The Rewind Button is a group blogging project that I’m participating in. We’re taking on Rolling Stone‘s Top 40 albums of all time and writing our own reviews of them.
I tried for many months to avoid writing a multi-album post. I wanted to focus each entry on an individual artist or band. However, I’ve learned a lot about myself and music during this project. Primarily, I don’t enjoy writing about music that much. I mentioned that in a previous Rewind Button entry, and here at the end, upon reflection, my feeling still holds true. That means for a lot of these albums, I struggled to write about them. Perhaps I tried to make the reviews harder than they needed to be. The reviews I enjoyed writing the most were the ones that I let the words tumble out of my head, unconscious of where my thoughts were going.
Maybe I do, then, enjoy writing about music if I can do it the same way I listen to albums. That is, totally immersed in feeling. In the end, I’m happy that I took part in this project, and I’m grateful for the invitation to do so. I’ve discovered other blogs and writers that are now saved in my bookmarks, and I’ve listened to some albums that I had never heard before that I now love (Stevie Wonder) and ones that I can’t stand (Joni Mitchell). It’s been a fun project, and I’m finishing it with these final seven albums.
The song “The Weight” is a staple at karaoke spots in these parts. It’s an okay song, and it’s the only original song on this album that I liked. The other song, “Long Black Veil” is a cover song, and The Band does a good version of it. Overall, though, I found this album uninspiring. It’s not one that I will listen to again.
David Bowie — The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
Bowie rarely fails me. I appreciate that he pushes himself and the art of music, and Ziggy Stardust is a winner for me. In our current age of singles and quick hits, it’s refreshing to go back in time and listen to an album that told a story, that provided a narrative to the music, that tried to show there was more you could do with rock music. This a top 20 album for me.
Carole King is one of the world’s greatest songwriters. Tapestry, though, was just an okay album for me. I had never heard it before, and I kept seeing it on best-albums-of-all-time lists, so I was curious about what made it so great. And as with several albums on this list, I found it not that great. Perhaps at the time it was groundbreaking or inspiring or something. Now, however, I find it pedestrian.
The Eagles — Hotel California
The Eagles are my dad’s favorite band, so I grew up listening to their albums. Hearing this one again took me back to the late 1970s, sitting in my dad’s apartment patiently waiting for this album to finish so I could listen to KISS. Today, I notice The Eagles’ influence in my music, and that’s a good thing, because the band were solid songwriters in both lyrics and hooks. That’s something I work on emulating in my writing.
Muddy Waters is a great blues artist, and I found myself liking this album more than I imagined I would. For those who write or edit for a living, The Anthology is great background music for working. The blues’ rhythm and repeating of lines lulls one into a calm state where focus and imagination reside side by side.
The Beatles — Please Please Me
It’s no secret that I love The Beatles. Please Please Me, while not my favorite, still stands far and above many of the other albums on this list. Please please let me listen to it over anything that Van Morrison or Joni Mitchell ever puts out. How this album arrived at No. 39 and not higher is a mystery to me. It deserves higher, and in my personal list, it is.
This is a great, strong finish for the top 40 list. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this album. You can definitely hear the late 1960s vibe, but I also detect elements of punk, post-punk, and balls-out rock. I’ll have to remember to listen to this album more often, because it’s inspiring and a good-time experience, which is exactly what music should be.
Please visit these other blogs participating in The Rewind Button project: