Thursday, March 19, 2009

"The Airways at 18"

I dissed Frank and offered to give him a shot at my opinions, but that was before I saw what I would have to work with. I could just concede that Frank's entitled to his overly-negative opinion of songs I like. And he can kick my butt verbally so I shouldn't have gotten into it. This list isn't good. I'm going to look for another one and then maybe just comment on some of both. This one's more like an essay test than a decent simple meme.

I didn't find a better list so I'll have to wade into this one. Frank, you win.

1. You've Got A Friend - James Taylor

Now here's the deal, I see. I wasn't listening to the radio. I was listening to albums. I had "Tapestry" by Carole King. I liked the song James Taylor's way too, but my Beatles fanatacism had caused me to think songwriters should own their own songs. I was also attached to John Hartford's banjo-accompanied version of "Gentle on my Mind" over the over-produced Glen Campbell hit.

2. Joy To The World - Three Dog Night

I had seen Three Dog Night in a gym in Santa Fe, when they were just about to get famous. That concert was lightly attended, but they were GREAT. I saw them again in 1971 in the now-gone Albuquerque Civic Auditorium. The crowd was too big, they couldn't hear themselves, the harmonies were off, girls were throwing underwear... no wonder they tore that building down later. Maybe it was 1970 when I saw them there.

3. Brown Sugar - Rolling Stones

I do love their "Made in the Shade" album, but it hadn't come out in 1971. And I wasn't listening to the radio much. I was playing Renaissance recorder music, and learning ever more English ballads.

4. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin

I didn't like slow stoner stuff much. I preferred acoustic stuff to electric, partly, perhaps, because I had recently broken up with my second-in-a-row lead-guitarist boyfriend and wanted to steer clear of things that reminded me of electric guitars and guys (never thought about that until today, but it's undoubtedly a factor).

5. Imagine - John Lennon

Yeah. It was inspiring, and I was susceptible, but I was also cranky with John Lennon for his self-absorption and for breaking up the Beatles.

6. Behind Blue Eyes - the Who

I wasn't paying attention. I heard it but it seemed like "guy music" to me. I listened to Tommy sometimes, but though I could have analytically identified what was great about The Who, the emotion wasn't there for me.

7. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
8. Proud Mary - Ike and Tina Turner

I used to listen to KOMA out of Oklahoma City late at night in earlier years to hear motown and soul stuff, but by 1971 I was all acoustic guitars and lyrics and harmonies, and I wasn't much caring about these guys then, though I liked Tina Turner's solo stuff later.

9. Friends - Elton John

Never heard it, but I was listening to the album "Elton John" a lot, and that wasn't on it.

10. Maggie May - Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart's voice pains me, and I didn't want to look at him, and that song bugged me. Still, it's imprinted in my brain and I let it be there.

11. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations

I can listen to those guys painlessly. The song was there. I heard it and sometimes I still hear it. Wallpaperish.

12. Hot Pants - James Brown

Don't recall.

13. Love Her Madly - Doors

I wasn't a big Doors fan, but that one was decent.

14. Wild Horses - Rolling Stones

I WAS a big Stones fan, but this song is too slow to have been recorded. I don't like slow. I don't like draggy.

15. She's A Lady - Tom Jones

Eh. Mild irritation; I'd change the station but not yell about it. Tom Jones had a nice voice, but I didn't like the music he liked.

16. Black Magic Woman - Santana

In retrospect, this is my favorite song on this list. At the time, it would've been top five but not top. It has stood the test of time. I got no instructions with this to know whether retrospect is a good -spect. (The other night Holly was talking to me about the Beatles, and said retrospect was the only spect she had. )

17. River Deep-Mountain High - Supremes & Four Tops

Missed it, though I had liked both groups in earlier years.

18. Oye Como Va - Santana

I just knew it out of the corner of my ear then. Now it's a Donkey Konga song.

19. Revival (Love Is Everywhere) - The Allman Brothers Band

Didn't hear any Allman Brothers until I started hanging around with Keith six or seven years later.

20. Colour My World - Chicago

Too slow; too "arranged," though that arpeggio thing was interesting; it had flute, which always got my attention.

21. Truckin' - Grateful Dead

It was what it was. Stoner soundtrack. I was listening.

22. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin

Another accepted-in-retrospect thing. At the time I didn't want to hear them yelling at me.

23. Mr. Bojangles - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

This is the stuff I was interested in then. Folky stuff. It had lots of lyrics, and I still like lyrics and harmonies more than anything else about music. And it had a guitar part I could play, and a cool chord progression.

24. Respect Yourself - The Staple Singers
25. Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone

Missed them both. I liked the wilder Sly and the Family Stone stuff, the hippified stuff.

In 1971 I was listening to Crosby, Stills & Nash; Joni Mitchell; Carole King; Judy Collins; Cat Stevens; Jesus Christ, Superstar; Mason Williams; The Band; Arlo Guthrie; John Lennon (even though I was disappointed in him as a human being), but I was moving quickly toward more stuff like Julian Bream and Peter Pears (thanks in part to Dev Singh, who was my boyfriend then and knew lots of kinds of music I didn't know). The summer I turned 18 was not a good time in my life (except for letters from Dev, home in New Jersey for the summer), and that's probably why there's no sparkle in this accounting. I was still mostly hooked on The Beatles and Donovan, for my "oldies" listening. Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies. Eric Clapton and whomever all.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Ahh, Sandra,

I have indeed been in a sad/grumpy mood the last coupla months so that contributed to the specifics of my commentary for this meme. However, you discovered, as I did, that the stuff that made *somebody's* Top25 or Top-whatever is not very congruent with what I was listening to at the time.

Now that you reminded me, I do remember that Petula Clark song. Still don't like her. De gustibus, huh?

I did generally find groups like The Association, The Fifth Dimension, Ms&Ps, etc. to be palatable, I just wasn't enthusiastic about 'em.

Your John Lennon comment is interesting because, although I wasn't fond of Yoko, I felt that the onus of the Beatles breakup rested almost entirely with McCartney.

You should try the "25 albums" meme; you might find that one more satisfying. It was difficult for me in ways that differed from this meme but it was definitely more satisfying overall.