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Albums you haven't listened to in a while

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    On a night off after a long road trip and before my most hectic week of the year, I decided to chill at home, hang out with my wife and kids, and after they conked out, rip some of my old CDs into iTunes.

    Given my half-Teutonic sense of order, I've ripped my CDs into iTunes in alphabetical order by artist. Given my half-Gaelic sense of fuck it, I've skipped around a lot.

    But I was back to the alphabetical order tonight and I'm into the R's. Before the massive amount of Rolling Stones CDs I have get ripped, I had to go through Lou Reed, R.E.M. and Keith Richards.

    R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People came up in the rotation, and I'll admit, I wasn't really geeked up for it.

    Explanation ... I generally don't rip entire albums, I only rip the songs I like off an album. I assign five, four or three stars to a song (again, half-German blood, achtung!), and if it doesn't meet that standard, I don't rip it at all. So when I rip each disc, it's a vetting process to see if it meets my iTunes standard.

    I hadn't listened to Automatic For The People in a decade, and that's probably a kind estimate. I wasn't geeked, but it wasn't because I didn't think it was a good album. Its been widely hailed as one of, if not the best R.E.M. album of all-time and one of the best albums of the 90s.

    But that's just it. Sometimes the praise an album gets can be overblown either in its time or in retrospect or its appeal fades for an unknown reason. It doesn't help when some of the songs off such an album become standards that can be/are run into the ground, as many songs on Automatic For The People have been.

    Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is like that for me too. Great songs, very few of which I ever make a point to listen to unless I hear them by accident. Automatic For The People is a polished effort. R.E.M.'s early stuff has become more my line of country since 1992 when Automatic came out and around the time I bought it. I had a feeling it was going to fall into that Rumours territory.

    And Automatic For The People falls into the same category as many other 90s albums. The 90s in general are in that anti-nostalgic memory phase decades have seemed to go through since the 50s phenomenon in the 1970s. It was cool to rip the 70s in the 80s, but the 70s were hot in the 90s, etc. Nostalgia peaks 20 years after the fact, but not usually until the second or third year of a decade.

    It's not "cool" to like albums or music from the 90s. It's almost cliche to rip Nirvana, for example. Some of it justified, some of it not.

    But I was pleasantly surprised when I really began listening to the tracks. I blew past Drive and The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, you can still hear those regularly. Try Not To Breathe left me cold, the only track that really did.

    Everybody Hurts, which has almost become a parody of the sensitive wing of songs for that time, is just an undeniably great song.

    From that point, the rest of the album -- including overplayed, but good songs like Man On The Moon -- just clicked. Even filler like New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 struck a chord.

    Listening to the album for the first time in years, it struck me that it didn't compare so much to Rumours, but more like a fully-realized version of an earlier pre-Buckingham Nicks Fleetwood Mac album ... Bare Trees. Both albums have songs that have a mellow kind of minor-key energy to them. Automatic For The People is a lot better though.

    So my adventure into my album collection, which I thought would kind of be an exercise in "getting through" the early 90s instead turned into a rediscovery of greatness I never should have dismissed.

    Any albums fit that mold for you?
  2. Iron_chet

    Iron_chet Well-Known Member

    Great topic. The 2000s was a decade of transition for me as I got married, had career success andvstarted a family. The time I used to be able to take downloading for hours and looking for new music is gone. I also moved a few times and my CD collection ended up out of sight.

    Recently I started doing the same ripping to get some more material for my Ipod and dug out my CD crates, lots and lots of 90s. I agree on REM, never seek it out but when I hear it and stick almost any of their albums on I end up listening to the whole thing.

    The one band I rediscovered is The Pixies. I have Dolittle in the CD player in my car deck and probably listen to it start to finish 2 or 3 times a week communiting to work, just a great album.

    I could listen to Nevermind every day as well.
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Listened to Live at the Fillmore last week on my trip from Afghanistan to Tennessee for the first time in years. Pretty awesome trip down memory lane.

    Yesterday I was able to listen to the AC/DC's Black album in its entirety for the first time in probably 10 years. I had forgotten just how much I loved the first notes to Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    The Pixies are great and have held up well, especially since you can hear their influence in so many groups from the 2000s.

    I'm back to my Gaelic sense of "fuck it" and popped Matthew Sweet's 100% Fun in. I knew I'd love that one, because I'm a total sucker for power pop and I loved Sweet, but I hadn't listened to it in quite a while either.

    I'm enjoying it more than Automatic For The People. Sick Of Myself is definitely on the short list on best power pop tunes of all-time.

    YGBFKM Guest

    I long ago lost the CD, so the other day I got on YouTube to find as many track as I could from Elton John's "Madman Across the Water." I asked the two 20-somethings I work with if they listened to Elton John and they looked at me like I was Lady Gaga. I tried to explain the Elton John of the 1970s, but they were having none of it. Anyway, every song on that album is great, led by the incredible "Indian Sunset."
  6. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    I was at Borders tonight making sure I used a gift card before they closed. was looking through cds and saw Billy Joel's Glass Houses. I had it on vinyl so many years ago and thought I should get it on CD. Was ready to buy it and then wondered if I might have already had the CD ( I really do have so many that sometimes I don't know if I have one) so I pulled my iPod (with over 4500 songs on it) and double-checked. Sure enough, I already have it and it's in the iPod. Listened to it on the way home.

    When that album first came on in late '78 or early '79, I didn't like it as much as The Stranger, Piano Man, Turnstiles or 52nd Street. I probably still don't, as those are just fantastic efforts. But 30 years later, I've really come to love the stuff on it, particularly the album cuts vs. the singles that were hits. Don't Ask Me Why, All for Leyna, C'etait Toi, Through the Long Night. All really good stuff.
  7. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Is there a generational cut-off line for knowing what the subject line means, and if not, do you suppose one day there will be?

    Oh, and "Abbey Road" is about to get a spin.

    Edited to add: My first paragraph was a reference to the word "album." My second might not be in precise line with what Bubbler is talking about, but it's an album I haven't heard in some time -- and miss.

    For me, "Rumours" falls into the specific category he described.
  8. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Not at all, JD, that's exactly what I'm talking about. I'll bet I haven't listened to a Beatles album from start to finish for years.
  9. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    That's freaking nerdy.

    Are you SURE you're not a Rush fan?
  10. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    Cool thread.

    - Picked up some misplaced/fubar'ed 90s albums on the cheap -- The Lemonheads' It's A Shame About Ray, Helmet's Best Of, Fastball's All the Pain Money Can Buy and Spacehog's Resident Alien and The Chinese Album -- and discovered I still enjoy every one. "The Way" and "In the Meantime" have to be two of the decade's better alt rock singles, and the Lemonheads were way more than "Mrs. Robinson." Pinup looks and all, Evan Dando was a pretty damn good songwriter/vocalist.

    - I have Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic on CD but hadn't given it a spin in forever until recently. What a fucking great rock record. There isn't a clunker on it. I even dig Uncle Salty, for Christ sakes.

    - Also had a copy of ABBA Gold lying around that I rarely listened to until late last year. Once I did, I came to realize that ABBA is what pop music should sound like. I've since bought their entire catalog (seriously) and now consider them -- along with the Beach Boys and, if you want to limit them to one category, the Beatles -- among the best pop groups ever.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    When they were re-released on stereo CD in the late summer of '09, I bought the first two albums - Please Please Me and With the Beatles and played 'em over and over. Still my favourite albums by the Fabs.
  12. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Let me look at my R's ...
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