Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Number 49: U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987)
This album usually shows up in the top 10, if not the best of most peoples all time favorite CD lists. For me, it only ranks number 49. It's not that I don't appreciate the shimmering beauty and surging power of U2's music on this landmark album, it's just a matter of timing.
That timing is 1987, a time when an artist could become oversaturated very easily once they became successful. U2 was one of those bands. When U2 released the Joshua Tree, they instantly became the standard bearer of everything rock critics loved about rock music. Political and spiritual purpose, an original and distinct sound, a willingness to use the media as a platform for their views. It did help that they were actually as good as they were advertised.
But I found that type of oversaturation obnoxious, the same way I did during Prince's Purple Rain or Bruce Springsteen's Born In The USA. MTV, Top 40 radio, magazines even movie theaters played the music from these records day and night. Friends and relatives kept telling me I had to like this band. On top of this, their adoration from both the rock music press and religious right made them that much more annoying. I mean, how perfect can one band be?
It wasn't until years later I came to appreciate U2 and The Joshua Tree. The only song I liked at the time was "Where The Streets Have No Name". I thought it was a great song title and liked how the melody rose and fell. It kinda sounded like a helicopter. In the '90's, when I really listened to this album, I came to appreciate the other songs. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" without the hype came across as an earnest search for spiritual meaning. "Exit" sounded claustophobic and harrowing. "Running to Stand Still" had poignancy. "Bullet The Blue Sky"took capitalism to task over a dark, clangy groove.
Joshua Tree isn't my favorite U2 disc, but looking back it was a great one just the same. Now to celebrate getting to Number 49, here's the first 50:
100:David Bowie-Changesonebowie (1990) 99:Loverboy-Get Lucky (1982) 98: Lindsey Buckingham-Out Of The Cradle (1992) 97: Fleetwood Mac-Tusk (1979) 96: Radiohead-OK Computer (1997) 95: Journey-Arrival (2001) 94: Go-Go's-Beauty and the Beat (1982) 93: REO Speedwagon-Hi Infidelity (1980) 92: Steve Howe-Not Necessarily Acoustic (1994) 91: The Cars - The Cars (1976) 90: Journey - Evolution (1979) 89: Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002) 88: Jet - Get Born (2003) 87: Nirvana - Nevermind (1991) 86: Aerosmith - Pump (1989) 85: Steve Miller Band - Greatest Hits (1978) 84: Dokken - Under Lock And Key (1985) 83: Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) 82: Blondie-Greatest Hits (2002) 81: Metallica - Ride The Lightning (1982) 80: Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life (1976) 79: Fleetwood Mac - The Dance (1997) 78: Los Lonely Boys - Los Lonely Boys (2003) 77: X - Los Angeles (1980) 76: The Strokes - Is This it (2001) 75: Red hot Chili Peppers - Californication (1999) 74: Van Halen - Van Halen 1 (1977) 73: Heart - Heart (1985) 72: Yes-90125 (1983) 71: Counting Crows - August and Everything After (1993) 70: Van Halen - 5150 (1986) 69: Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman (1988) 68: AC/DC - Back In Black (1980) 67: Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987) 66: The Smiths - The Singles (1995) 65: Night Ranger - Midnight Madness (1984) 64: Journey - Raised On Radio (1986) 63: White Stripes - Elephant (2003) 62: Cheap Trick - At Budokan (1977) 61: Foreigner - Records (1982) 60: Santana - Best of (1998) 59: U2 - Achtung Baby (1991) 58: Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits (2000) 57: Jackson Browne - Best of (1997) 56: Toto - Isolation (1984) 55: Matthew Sweet - 100% Fun (1995) 54: Yes - Close To The Edge (1972) 53: Bonnie Raitt - Nick of Time (1989) 52: The Doors - Best of (1985) 51: Bob Marley - Legend (1981) 50: Metallica - Metallica (1991)
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
"Call To The Heart" had many of the qualities I looked for in a song that year. The sparkling, "heavenly" keyboards, soaring guitars, bracing melodic chorus and Steve Perry...or at least a guy who sounded like Perry. Many of the great cheeseball trappings of the decade are on display in this video: the spandex, the wall of hairspray on people's heads, tiger print muscle shirts. It's all here in all it's flashy 80's glory.
This is one of those records I would play relentlessly after coming home from school. I had the 45 for the single edit and later bought the full record bringing me the excellent "Lonely In Love" as well. Many of my high school friends thought it was a joke that I was a fan of this group. In retrospect, Giuffria was not a great band by any means but they did play a style of music that fit me perfectly. So here it is, "Call To The Heart", a top 20 single from 1985. I feel late for the school bus already.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
3. To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;
4. To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Before meeting my wife, July 4th was really just another holiday with hot dogs. Now it is a day I can celebrate my marriage and the freedom our great country gives us to spend it together. And the Boss is the soundtrack to the whole thing. My wife just walked into the room and "Born to Run" just popped up on the IPOD at random. Meant to be!