My Music Listening Journal- Day 94/ 366: Friday April 3, 2020.
- THE BAND: STAGE FRIGHT: 1970: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: In a way The Band painted themselves in a corner with their first two albums- they were all time classics- how do you keep that up? This is a step down from Music From Big Pink- and The Band but still a pretty good album. Favorites- “Sleeping”, “Time To Kill”, “The Shape I’m In”. “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” and “Stage Fright.”
- BILL WITHERS: JUST AS I AM: 1971: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE: Withers was 32 years old when he made his debut. He had a lot of experience in life at this young age- born and growing up in a small West Virginia coal town the youngest of six children. He had to deal with a stutter, his father died when he was thirteen. He joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and after served nine years. When he got out he got work as a factory worker. Then he moved to Los Angeles with the dreams of getting into the music business. The album’s songs- he wrote all but two of them are great examples of the experiences he had in life. The covers of two #1 hits by other artists- are excellent too- “Everybody’s Talkin’ and “Let It Be.” Favorites- “Grandma’s Hands”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Harlem”, “I’m Her Daddy” and “Better Off Dead.” He had great help behind him too- with Booker T. Jones producing and Booker T. & The MG’s backing him up musically.
- BILL WITHERS: STILL BILL: 1972: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE: Bill delivered his second album a year after the debut- just as good but funkier. The #1 hit “Lean On Me” and #2 hit “Use Me” are on this one. His most successful album- going to #4 on the album chart. Wither’s first two albums- highly recommended.
- JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP: SCARECROW: 1985: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: I had kind of passed John Cougar as a doofus- until I heard “Jack and Diane”from his 1982 album American Fool. Then in 1983 I had to break down and buy his Un-Huh album which I really like. Scarecrow is his best album. He had 3 Top 10 hits on this- “R.O.C.K In The USA” #2, “Lonely Ole Night” #6 and “Small Town” #10. The albums best song “Rain On The Scarecrow” peaked at #21 and “Rumbleseat” #28 , “Minutes To Memories” is another favorite. The album itself went to #2.
- SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: BOOKENDS: 1968: 5+ STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: Released 52 years ago today. My favorite S&G album. “Mrs. Robinson” from The Graduate is one of their signature songs- their 2nd #1. Other favorites from it-“America”, “Old Friends”, “A Hazy Shade Of Winter”, “Fakin’ It”, “At The Zoo” and the title track. Overall I have this album ahead of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”- because I think the songwriting and overall production is better.
- SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: 1970: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: Their 5th and final album- was their biggest selling- over 8 million copies in the U.S. The title track which went to #1- won the Grammy for Best Song, Best Record, Best Contemporary Song, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist and Best Engineering- which the album which went to #1 won for Best Album. If I have one complaint with the album it feels a bit over produced. My favorite song on the album- was the hit single “The Boxer”- #7. My favorite non-single track ‘The Only Living Boy In New York.”