock and they weren’t the dominant rockabilly and blues that had inspired them to pick up instruments in the first place. They were inspired and impossible to imitate (even they couldn’t imitate themselves) and their music totally transcended the time. I was introduced to the Beatles first by my father’s Greatest Hits record and later by the ultimate enthusiast Robert G. in Yosemite. Robert schooled me in The Beatles and also in another album that should make this list but doesn’t because I don’t want two albums by the same artist.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.